During 1896/7 Saint-Saëns played Op 99 No 1 together with the Bénédiction
and the fantasies of 1857 and 1895 in his Swiss concerts. This latter, the Fantaisie
in D flat major, Op 101 was dedicated to Queen Elisabeth of Romania who was known in Paris as a writer under the pseudonym Carmen Sylva. Amongst the organ music it is perhaps in this piece above all others that Saint-Saëns shares the bench with romanticism. Whilst in each of the fantasies the sectionalized structure is highly organized, in this piece the musical language itself adds a further element of cohesion to the whole.
from notes by Andrew-John Smith © 2008