Watch the great composer Saint-Saëns play one of his own compositions in this very rare footage

27 July 2017, 16:27 | Updated: 27 July 2017, 16:35

By Amy MacKenzie

In this rare footage, French composer Camille Saint-Saëns can be seen and heard playing his very own Valse Mignonne at the piano.

Here at Classic FM towers, we think discovering footage of a composer playing or conducting their own works is more exciting than discovering buried treasure. As well as being incredibly rare, it's also intriguing to hear how they wanted their work to be played.  

With the modern-day powers of the internet and other technology, more images and footage are coming into the forefront, particularly of 20th-century composers.

This particular clip of Camille Saint-Saëns playing his Valse Mignonne (1896), filmed by Sacha Guitry in 1914, was originally silent – but thankfully for music lovers everywhere YouTuber alexioco has been able to find an audio recording of the composer playing the same piece in 1919. So he put the two together. 

If you enjoyed this, check out this video of Gershwin playing his own composition I Got Rhythm in 1931.