Le Timbre d’Argent (full opera score with French and German libretto)
Camille Saint-Saens – Le Timbre d’Argent
(b. Paris, October 9, 1835 – d. Algiers December 16, 1921)
„There is good music and there is bad music; the rest is a question of fashion or convention, nothing more,“(1) says the little-known French romantic composer, conductor, organist, musicologist and music teacher Camille Saint-Saens, actually called Charles Camille Saint-Saëns. Today, a larger audience still knows him for his opera „Samson et Dalila”, which premiered in Weimar in 1877, and for his much-performed program music “Carnival of the Animals”.
Saint-Saens wrote his first works at the age of six and gave his first concert in Paris at the age of 11. At 16 he studied piano with Camille Stamaty, organ with Francois Benoist and composition with Jacques Fromental Halévy at the Paris Conservatory. In the years that followed he worked as an organist, for example at Saint-Séverin in Paris (1852), at Èglise Saint-Merri (from 1854) and at the Madeleine Church (1858). From 1861 to 1865 he was a lecturer at the Ècole Niedermeyer de Paris, where his students included the well-known French composer Gabriel Fauré. It was not until 1877 that he was able to work exclusively as a freelance composer. Significant for his work are his impressions from the Franco-Prussian War (from 1871), after which he campaigned for national French music, similar to Richard Wagner’s in Germany, and founded the Société Nationale de Musique with César Franck. Art trips through Southeast Asia, South and North America also inspired his compositions to incorporate musical influences from these countries into his works. He was also given a number of honors, such as being elected to the Academy of Fine Arts in 1881, the title of Officer of the Legion of Honor in 1884 and the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor in 1913. Saint-Saens died on a trip to Algiers and was buried in Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris.(2) …
Full preface / Ganzes Vorwort > HERE