Versatile and prolific, Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921) was a brilliant craftsman who contributed to every genre of French music. Two of his enduringly popular works for violin and orchestra appear in this affordable volume, which will be welcomed by performers, conductors, and students alike. Danse Macabre was inspired by Henri Cazali's poem about the dance of the dead on Halloween. First composed in song form, it was later rewritten as a symphonic poem. Audiences at its 1875 debut were resistant to its unconventional charms—including the use of the xylophone to represent rattling skeleton bones—but it eventually became a tremendous crowd pleaser. Havanaise is among the most challenging violin and orchestra pieces and a standard showpiece in the repertoire of every serious violinist. Written in 1887 for the composer's friend and colleague, Diaz Albertini, the work is based on the Cuban dance, Habanera. Its languid mood is highlighted by bursts of virtuosity that resolve in the serene spirit of its opening.