SAINT-SAËNS Camille, L’assassinat du duc de guise

Composed in 1908, L’assassinat du duc de Guise was the first original film score by a major composer. The film was written by Henri Lavedan and directed by Charles le Bardy and André Calmettes; it was first shown by Le Film d’Art at the Salle Charras at 4 rue Charras, Paris, on 16 November 1908. Saint-Saëns had already left the city to spend the winter in Las Palmas and it was his pupil Fernand Leborne who conducted the performance. As for how Saint-Saëns went about writing the score, his first biographer Jean Bonnerot wrote in 1922 that it was composed ‘scene by scene, in front of the screen’.  

Nigel Simeone


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