Saturday, February 16, 2019

Camille Saint-Saens Epic Organ Symphony And More

In my last weekend's classical music post I included Camille Saint-Saens 2nd movement [actually 2nd part of 1st movement] of his awesome "Organ" Symphony #3.

Camille Saint-Saens [1835 - 1921]

From a previous post, Beethoven and Saint-Saens Make For An Epic Concert in Jones Hall I said: "... one of my favorite symphonies is by the Romantic French composer Camille Saint-Saens - his "Organ Symphony"#3.  This popular symphony which includes a huge symphony orchestra with not only an organ but also a piano for four hands [or sometimes played with two pianos].  The HSO web site says this symphony [sound] has a "rafter-shaking effect".  It is a beautiful and at the same time dramatic symphony.  When the organ enters with a booming chord to begin the final majestic movement, it gives many in the audience [like me] goose bumps!  Note: In the video below that will be at the 28:16 mark.

From Wikipedia:  "Although this symphony seems to follow the normal four-movement structure, and many recordings break it in this way, it was actually written in two movements: Saint-Saëns intended a novel two-movement symphony. The composer did note in his own analysis of the symphony, however, that while it was cast in two movements, "the traditional four movement structure is maintained".

I consider this dramatic, majestic symphony, epic."

Saint-Saens scored this masterpiece in C minor, with 2 movements [with multiple parts]: 1. Adagio - Allegro Moderato - poco Adagio; and 2. Allegro Moderato - Presto - Maestoso - Allegro.  

Please turn up the volume and enjoy this French man's epic symphony, along with the beautiful "Swan" movement from his beloved, "Carnival of the Animals', his virtuosic Piano Concerto #2 that is unique in that it starts off with an exciting [I call] cadenza by the soloist, before the orchestra joins the fray. It also, has a long, traditional, cadenza near the end of the first movement.  This piano concerto in G minor has 3 movements: 1. Andante, a wonderful lyrical second movement, Allegro Scherzando, and  an explosive movement 3. Presto. Finally, I think you will enjoy his exquisite, "Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor" for violin and orchestra [the version I have here I really love is for violin and piano]. 

Saint-Saens: Symphony #3 in C minor, "Organ":  


Saint-Saens: Carnival of the Animals, "The Swan"


Saint-Saens: Piano concerto #2 in G minor:  


Saint-Saens Introduction And Rondo Capriccioso in A minor [violin and piano]: 





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