Friday, April 22, 2016

S is for Saint-Saëns and Bonus S

 
              I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, and my theme this year is classical music. Check out the list of other participants by clicking here! S is for Saint-Saëns. Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns was a French composer who lived from 1835 to 1921. Today’s featured video is Saint- Saëns’ seventh movement, Aquarium from The Carnival of the Animals (Le carnaval des animaux), starring sea creatures from the Sydney Aquarium. There is also a bonus S today, stay tuned...



 
Photograph by Nadar

   ·   Camille Saint-Saëns had perfect pitch at the age of 3. In school, he did well with many subjects. As an adult, he maintain interest in astronomy, botany, geology, butterflies, and math.

 
   ·   Franz Liszt was a friend and supporter of Saint-Saëns in his early career. Liszt called him “the greatest organist in the world.”
 
   ·   In 1886, Saint-Saëns composed two of his greatest works, The Carnival of the Animals and the Symphony No. 3 “Organ.” The Organ Symphony was dedicated to Liszt and it was used as the main theme in the movie, Babe.
 
 
   ·   Saint-Saëns enjoyed traveling and spent a lot of time on holiday in the 1890s. During that time, he wrote Africa in G minor and the Piano Concerto No. 5 “Egyptian”.
 
I own this album :)
   ·   The Carnival of the Animals was written just for fun. Saint-Saëns was afraid the piece would make him appear he was not a serious composer. So after two private performances, he banned Carnival, except for the thirteenth movement, Swan. He wrote in his will that the entire piece could be released posthumously.
 
   ·   The Carnival of the Animals is often recorded with Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra as a collection for children.

 
 
Yesterday’s trivia: Rachmaninoff was tall and he rarely smiled for photographs, what nickname did this earn him? Answer: The “six-foot scowl”.
For this challenge, I’m keeping a playlist of the videos I’m using plus some extras for anyone who wants to hear more. I will update with the latest letter each day. The video I added today is another movement from Saint-Saëns’ The Carnival of the Animals. Yo Yo Ma is playing the cello in the very beautiful thirteenth movement, Swan.


 
Do you know any other works by Camille Saint-Saëns (he wrote many in his lifetime)? Which of his pieces is meant to envision Death playing a fiddle? Answer Tomorrow.

 
BONUS S: SEISMIC CRIMES!

As a bonus S for today, I would like to share that author and fellow blogger, Chrys Fey is releasing her first novel, Seismic Crimes. Congratulations Chrys!
 

BLURB: An Internal Affairs Investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane—Beth Kennedy. From the moment their fates intertwined, passion consumed him. He wants her in his arms. More, he wants her by his side in his darkest moments.

Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs.

When a tip reveals the killer's location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything?

DIGITAL LINKS:
ALSO AVAILABLE IN PRINT!



18 comments:

  1. It's a shame the composer felt like The Carnival of the Animals was less worthy because it appealed to children. It's beautiful.

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    1. Tamara, it really is! I love the way he captured the essence of the different animal sounds.

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  2. Thank you so much for adding my bonus S! :D

    My nephews would like The Carnival of Animals. They love anything to do with the ocean.

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    1. You're welcome, Chrys! The Aquarium has such an enchanting sound to it.

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  3. I enjoyed that clip from the Carnival of the Animals :) Amazing he had perfect pitch at 3 years of age!!

    I have Chrys' book; looking forward to reading it :)

    betty

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    1. Betty, I think I was eating grass at age 3, lol :) I plan on getting Chrys' new book, but first I need to catch up on the other books I bought in the last few months...I am so behind on my reading!

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  4. Perfect pitch. I'm so envious of those who have perfect pitch.

    Congrats to Chrys.

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  5. I do so love that piece. We have plenty of swans living alongside the river and canal. I always think of Carnival of the Animals when I see them.

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    1. When I see swans, I think of the Blue Danube, I think I saw some sort of video of swans with that music playing when I was a child :)

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  6. Another impressive musical talent!

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    1. Stephanie, these composers are more impressive than I realized before starting my research!

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  7. I love this piece and it reminds me of a film called Mysterious Island where I think the music was Bernard Hermann but I'm not sure. I know the piece and picture skeletons dancing around. I can't remember the name of it though

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    1. Birgit, I haven't seen that movie, but I do think the Aquarium music would work well with a mysterious island :)

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  8. For S I would have most likely picked Schubert who is one of my top favorite classical composers, but Saint Saens is another great. His Symphony #3 tops my favorite symphony list and I especially like his series of piano Concertos with orchestra. Masterful!

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Arlee, don't worry, I snuck Schubert in under U for Unfinished Symphony :) I focused on Carnival of the Animals in this post, but Saint-Saens has a lot of great pieces I enjoy.

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