For our Urtext edition of the Clarinet Sonata op. 167 we were able to consult the autograph for the first time. “At the moment I am putting my last ounce of energy into giving seldom considered instruments an opportunity to be heard”, Saint-Saëns wrote to a friend in April of the year he died. A sonata for oboe, one for clarinet and one for bassoon were thus composed; yet he was not to hear the premieres. As far as form and infl ection are concerned, the three wind sonatas op. 166 –168 hark back to the gallant style of the 18th century and thus approach the neoclassicism movement around 1920. Humour, wit and fine irony characterise these works for wind.