At the beginning of the 1870s, Saint-Saëns showed a particular fondness for the violoncello. He completed his first cello sonata in December 1872, immediately after finishing his first cello concerto (see HN 711). The sonata is strongly reminiscent of Beethoven, not only due to the key of c minor but also predominantly on account of its gripping dramatic art. The exceptional position of this demanding, in parts highly virtuosic sonata was quickly recognised by the public and critics and so the work soon found its way into concert repertoire. Our Urtext edition takes all surviving sources into account – for the first time ever. Pascal Rogé and David Geringas kindly provided the markings for the piano and cello parts.
- Violoncello Sonata c minor op. 32,1
Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921) composed several important works for violoncello around the turn of the year 1872/73: the Cello Concerto no. 1 in a minor op. 33, the Cello Sonata no. 1 in c minor op. 32 and the Allegro appassionato in b minor op. 43 for cello and piano. It is likely that he drew the inspiration for these works from his musician friends, since the works are … 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
Here at last is the definitive urtext edition including full explanations of all the complexities which occurred during the gestation of this work. Henle has done us proud with this magnificent edition.