For Henle's Urtext edition of the Clarinet Sonata op. 167, they 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.