Composer's Weekend: Camille Saint-Saëns
23 and 24 January
Each third weekend of the month, Stingray Classica pays tribute to a single composer by presenting some of their major works. On January 23 and 24, all eyes are on French composer Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921). On Saturday evening, Stingray Classica broadcasts a rendition of Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso (1863) performed by Dutch violin virtuoso Janine Jansen, followed by the composer's famous Third Symphony (1886), nicknamed ‘Organ Symphony’, his ultimate symphonic achievement. On Sunday afternoon, our viewers will enjoy the grand opera Samson and Delilah (1877), recorded at New York's Metropolitan Opera. This is the only one of the composer's dozen operas that became part of the world's major opera houses' standard repertoire. Sunday evening concludes with possibly Saint-Saëns most famous work: The Carnival of the Animals (1886).
Saint-Saëns - Symphony No. 3 Op. 78
Saturday, 23 January | 21:00
Paavo Järvi conducts the Orchestre de Paris in a beautiful performance at the Salle Pleyel in Paris, 2011. Gauthier Capuçon and Thierry Escaich are the soloists. The French cellist Gauthier Capuçon is the youngest of three siblings. One of them is the famous violinist Renaud Capuçon. Ward-winning Gauthier recorded all of the major cello concertos written. One of them is the Cello Concerto Op. 104 by Antonin Dvorak. He performs this beautiful piece together with the Orchestre de Paris. Thierry Escaich plays the organ part in Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3. This piece is popularly known as the “Organ Symphony” even though it is not a true symphony for organ. Saint-Saëns was a famous organist in 19th-century Paris and therefore very familiar with this instrument. He conducted the French première himself in 1887, but the first performance already took place in 1886, right before the death of Franz Liszt. Saint-Saëns dedicated his Symphony No. 3 to his friend and colleague, Liszt.
Saint-Saëns - Intro and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28
Saturday, 23 January | 21:40
The Waldbühne in Berlin, one of the most appealing outdoor amphitheatres on the European continent, is the home of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s summer concerts. With over 22.000 in attendance, they are some of the most popular classical music concerts in the world. This year the outstanding orchestra under the baton of Neeme Järvi take us on a trip to Arabian “Thousand and One Nights”, with soloist Janine Jansen, a rising star who quickly gained the reputation of one of the foremost young violinists on the international concert stages. On the program are Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, Symphonic Suite, op. 35, Grieg's 'Peer Gynt' Suite No.1, op. 46, excerpts from Nielsen's Aladdin Suite for Orchestra op. 34, Saint-Saëns's Introduction und Rondo capriccioso and "Meditation” from 'Thais' by Massenet.
Saint-Saëns - Samson and Delilah
Sunday, 24 January | 14:05
Sir Mark Elder conducts the Metropolitan Opera in this performance of Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila. The source of this popular opera is a single chapter in the biblical Book of Judges: Samson, a pre-monarchic leader of the ancient Israelites, fights valiantly against the Philistines, enemies of his people, until Delilah seduces him and shears off his hair, the secret to his superhuman strength. The brevity of this source material did nothing to prevent it from becoming one of the world’s great stories of love (or at least passion)—as well as the archetypal depiction of a man betrayed by an immoral woman. Saint-Saëns’s opera, along with other artistic renderings across multiple genres, has had an important role in the popularisation of this tale. The performance features Elīna Garanča (mezzo), Roberto Alagna (tenor), and Elchin Azizov (baritone), and was recorded at the Metropolitan Opera Hall in New York City, USA, in 2018.
Saint-Saëns - Carnival of the Animals
Sunday, 24 January | 21:00
Marin Alsop conducts the Britten-Pears Orchestra in a performance of Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals. Recorded at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape Bridge in the UK, 2018.Saint-Saëns composed the work in a small Austrian town in 1886, following a disastrous concert tour. It is originally scored for two pianos, two violins, violas, cellos, double bass, flutes, piccolos, clarinets, glass harmonica, and xylophone. From the beginning, Saint-Saëns regarded the piece as an amusing work. It has become one of his best-known works and is played in various adaptions for different ensembles.
Saint-Saëns - Symphony No. 3, Op. 78
Sunday, 24 January | 21:35
Conrad van Alphen conducts Sinfonia Rotterdam in a performance of Camille Saint-Saëns’ (1835-1921) Symphony No. 3, Op. 78. Geert Bierling stars as soloist on the organ of De Doelen. It was recorded on October 20th, 2018 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Saint-Saëns Symphony No. 3 was completed in 1886. It is known as the Organ Symphony since the instrument is used in the second and fourth movement of the work. The composer stated about this symphony: "I gave everything to it I was able to give. What I have here accomplished, I will never achieve again." Saint-Saëns was at the height of his symphonic career, realizing this was his last attempt at the symphonic form.