program notes by composition > F > Finale, Symphony No. 3 in C (Organ Symphony)

Finale, Symphony No. 3 in C (Organ Symphony)

Camille Saint-Saens/arr. Earl Slocum

Camille Saint-Saens' Symphony No. 3 in C Major , generally referred to as the "Organ Symphony", was his last major effort in the symphonic form. It was composed for the London Philharmonic Orchestra and was dedicated to Franz Liszt. It was first performed in the British capital under the direction of Saint-Saens on May 19, 1886. The symphony was modern for its day.

The Finale begins with a sustained C Major chord in the organ, followed by a theme that was presented in the first movement of the symphony. The theme is then presented by the woodwinds and then by the full strength of the band and organ. An Allegro section follows, leading to a very tranquil and pastoral episode. A brilliant coda ends the work with the full band together in thickly rich textures. This powerful work concludes as it began, on a C Major chord played by the organ and full band.

Last updated on July 7, 2013 by Palatine Concert Band