Saint-Saëns’s Cello Sonata No. 1 of 1872 draws on his organist career via a second movement based on one of his organ improvisations, and on grand opera via its finale’s quotation from Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine — possibly a favourite of his mother’s, for whom he rewrote the movement when she didn’t like the original. Meanwhile the first woman to have a work staged at the Paris Opera was Augusta Holmès, in 1895. This transcription from her cantata of the same year depicts the minstrel cello using the “ardent magic of his beautiful sounds” to intercede with the Immortals to protect the queen’s infant son, then the Immortals’ response. More cello lyricism is heard in Fauré’s Cello Sonata No. 2 of 1921, notably its slow movement’s long-lined song. Still more comes via Cecile Chaminade’s Child’s Slumber. French-influenced Thomas Adès’s 2009 Lieux retrouvés then contrast nature with a hectic city.