Symphony No. 3 follows the life of renowned French composer Camille Saint-Saëns as he ascends from child prodigy to worldwide fame. As his acclaim grows in Paris, the musical world around him clamours with competitors, dilettantes, turncoats and revenge seekers. At the height of his success, Camille leaves everything behind to embark on a Dantean quest for his dead lover, Henri. At the end of this adventure, still haunted by the holes in his past, he takes up an invitation to journey by ocean-liner to the New World.
Finely crafted in its own unique rhythmic language, Symphony No. 3 is cast in four sections to mirror Saint-Saëns's famous work, popularly known as the Organ Symphony. Written and performed in London England in the infamous late 1880s, this was the composition he hoped would finally destroy Beethoven's stranglehold on the industry and reinvent the form. Though set in the decades surrounding the fin de siècle, Symphony No. 3 speaks directly to our present moment and the rise of political violence.
Praise for Symphony No. 3:
"Symphony No. 3 is not only a vibrant dramatization of the life of Camille Saint-Saëns, but also a profound meditation on the place of music in culture, and of the tension between art and life. Like the organ work for which it is named, Symphony No. 3 is a sumptuous achievement." —Steven Moore, author of The Novel: An Alternative History
"Music is more than the topic of discussion here: Eaton's style and form are music. With sentences ranging from playful to brutal, tender to devastating, this book can hit registers most can't. Open your years to it: it's worth a listen." —Hayden Bennett, Deputy Editor at The Believer
"A formally inventive and ambitious writer whose experiments in structure and form are a constant inspiration. This novel tells the story of Camille Saint-Sa&eumul;ns in a structure inspired by his magnum opus: another risk-taking maneuver from an author who's made a career out of them." —Tobias Carroll, LitHub