The septet was composed in 1879/80, commissioned for the Parisian Chamber Music Society “La Trompette”. Saint-Saëns had, however, hesitated for several years to comply with the request by the founder, Émile Lemoine: “I could compose a concerto for you for 25 guitars, but for trumpet – impossible!” Not only is the instrumentation that Lemoine requested unusual – trumpet, string quintet and piano – but also its stylistic proximity to Baroque suites. The septet in four movements, which quickly became popular due to the catchy nature of the music, proved to be the forerunner of numerous works in a neo-baroque style and is now published for the first time in a critical edition.
- Septet E flat major op. 65
The story of the genesis of Camille Saint-Saëns’ (1835 – 1921) Septet op. 65 for trumpet, two violins, viola, violoncello, double bass and piano was personally committed to paper by the dedicatee, the mathematician and amateur musician Émile Lemoine (1840 – 1912), in the autograph of the score that he had been given. Lemoine wrote (original in French): “Here … more
About the composer
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.
|1835||Born in Paris on October 9. Early comprehensive education.|
|1848–52||Studies at the Conservatoire de Paris.|
|1853||Organist at St. Merry Church in Paris.|
|1853–59||First 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.|
|1857–77||Organist at La Madeleine in Paris.|
|1861–65||He teaches at the École de Musique Classique et Religieuse Niedermeyer.|
|1871||Founding of the Société Nationale de musique.|
|1871–77||Composition of symphonic poems “Le rouet d’Omphale” (“The Wheel of Omphale,” 1871), “Phaéton” (1873), “Danse macabre” (1874), “La jeunesse d’Hercule” (1877).|
|1876||Attends the performance of the Ring in Bayreuth.|
|1877||Performance in Weimar of his opera “Samson et Dalila.”|
|1881||Member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts.|
|1883||Performance in Paris of his opera “Henry VIII.”|
|1885||Publication of the treatise “Harmonie et mélodie.”|
|1886||Performance 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.|
|1899||Publication of the book “Portraits et souvenirs.”|
|1900||Cantata “Le feu celeste” in praise of electricity, for the opening of the Exposition Universelle.|
|1921||Death in Algiers on December 16.|
About the authors
Edited by Peter Jost, this Henle Urtext edition is yet another outstanding presentation. It is thoroughly researched, with insightful comments relating to the autograph score which is held in the National Library in Paris.
Easy, accessible string and trumpet parts combine with a more challenging virtuoso piano score in this handsome, spacious Henle publication. Editor Peter Jost's scholarly preface is engaging and enlightening.
Saint-Saëns himself also made a piano trio version, and later authorised an augmentation of the original quartet parts for a small-orchestra effect. Henle's pristine version of the original is a welcome return from this arrangement merry-go-round, and the piece itself not impossibly difficult for the well-equipped school, a separate trumpet part being considerately provided in B flat as well as Saint-Saëns' original E flat.
Das Werk ist voller Spielfreude, probieren Sie es aus! Die Ausgabe ist auf gewohnt höchstem Niveau, neben der Klavierpartitur liegen 7 Einzelstimmen bei: Tromp in Es, in B, 2 Vl, Vla, Vc und Kb.
Die Ausgabe aus dem Henle Verlag ist wie immer vorbildlich mit einem Vorwort zur Geschichte des Werks sowie einem kritischen Bericht zur Urtextausgabe versehen. Dieses Septett ist ein Stück mit Augenzwinkern, das es verdienen würde, häufiger aufgeführt zu werden.