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At the beginning of the 1870s; Saint-Saëns displayed a particular partiality for the violoncello. He composed his first cello sonata in December 1872; immediately after having completed the first cello concerto. It was presumably directly after this that he wrote the “Allegro appassionato” for cello and piano op. 43 that also appeared in a version for orchestra three years later. We do not know why he wrote the work; but it is likely that after having written two weighty works for cello; Saint-Saëns wanted to write something “easier” that was also suitable as an encore. David Geringas kindly provided the fingering and bowing for the brilliant cello part.