Saint-Saëns, Camille


Saint-Saëns, Camille

La Muse et le Poète 0p. 132 for violin, cello and orchestra

SKU: 1689 Category:


Charles Camille Saint-Saëns

La muse et le poète

(9 October 1835, Paris, France – 16 December 1921, Algiers, Algeria)

Duo for violin and cello

with accompaniment by orchestra (or piano), op.132

Original version

composed July – December 1909 for violin, cello, and piano

[titled Equisse pour le fameux duo and Duo pour Vn et Vlle in his correspondence]

[labeled Equisses on his sketches in pencil]

May 1910 published by Durand [pl. no. 7686, retitled La muse et le poète by the publisher]


7 June 1910, Queen’s Hall, London
Played by Eugène Ysaÿe (violin), Joseph Hollmann (cello), Camile Saint-Saëns, piano

Dedicated to the memory of Madame J.-Henry Carruette from Dieppe, France

Reviewed in Musical Times, 1 July 1910, pp. 457-458


by the composer for violin, cello, and orchestra
August 1910 published by Durand [parts – pl. no. 7869; 27-page score = pl. no. 7870]

Early performances

20 October 1910, Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt, Paris
with soloists Ysaÿe and Bollmann conducted by Fernand Le Borne

21 April 1912, Brussels and 22 April 1912, Antwerp

with soloists Ysaÿe and Pablo Casals conducted by Fernand Le Borne

May 1918, Monte Carlo

with soloists Henry Wagemans and Benedetti


Solo violin, solo cello, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in A, bass clarinet in B,

2 bassoons, 2 horns in F, 2 trumpets in C, 3 trombones, 2 timpani (G, E-flat), harp, strings

The Composer

Camille Saint-Saëns was a short, witty, sarcastic French composer remembered mainly for his opera Samson and Delilah and the orchestral showpieces Danse macabre and Carnival of the Animals. He began as a child prodigy, picking out tunes on the piano at two and accompanying one of Beethoven’s violin sonatas at four years, seven months (reviewed in Moniteur Universel, 1 August 1840). Soon after, his parents took him to a Parisian symphony concert; he enjoyed the string serenade, but cried out at the brass entrance, “Make them stop. They prevent my hearing the music.” He was removed.

Saint-Saëns entered the Paris Conservatoire at age fifteen, winning prizes in every class and studying under the Parisian-Jewish composer Jacques Halevy (1799-1862). Charles Gounod and Georges Bizet (who married Halévy’s daughter) were his closest friends at the Conservatoire. All three young composers publicly admired the progressive elements of Berlioz, Liszt, and especially Wagner’s music, but their compositions tended to be characterized as arch-conservative for their opposition to Debussy, late Strauss, and Stravinsky (Saint-Saëns walked out of the premiere of Le sacre du printemps).

From 1857-1876, he worked as Head Organist at the famed Madeleine Church in Paris. Franz Liszt remarked, “His organ playing was not merely of the first rank, but incomparable…no orchestra is capable of creating a similar impression.” Notable works from this period include piano concertos (one inspiring Ravel’s jazzy G Major Piano Concerto) and Samson et Dalila, which Liszt sponsored in Weimar. By the age of forty, Saint-Saëns had played most of Mozart’s piano concertos and edited Mozart’s sonatas. He became almost pathologically restless, incorporating exotic themes and melodies (e.g. the Africa Fantasy and “Egyptian” Piano Concerto), conducting and playing his own works, and focusing on new orchestral showpieces and opera. He composed the first film score in 1908 (L’Assassinat du duc de Guise, for Charles Pathé).



Read full preface > HERE

Score No.





Piano Reduction


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