Paris-born Charles Camille Saint-Saëns was a child
prodigy, composing his first piece for piano at the age
of three. He was a private student of Gounod and
entered the Paris Conservatory at age 13. Saint-Saëns
had total recall; any book he read or tune he heard was
forever committed to his memory.
Curiously, after 1890, Saint-Saëns' music was regarded
with some condescension in his homeland, while in
England and the United States he was hailed as France's
greatest living composer well into the twentieth
century. Saint-Saëns experienced an especially
triumphant concert tour when he visited the U.S. in
1915. In the last two decades of his life, he remained
attached to his dogs and was largely a loner. He died
in Algeria on December 16, 1921.
Beneath Thy Protection (Greek: Ὑπὸ
ίαν; Latin: Sub tuum praesidium) is the
oldest preserved extant hymn to the Blessed Virgin Mary
(Theotokos God-Bearer). The Marian hymn is known by
heart in many Catholic countries and is often
highlighted as a favourite song used along with Salve
Although this piece was originally written for Chorus
(SATB) & Organ, I created this arrangement for Flutes
(2) and Concert (Pedal) Harp.