Posted tagged ‘Saint-Saens’

Long Beach Symphony

November 17, 2019

Last night we had the pleasure of attending the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra at the Long Beach Center for the Performing Arts. We had been given tickets by a friend of Paula’s. What a pleasure. We had seats in 3rd row of the orchestra section.

The performance consisted of pieces by French composers. The symphony was directed by Eckert Preu. Mr. Preu appeared about an hour before the concert (I’m told that he usually does this) to talk about the music.

The performance consisted of:

  1. Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy
  2. Intermezzo from Notre Dame by Franz Schmidt
  3. La Chausseur maudit by Cesar Fanck

Intermission, then

  1. Symphony No. 3 in C minor, op. 78 (Organ Symphony) by Camille Saint-Saens

So the opening piece was quite light and airy. It kind of gets you comfortable in your seat before the heavy hitters come along.

Le Chausseeur maudit” means “the Accursed Hunter”. It takes you along on the adventure of a wild hunter in the woods. The story begins about a hunter who would rather hunt on a Sunday morning than sit in the pews in a church.

The four sections of the work are:

  1. Peaceful Sunday Landscape
  2. The Hunt
  3. The Curse
  4. The Demon’s Chase

Then we had the intermission where we get to calm our nerves over a glass of wine. Then he started on Saint-Saens’ Organ Symphony. So called because the fourth and last movement  has a pipe organ added to the mix. I told Paula to expect that the theme will be rattling around in your brain. The finale was strong and loud. I wanted to shout out, “Crank it up”. Indeed, Paula told me that she had the theme rattling around in her head.

And finally, I have included an organ recital of the last movement of the Organ Symphony. Play it on a speaker and crank up the volume. Enjoy.


Saint-Saens Organ Symphony

October 19, 2016

As many of my readers know, I am a big fan of classical music. When I lived back east, I played the organ for several Masonic organizations. I love listening to big organs, especially big pipe organs. You just want to turn up the volume.

So one of my favorite, classical organ pieces is Saint-Saens Organ Symphony No 3, movement 4. I was listening to this on a CD I had in my Jeep the other day and thought to myself. I should do a blog post on this. This is a version done by the Radio France Philharmonic, directed by Myung-Whun Chung.

So without further ado, go ahead and turn up your volume.

Organ Music

August 3, 2014

Okay, one more post and then I will be done for a while.

Most of you already know this about me. So bear with me. I am the organist for my Masonic Lodge in  San Pedro as well as the organist for San Pedro Harbor Chapter Order of Eastern Star. Now you’d think that seeing as organist is part of my job title, that I played an organ. Nay, not so. I play a piano.

It seems that real organs at Masonic Lodges are rather rare in Southern California. I have yet to see a working organ in the lodges that I have visited. Some day I will figure out why that is.

Most of the lodges in Massachusetts actually have an organ. Some of the larger buildings actually have a working pipe organ. Although, many of the pipe organs are getting rather old and falling into disrepair. For example, the Lowell Masonic Center in Lowell, MA has a pipe organ and alas it no longer works. I did get to play it before it had to be shutdown. Repairs of pipe organs can run into 6 digits.

Now i would be happy if I can get our hall association to pay to get the piano tuned. Am I the only one who hears the off tune piano?

But back to Organs. Our former church in Billerica, MA has an excellent electronic organ made by the Allen Organ Company. They put the speakers behind the pipes in the chancel, so you think that the sound is coming from the pipes. Fabulous sound. When I played that organ, I couldn’t hear anyone singing. I could only tell they were singing by seeing their lips move.

The church that we attend here in San Pedro has an older Wurlitzer that doesn’t get played much. It doesn’t have the necessary ooomph to fill the room. Anyway, they are more into Christian Rock. I do miss a good church organ.

So what got me started writing a blog post about organs? I saw a post on FB about a Compton Organ at the Apollo Theater. So without further ado here are a couple of videos of organ performances.

And finally, I give you “Phantom of the Opera”

And one last thing. This wouldn’t be complete without the Saint-Saens Finale to the Organ Symphony.