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From The Swan in Carnival of the Animals to his Organ Symphony, Saint-Saëns was one of the greatest composers that France has produced.
Saint-Saëns’s opera Samson and Delilah faced quite some problems with the censors. When it was due to be performed in London, the Lord Chamberlain slapped a ban on the whole opera, stopping all but concert performances until 1909, some 30 years after its premiere. The opera contains the sumptuous orchestral Bacchanale and one of the most beautiful of all arias, Mon coeur s’ouvre a ta voix (Softly Awakes My Heart).
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