The Oboe Sonata op. 166 was the first of three wind sonatas that Saint-Saëns wrote in his fi nal year. Throughout his life he had been more familiar with keyboard and stringed instruments, so the composer this time found himself in rather unfamiliar territory. Yet he instantly hit upon the infl ections and special characteristics of these instruments. To ensure that the parts refl ected the technical and tonal idiosyncrasies of each instrument, he asked advice of wind soloists of his acquaintance before publication. His Sonata op. 166 met with the highest approval of the oboist; a passage in a letter bears witness to this: “It went like clockwork”. We were able to consult the autograph for the first time for this Urtext edition.
- Oboe Sonata op. 166
Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921) wrote a number of chamber works in unusual or at least uncommon scorings. Among them are not only the celebrated constellations of the Septet op. 65 (1890) for trumpet, stringed instruments and piano, and the Carnaval des animaux (1886) for stringed instruments, flute, clarinet, harmonica, xylophone and two pianos, but also many duos such as … 続き
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.|
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