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  • Saint-Saens: Symphony No. 3 / Paray: Mass for the 500th Anniversary of the Death of Joan of Arc
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Saint-Saens: Symphony No. 3 / Paray: Mass for the 500th Anniversary of the Death of Joan of Arc


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Audio CD, November 8, 1991
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Saint-Saëns: Symphony No.3 in C minor, Op.78 "Organ Symphony" - 1a. Adagio - Allegro moderato -Marcel Dupré10:16Album Only
listen  2. Saint-Saëns: Symphony No.3 in C minor, Op.78 "Organ Symphony" - 1b. Poco adagioMarcel Dupré 9:17Album Only
listen  3. Saint-Saëns: Symphony No.3 in C minor, Op.78 "Organ Symphony" - 2a. Allegro moderato - Presto - Allegro moderatoMarcel Dupré 6:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Saint-Saëns: Symphony No.3 in C minor, Op.78 "Organ Symphony" - 2b. Maestoso - Più allegro - Molto allegroMarcel Dupré 8:15Album Only
listen  5. Paray: Mass for the 500th Anniversary of the Death of Joan of Arc - 1. KyrieYi-Kwei-Sze 8:49Album Only
listen  6. Paray: Mass for the 500th Anniversary of the Death of Joan of Arc - 2. GloriaYi-Kwei-Sze12:32Album Only
listen  7. Paray: Mass for the 500th Anniversary of the Death of Joan of Arc - 3. Sanctus - BenedictusYi-Kwei-Sze 8:50Album Only
listen  8. Paray: Mass for the 500th Anniversary of the Death of Joan of Arc - 4. Agnus DeiYi-Kwei-Sze 6:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Paul Paray: Post-Sessions Thanks To The PerformersPaul Paray 2:11$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Performer: Marcel Dupré, Frances Yeend, Frances Bible
  • Orchestra: Detroit Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Paul Paray
  • Composer: Camille Saint-Saens, Paul Paray
  • Audio CD (November 8, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mercury Living Presence
  • ASIN: B0000057L4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,534 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
You must crank your stereo up loud!
J. Buxton
If music like this can ever be forgotten, then hey I'm outa here....
Dean Hannotte
Paray has the perfect approach to this work.
Vox Humana

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Mark McCue on May 18, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Seems Amazon has run out of this one for awhile. Get in line and grab it while you can. The Saint Saens has never, ever been performed with such an electric atmosphere and sense of occasion, and Paray's own Mass is bettered only in a live performance he taped with ORTF in Paris in '68...once on Carthagene vinyl, but now about as hard to find as the Lighthouse at Alexandria.
Included is a touching spoken "thank you" by Paray himself to the performers in the Mass. Such are the actions of gentlemen and heroes.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dean Hannotte on March 22, 2002
Format: Audio CD
It's amazing how similar my experience of the Paray MASS is to that described on this page by 'a music fan' (see January 23, 2002). I purchased the vinyl version of the MASS in the bargain basement of a department store in the Bronx around 1962... I immediately fell in love with the soaring melodies and exciting fugues and have listened to it at least once a month for the last 40 years. (NO KIDDING!) It is SHOCKING how neglected this great masterpiece is. It is one of the supreme masterpieces of French romanticism, full of emotion and utterly unlike the dry, mechanical, jazzed up and finally dull experiments that were in vogue back then for reasons that will become increasingly unclear as civilization progresses. If music like this can ever be forgotten, then hey I'm outa here....
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. Buxton on February 24, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Wow, how do you describe a musical experience where chills run down your spine? I can't really explain it, but just listen to this Saint Saens and I think you will experience a thrill. The entrance of the organ here has never been as dramatic or overpowering. It is just awesome. You must crank your stereo up loud! The whole symphony comes off just as well and this has to be Paray's finest moment on disc (along with the Suppe overtures also on Mercury). Paray's own Mass is performed well, although it is greatly overshadowed by the Saint Saens. A welcome historic reissue.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Vox Humana on April 19, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I should say from the outset that I am a graduate musician, an organist, a great lover of orchestral music, and a severe critic of works I know by heart. That said, this is (allowing for impressive - but still obviously dated sonics) the single best recording of Saint-Saens Third ever made.
This work is all too frequently ruined by one of the following things:

- A conductor who takes a Brahmsian or Mahler-esque approach to the work.

- An organist who is playing a game of "Can You Top This?"

- And more than anything else, a recording where the orchestra is recorded at one venue and the organ in another, and the two are "mixed" in the studio. Ugh!!

Paray has the perfect approach to this work. He conducts it like he thoroughly understands it and loves it. The (then) new Aeolian-Skinner organ at Ford Auditorium in Detroit is tonally perfect for the work.
Marcel Dupré is the organist - 'nuff said(!) Both men knew Saint-Saens personally. By today's standards, it lacks a bit sonically, but by 1957 standards, it is a sonic triumph - gorgeously recorded. If I could own only one recording of this work . . .

Several of the above comments are accurate, if picky. Yes, there is an occasional burble and squeak in the orchestra - that is part of a live, real-time recording. And yes, the 1959 BSO recording under Munch is in the same class, though for different reasons.

Bottom line: If you love this work as I do, you MUST (I am not exaggerating for effect) own this recording.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 23, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is an absolutely wonderful CD.........I just wish to add that when I was a teenager in the 60s, I purchased the stereo LP of the Paray Mass at a local dimestore for $1.59. Then, when I was a college student, I was enamored by open-reel stereo tapes, and I sold all my vinyl. Then, when I started collecting vinyl again, of course I could not find the Paray Mass. Years later, I purchased a mono version from a used record outlet, but the sound quality on it was, of course, not that great........So, needless to say, I was thrilled when the CD reissue came out, and I bought it very shortly after it was released by Philips/Mercury. And, I am very pleased by the Paray/DSO recording of the Saint-Saens Organ Symphony.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jack Rice on October 20, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For me, Paray is the hook that will bring me to the Saint Saëns. From the other comments I gather the two performances make up a glorious complement, and I look forward to it.

In commemorating Joan of Arc, Paray had a daunting task: to encompass a subject that's almost impossible to conceive - an historical, mystical, mythical life, which ended 500 years ago, but which transcends time as a national epic - then fold it into the themes of the Mass. How does one find a musical idiom to express such an enormous synthesis? Without knowing how - I leave that to the academics - I think Paray has succeeded magnificently.

In his "Lives of the Great Composers," Harold Schoenberg takes to task The Grove Encyclopedia of Music and other "authorities" for dismissing Rachmaninov. I pulled an "A" in Music Appreciation for pointing out that our college text omitted Rachmaninov altogether. What does this have to do with Paul Paray? Rach and Paray both have been dismissed as romantics, and derivative ones at that. Paray, then, is a nice little old man who composed quaint, sentimental stuff, when not at his day job with the Detroit Symphony.

Yes, Paray's music can be called romantic or conventional. So what? My impression of the Paray Mass is of a music of our time, but also of a time 500 years ago and of all time in between.

Someone said of Bach, "To him it does not matter if music is old or new, as long as it is true." It's what makes Bach universal. The same can be said about Paul Paray.
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