Hailed by Franz Liszt as the world’s greatest organist, Camille Saint-Saëns was revered by his contemporaries for his ingenious improvisations, his mastery of the art of registration, his virtuosity, and his eclectic organ compositions. Saint-Saëns’s technique and style developed out of what remained of the French Classic tradition that survived into 19th century use, bridged the entire career of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, and continued well into the 20th century. Rollin Smith provides an insightful biographical view of Saint-Saëns as organist and composer, including detailed chapters on the construction and settings of instruments he played (the harmonium, the Aeolian organ, and the Cavaillé-Coll organs, among others). Within the eleven appendixes are essays by and about Saint-Saëns; his recordings; specifications of organs that he played; and a thematic catalog of his works for harmonium and organ.

2023, OHS Press; 414 pgs.


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