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Camille Saint-Saens, Rhapsodie D’ Auvergne Opus 73

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    Camille Saint-Saens, Rhapsodie D’ Auvergne Opus 73
    Transcription For Two Pianos By The Composer

    Piano piece composed before August 1884, premiered in its orchestral version in December 1884 and dedicated to Louis Diemer (1853–1919).Saint-Saens first composed a version for solo piano, which he completed before 19 August 1884. This piano version was published in November 1884. A month later, Saint-Saens completed a version for piano and orchestra, which was premiered by the composer in early December 1884 at the fourth Concert Populaire in Marseille. The work is dedicated to Louis Diemer, a close friend of Saint-Saens, also a renowned pianist and professor at the Paris Conservatoire, who performed it for the first time at the Theatre du Chatelet on 15 March 1885 during one of the Societe Nationale de Musique’s concerts. The work comprises seven sections (Lento ad libitum — Andantino espressivo — Allegretto con moto — Allegro molto — Quasi recitativo — Andantino (tempo primo) — Presto) and three folk-like themes, the main one opening and closing the score. In 1912, Saint-Saens commented again on his opus 73: “I wrote it some thirty years ago to show that there was no need to look very far for motifs to find usable ones.”