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Saint-Saëns's Danse Macabre
Cover of Saint-Saëns's Danse Macabre
Saint-Saëns's Danse Macabre
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Camille Saint-Saëns was a brilliant French composer from the nineteenth century. In SAINT-SAËNS'S DANSE MACABRE, readers are transported to France in 1872 when Saint-Saëns visited the catacombs beneath the streets of Paris, known best as the final resting place of victims of the French Revolution. It was in this underground graveyard that Camille found the inspiration to compose Danse macabre, his spooky, mischievous masterpiece. Early performances of what would become Saint Saëns's most well-known piece were met with brutal criticism. However, the composer paid the naysayers no mind—to him, the choice of instrumentation perfectly captured his vision of dancing skeletons, of Maestro Death coming to life. A true story of creativity and belief in one's own ideas, SAINT-SAËNS'S DANSE MACABRE will inspire the innovative thinker in all of us. Back matter includes an author's note with a brief summary of the historical events and figures mentioned in the text.

Camille Saint-Saëns was a brilliant French composer from the nineteenth century. In SAINT-SAËNS'S DANSE MACABRE, readers are transported to France in 1872 when Saint-Saëns visited the catacombs beneath the streets of Paris, known best as the final resting place of victims of the French Revolution. It was in this underground graveyard that Camille found the inspiration to compose Danse macabre, his spooky, mischievous masterpiece. Early performances of what would become Saint Saëns's most well-known piece were met with brutal criticism. However, the composer paid the naysayers no mind—to him, the choice of instrumentation perfectly captured his vision of dancing skeletons, of Maestro Death coming to life. A true story of creativity and belief in one's own ideas, SAINT-SAËNS'S DANSE MACABRE will inspire the innovative thinker in all of us. Back matter includes an author's note with a brief summary of the historical events and figures mentioned in the text.

Available formats-
  • PDF eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.6
  • Lexile:
    600
  • Interest Level:
    LG
  • Text Difficulty:
    2 - 3


Reviews-
  • School Library Journal

    August 1, 2013

    Gr 2-5-This title in the author's music-appreciation series addresses the origin of Camille Saint-Saens's symphonic work with a description of the composer's nighttime visit to the Paris Catacombs with his friend Henri Cazalis. The musical inspiration resulted first in the form of a solo song, and later Saint-Saens's two-year quest for the perfect instrumental sound to express dancing skeletons rising from their graves. Originally criticized, but later acclaimed, this work is explained in first-performance detail: the first violin tuned to a dissonant interval according to specific instruction in the score, other violins played on the wood of bows, and the addition of a previously little-used instrument, the xylophone. Pen and watercolor illustrations paint 19th-century Paris streets and interiors with single-dimensional faces framing an explosion of skeletal dancing forms during the description of Danse Macabre's first performance in 1875. An author's note and accompanying CD featuring the performance of Lorin Maazel and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra complete this offering with soaring strings and dissonance, a rattling xylophone, swaying woodwinds, trombones heralding the melody, and the final call of a rooster in the solo oboe-all easily apparent to readers through the author's descriptive text: "Long live the music! Long live the dance.-Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Charlesbridge
  • PDF eBook
    Release date:
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Anna Harwell Celenza
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