After his debut at the Pleyel Hall in Paris, "the entire conservatory fell into desperation out of jealousy" as he performed without the score one of Beethoven's piano concertos at the age of ten. Faure spoke of him as "the most complete musician France has ever had." In Liszt's eyes, he was "the greatest organist in the world". However, he said to his students: "Surtout pas d'emotion" which in English means "mostly without emotions". These were the beginnings of Camille Saint-Saëns' incredible career.
From early childhood, he amazed France as a child prodigy. He reportedly wrote his first piano piece at the age of three. At the age of five, he studied Mozart's works, and two years later, he began singing lessons with Bizet. In 1848, he entered the Paris Conservatory. In 1857 (that is, at the age of just 22) he became organist at the Church of La Madeleine - a position reserved for the most outstanding instrumentalists. A year after the world exhibition in 1867, he composed his most famous piano concerto, Op. 22. It took him seventeen days, some of which he spent working twelve hours continuously.
"You can't fool anyone with your pretty melodies. You are as important as a pretty woman kindly handing out bags of tasty seeds to her friends," Mussorgsky once told him. Stojowski jokingly pointed out that the work "begins with Bach and ends with Offenbach". Were they right? "There is nothing more difficult in life than talking about music," Saint-Saëns himself summed up numerous discussions.
A great work - the peak of "sublime melody, the harmony of colours and wonderful sequences of chords" - will be performed by Yeol Eum Son. The South Korean pianist living in Germany first caught international critics' attention with her debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in 2004. A tremendous success in her career is the second prize at the Pyotr Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition.
SAINT-SAËNS | SCHUMANN
symphony hallFilharmonia im. Mieczysława Karłowicza w Szczecinie
ul. Małopolska 48