Danse macabre, by Camille Saint-Saëns

Camille Saint-Saëns was a prolific composer and acknowledged genius, but he is known today only for a fraction of his output. Today’s audiences enjoy one of his most enduring masterpieces, Danse macabre, for reasons that would have baffled Saint-Saëns’ own generation. From the elderly Saint-Saëns’ scorn of Debussy and Stravinsky, it may appear that he was conservative and not open to new trends. But from the start of his career, he allied himself with Liszt and other revolutionary composers. His four symphonic tone poems of the 1870s all explore Lisztian innovations. Danse macabre (1874) is the third of these. “Danse … Continue reading