Clara Rockmore was a child prodigy on the violin and began studying at the St. Petersburg conservatory at the age of five. But due to malnutrition, she developed serious bone problems that prevented her from continuing her studies and playing the violin.
She discovered the theremin and worked with the inventor to make it a more precise instrument. She developed an entire technique for the instrument, using her fingers to 'finger' the notes in the air.
Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) was a French composer. he composed Carnival Of The Animals, a suite of pieces originally for a chamber group of instruments (a full orchestra version also exists) that musically depicts an assortment of creatures. It was composed in 1886 but Saint Saëns thought it might be too trivial and hurt his reputation as a serious composer. He allowed only one of the vignettes to be published in his lifetime, The Swan. The entire collection was published in 1922 after his death and remains a very popular composition. The Swan is a melancholy song originally written for cello that depicts the legend that when a swan dies it sings its sweetest song. Clara Rockmore shows that the theremin can be an instrument of great expression and nuance, but it's a mystery to me how in the world she coaxes such sweet, ethereal music out if thin air. It's magical.
Saint Saëns The Swan played by Clara Rockmore