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"Élephant" from "Le Carnaval des Animaux"

PREFACE

The Elephant, Camille Saint-Saëns’s delightful miniature from Carnival of the Animals, is one of the few works for double bass that are attractive to learners and accomplished players alike. Its many musical and technical challenges have earned it a permanent place in the teaching repertoire, yet it offers soloists a welcome opportunity to demonstrate their prowess and esp... more

About the Composer

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Camille Saint-Saëns

Saint-Saëns was one of the most multifaceted musicians of the second half of the nineteenth century in France. Regarded as a Classicist, he also wrote pieces with an Impressionist character to their sound, and one composition in quarter-tones. As a critic and essayist he was involved in the first complete editions of Rameau’s and Gluck’s works.

1835Born in Paris on October 9. Early comprehensive education.
1848–52Studies at the Conservatoire de Paris.
1853Organist at St. Merry Church in Paris.
1853–59First large-scale works: Symphony No. 1, Op. 2 (1853), and No. 2, Op. 55 (1859); Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 17 (1858); Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 20 (1859); Mass, Op. 4 (1856); he attempts to arrive at unique forms.
1857–77Organist at La Madeleine in Paris.
1861–65He teaches at the École de Musique Classique et Religieuse Niedermeyer.
1871Founding of the Société Nationale de musique.
1871–77Composition of symphonic poems “Le rouet d’Omphale” (“The Wheel of Omphale,” 1871), “Phaéton” (1873), “Danse macabre” (1874), “La jeunesse d’Hercule” (1877).
1876Attends the performance of the Ring in Bayreuth.
1877Performance in Weimar of his opera “Samson et Dalila.”
1881Member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts.
1883Performance in Paris of his opera “Henry VIII.”
1885Publication of the treatise “Harmonie et mélodie.”
1886Performance in London of his Organ Symphony (Symphony No. 3 in C minor): major work with thematic transformation after Liszt’s model. Composition of “The Carnival of the Animals,” the publication of which he forbade during his lifetime.
1899Publication of the book “Portraits et souvenirs.”
1900Cantata “Le feu celeste” in praise of electricity, for the opening of the Exposition Universelle.
1921Death in Algiers on December 16.

© 2003, 2010 Philipp Reclam jun. GmbH & Co. KG, Stuttgart

About the Authors

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Tobias Glöckler (Editor, Fingering and bowing for Double Bass)

Tobias Glöckler is associate principal double bass player at the Dresdner Philharmonie and a prizewinner of the International ISB Double Bass Competition (USA). He studied with Konrad Siebach at the Music Conservatory in Leipzig, perfecting his skills with Jeff Bradetich (Chicago) and Ulrich Lau (Stuttgart). While studying, he was principal double bass player with the International Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra under Claudio Abbado. He has performed as a soloist with different orchestras, including the Dresdner Philharmonie with Ton Koopman. In addition he has made recordings for radio and has made guest appearances at diverse music festivals. He is a founding member of and solo bass player with the “ensemble frauenkirche” and has explored a great many chamber music works with the Dresdner String Quintet.

Glöckler teaches at the music conservatory in Dresden. His efforts concerning the revival of the “Viennese Tuning” have been rewarded with a Distinguished Achievement Award for historical performance practice.

Photo © markenfotografie

Most of us have played this well known piece of the bass repertoire. For those who haven’t, this edition with its preface is certainly the most rewarding own.

Double Bassist, 2002

… that this is a very nice edition – beautifully printed on a good quality paper and programme notes that will be rifled by many an intermediate bassist. Recommended.

Bass News, 2002

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