Danse Bacchanale from Samson et Delilah

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            Saint-Saëns worked on this opera for about ten years before its opening in Weimar, Germany in 1877.   The pious French authorities would not permit a story from the bible on the operatic stage—nor would the English censors until 1909.  The Bacchanale occurs at the very end of the opera, after all of the events of the familiar story of Samson that we know from the Book of Judges has transpired.  Blind and shackled, Samson awaits his fate, as the priests and priestesses of the Philistine pagan god dance their wild and uninhibited song of victory.  Well, their victory is short lived, for we all know what Samson does at the end.