CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS Valse-Caprice for Piano and String Orchestra , “ Wedding Cake ”
ABOUT THE COMPOSER
Born 1835 in Paris , France ; died 1921 in Algiers , Algeria
• Saint-Saëns was a child prodigy and made his concert debut at age 10 . After studying at the Paris Conservatory , he took up a career as a church organist for La Madeleine , the official church of the French Empire , a position he held for 20 years .
• Upon leaving La Madeleine , Saint-Saëns enjoyed a successful career as an internationally renowned concert pianist and composer .
• Although inspired by modern works , Saint-Saëns ’ music was deeply rooted in more traditional music and , as a result , was looked upon harshly by his musical peers who viewed him as old-fashioned . When looking back , music historians recognize neo-classical elements in his work that can be seen as a precursor to the music of Stravinsky . Saint-Saëns ’ students included Ravel and Fauré , who both regarded the composer as a genius .
THE WORLD AT A GLANCE
LITERATURE Emily Dickinson passes away
SPORTS Modern field hockey is born with the formation of The Hockey Association in England
ABOUT THE PIECE
• Saint-Saens ’ “ Wedding Cake ” was composed in 1886 for piano and strings .
• The piece was written as a wedding present to the composer ’ s dear friend – hence its nickname “ Wedding Cake .”
SCIENCE Heinrich Hertz verifies the existence of electromagnetic waves
HISTORY American chemist John Pemberton begins to advertise Coca-Cola
BSO SESSIONS | APRIL 2021