2nd movement

Camille Saint-Saëns composed his Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33 in 1872, when the composer was age 37. He wrote this work for the Belgian cellist, viola de gamba player and instrument maker Auguste Tolbecque. Tolbecque was part of a distinguished family of musicians closely associated with the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, France’s leading concert society. The concerto was first performed on January 19, 1873 at a conservatoire concert with Tolbecque as soloist. This was considered a mark of Saint-Saëns’ growing acceptance by the French musical establishment.

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