Memories of Childhood
(“Souvenirs d’enfance”, Ecole buissonnière, Pierre Lafitte, 1913, 1–10)
This chapter provides some details about Camille Saint–Saëns’ childhood memories. He had two mothers, the one who gave birth to him, and his maternal great-aunt, Madame Charlotte Masson. At two and a half years old, his great-aunt taught him the names of the notes and got a tuner to come and put the piano into shape. At the age of seven, he passed from the hands of his great-aunt to those of Stamaty, who was surprised at the way his musical education had been organized. His first concert was a brilliant success; but his mother did not intend him to have a career as a child prodigy, she had higher things in mind; and she was unwilling to let him follow this path out of concern for his health. The greatest benefit he got from working with Stamaty was an introduction to Maleden as a composition teacher.
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