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Symphony 3 in C Minor "Organ"

C. Saint-Saens Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Price: $11.68 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 3 Songs, 1991 --  
Audio CD, 2003 $11.68  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 27, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B000003CXN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,203 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I. Adagio; Allegro Moderato; Poco Adagio - Camille Saint-Saens
2. II. Allegro Moderato, Presto; Maestoso; Allegro; Molto Allegro - Camille Saint-Saens
3. Phaeton, Op. 39 - Camille Saint-Saens

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The closest to perfection I've found... April 17, 2002
Format:Audio CD
The "Organ" symphony has long been my favorite piece of music, in spite of the fact that I am a horn player and should therefore automatically name the Mahler 5th as best. :-) The Organ Symphony simply has too much to offer. Saint-Seans expresses in 30 minutes the beauty, grandeur, simplicity, complexity, intensity and calm that composers like Mahler, et al. could take over an hour - and still have left something out! That is what makes the Organ Symphony such a masterpiece.
This recording is the crown jewel of my collection. Including LPs and CDs, I own about 25 seperate recordings of this symphony alone, so I consider myself fairly well versed in its performance. I have studied the score and read books about its writing. So it is by no small token of admiration that I consider this recording to be the best of them all to date. The blend between instruments is wonderful - kudos to the recording engineers. One rarely gets the sense that one section is overpowering another. The solo lines are played beautifully in the winds and strings, and the organ playing is just as masterful.
I must admit, however, that the biggest reason I consider this my favorite recording of this piece lies solely in the final bars. Far too often I hear composers taking the trumpet fanfare at the end either much too fast or much too slow. Christian Badea's interpretation of the tempo for this section is exactly as I would conduct it and rounds out the symphony in an appropraite flourish of heroic grandeur.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Organ Symphony recording ever July 16, 2007
By Mamalov
Format:Audio CD
I heard this recording for the first time yesterday, on my car radio, which is basically a tin box. It completely blew me away. I've loved the piece for years, and heard many different recordings, but this one outshines all the rest by far, even on a tin box radio. I heard details I've never heard before. I like the tempi Badea takes. I had no idea that the organ and orchestra were recorded at seperate locations, and I look forward to learning whether the recordings were done simultaneously or at different times as well. This recording is a triumph of composition, performance, musicianship, conducting, and engineering, all rolled into one. A Not-To-Be-Missed experience. Thank you, Maestro Badea.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Organ On January 11, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorite performances of Saint Saens Symphony 3. The sound on the Telarc disc is superb. Excellent performances by the orchestra and by the soloist. The adagio is sublime and when the organ blasts out at the beginning of the final movement is will shake you out of your boots. The accompanying overture to Phaeton is also very well perfomed.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect Pitch October 23, 2001
Format:Audio CD
This disc is one of my favorites for the sheer intensity of the music more than anything else. The tunes are intricate and evolve intellectually throughout. The "Organ" Symphony gives the impression of attending a Command Performance at which the dignitary arrives about 30 fashionable minutes late. The organ and the orchestra were recorded in separate locations. So, once the organ arrives one gets the definite impression that the orchestra is deliberately pacing itself to allow the organ to keep up. This usually doesn't bother me because the organ is supposed to take center stage at this point anyway. The inclusion of Phaeton make a perfect companion piece. It almost feels like a 3rd movement to the "Organ" as it has similar hair-pin turn themes and is just as inspired.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So Close Yet So Far October 15, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I must agree with most of what my fellow reviewers have said to this point: an inspired and lush performance recorded beautifully with, however, one glaring exception. Where is the rear portion of the orchestra? Specifically, where is the brass? Where are the tympany? To be sure, you can hear them, but it sounds like they are about a half block away. It is essential that this portion of the orchestra be heard articularity and with full volume and dynamics, particularly in a work such as this or it ends up sounding like a faded piece of cloth. If I'm not mistaken, Telarc would not mix multiple sound tracks for optimal balance since to do so would compromise the digal purity of the recording. Actually, that may have been the case when this recording was made, but I believe it is no longer true. In any case, this "quest for purity" has turned an otherwise awesome recording into a dismal failure. This is only my humble opinion. I'd be delighted to hear the opinions of others on what I've said.
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