Catapulting into Classical

A headlong leap into music, history, and composing

Haiku Wednesday: Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concerto No 2

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Photograph of Camille Saint-Saens

Camille Saint-Saens

Saint-Saëns wrote five
Piano concertos and…
You gotta hear this.

Piano Concerto No. 2 is famously described as starting like Bach and ending like Offenbach, and is a very popular piece.  Saint-Saëns wrote it in 17 days in 1868.

Did you see this weekend’s live webcast from the Verbier Festival that included Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concerto No 2?  If not, you can see it for a limited time here (all’s live broadcasts from the Verbier Festival will be available for free for a limited time).

Georgi Li was the pianist.  Joshua Weilerstein conducted the Verbier Festival chamber orchestra.  Spectacular performances all around.

George Li’s performance was exciting and precise, it was brilliant. By the way, Li has been playing this piece since he was 12 (yes, there’s a video at the link–and he was already good at age 12).


So what performance should you listen to?  If you want to hear and see, there’s the Li performance mentioned above.  Or this performance by Arthur Rubinstein.  There are abundant choices on YouTube.  Gramophone devotes an entire article to the various audio choices.


Or, you can listen as Saint-Saëns himself plays the opening to his Piano Concerto No. 2 in this historical recording from 1904.


It’s a delightful piece of music.  I hope you’ll enjoy it!


  1. Piano Concerto No. 2 (Saint-Saëns)
  2. Piano Concerto No. 2, About the Piece, LA Philharmonic
  3. Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concerto No 2 – which recording is best?


Image attribution: Photograph of Camille Saint-Saëns by Nadar, [Public domain} via Wikimedia Commons


One thought on “Haiku Wednesday: Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concerto No 2

  1. George Li at 12. It’s a full interpretation. Remarkable.


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