Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) composed a sizeable quantity of music in the course of his rather long life; from songs for solo voice and piano (“Mandoline” being particularly celebrated) to symphonies (the Symphony No 3, “Organ”, is the best known) to operas (Samson et Dalila, among others). He also composed solo piano music, chamber music, concertos, ballets, incidental music, choral music (sacred and secular) and orchestral works apart from symphonies, such as the famous Danse macabre. In other words, he was across all genres. It is ironic that the work that is probably his most famous – The Carnival of the Animals – is one that he went out of his way to conceal. Believing it a mere trifle, he forbade performances of it but for a single movement, “The Swan”.

© Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra