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Saint-Saëns: Sounds for the End of a Century

From an image of the earth being set on fire to the blazing organ chords of Symphony No 3, rediscover the work of Camille Saint-Saëns, the original French master of colour.
London, Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall £5 - £82 Book Now



SAINT-SAËNS: Cello Concerto No 1
SAINT-SAËNS: Danse macabre
SAINT-SAËNS: Symphony No 3 ‘Organ Symphony’

Steven Isserlis cello
James McVinnie organ
Maxim Emelyanychev conductor


Saint-Saëns: Reactionary or Radical by Dr Robert Samuels (Open University)
6.00pm in the Level 5 Function Room at Royal Festival.

Saint-Saëns stood at a crossroads in French music as it forged its own path towards the end of the 19th Century. He reached back in to its past, drawing on medieval art or the forms of Rameau, whilst pointing forward to Ravel. We hear those influences in the jangling skeleton bones of the ever-popular Danse macabre, the swelling plainchant-infused melodies of the Organ Symphony, the molten solo part in the Cello Concerto, or deft orchestral colours of the symphonic poem Phaëton.


? Watch our video

Cellist Steven Isserlis and musicologist Flora Willson dig beneath the historical layers to reveal the real picture of this remarkable musician and polymath.