Saint-Saëns, Camille


Saint-Saëns, Camille

Psalm 150, Op. 127 for large chorus, organ & orchestra (with English text)

SKU: 4599 Categories: ,


Camille Saint-Saëns – Psalm 150, Op. 127

(b. Paris, 9. October 1835 – d. Algiers, 16. December 1921)

Before the era of air travel, there was probably no composer who travelled as widely or as extensively as Camille Saint-Saëns. He traversed the globe making 179 trips to no less than 27 countries. With an abiding fascination in both railways and steam ships, as well as his exceptional gifts as a linguist, he was better equipped than most to deal with the inevitable issues involved in foreign travel in the age before the advent of mass global tourism, but even he had his problems. Both of his trips to the USA were beset by the kind of issues which would have deterred a lesser person.

His second trip to the USA was undertaken in the midst of the First World War, when commercial and passenger trans-Atlantic shipping was being specifically targeted by German U-boats. He crossed the Atlantic from Bordeaux to New York on the steam ship Rochambeau, and while he was clearly thrilled at the idea of seeing at first-hand the innovative turbine power which drove the Rochambeau, it must nevertheless have been a pretty terrifying journey for all the passengers and crew, and not least for the 80-year-old Saint-Saëns. With war raging in Europe, leading politicians and dignitaries had other things on their mind than to attend the Panama-Pacific Exposition being held in 1915 in San Francisco as part of the celebrations to mark the opening of the Panama Canal. So Saint-Saëns was sent as Principal French Envoy, representing the Franco-American Commission for the Development of Political, Economic, Literary and Artistic Relations. By that stage in his life, Saint-Saëns was already a highly respected figure on the international music scene, and a measure of his fame can be gauged by this report, published in Musical America, of his arrival in New York on 19th May 1915. “At the pier the composer turned a deaf ear to the entreaties of newspaper reporters for a few words, spurned a prima donna because of her Germanic origin, and effusively greeted Leopold Godowsky, the pianist, who was once his pupil. He declined vehemently to discuss the war, for news of the Lusitania outrage had further deepened the bitterness of his feelings toward all things German. Nor did the customs inspection contribute to the kindliness of his sentiments for the time being. On leaving the dock he went to the Biltmore Hotel and was guest of honour that evening at a dinner given at the University Club by the Franco-American Society”. His host at that dinner was the New York architect Whitney Warren, an ardent Francophile who was a generous supporter of American music students attending music conservatories in France. Saint-Saëns had first met Warren during his first visit to the USA in 1906. …


Read full preface / Das ganze Vorwort lesen> HERE

Score No.



Repertoire Explorer


Choir/Voice & Orchestra





Go to Top