1856: Saint-Saëns: Symphony in F major (“Urbs Roma”), age 21

Jean Martinon

I. Largo. Allegro
II. Molto vivace
III. Moderato. Assai serioso
IV. Poco allegretto

Saint-Saëns’s Symphony in F major ‘Urbs Roma’ was his prizewinning entry to a competition organised by the Bordeaux Société Ste Cécile, but the work remained unpublished in the composer’s lifetime. This early work is notable for a masterly final movement which, unusually, comprises a theme and variations.

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