Camille Saint-Saëns and Portugal: a relationship spanning more than 40 years

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The length of Saint-Saëns’ life (1835-1920), the enormous range of places he visited and people he knew, as well as the number and variety of his compositions, make it easy, in global accounts of his life and works, for details to be omitted or garbled and for connections not to be made. Portugal, on the periphery of Europe, illustrates how, when you take a particular country and study his visits, details emerge about the visits in themselves, the works he composed, played or directed, and people he came to know, correcting and adding to our perception of the musician and the man. He made three professional visits to Portugal – in 1880, 1906 and 1914 – as well as passing through Lisbon on his return from Argentina and Uruguay in 1916. In 1880 he took part in four concerts at the Teatro de São Carlos, Lisbon, composing and directing the orchestral version of the barcarolle “Une nuit à Lisbonne”. In 1906 he performed at the Teatro de São João in Oporto, as well as in Lisbon, once more at the São Carlos. In Lisbon again in 1914, four years after the Republican Revolution, he conducted performances of Samson et Dalila and of Proserpine at the Coliseu. He knew three generations of Portuguese Royalty and was particularly attached to Queen Amélia, maintaining contact with her and King Manuel II, even after the Republican Revolution. The 3rd Organ Fantasy was commissioned by King Manuel, in exile.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventVI Encontro Nacional de Investigação em Música - Universidade de Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
Duration: 3 Nov 20165 Nov 2016
Conference number: 6


ConferenceVI Encontro Nacional de Investigação em Música
Abbreviated titleENIM 2016
Internet address


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