Organ again…

But this time the organ is only one instrument of many…

Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns lived until 1921, but he was born at a time in which Romanticism dominated music, in 1830, so he rejected almost all later styles of music. His organ symphony may be his most famous composition, and in the final movement he not only used the organ, he also used two pianos. I did not first hear this until my early 20s, and I have no idea why I did not get to know it much sooner.


9 thoughts on “Organ again…

  1. In “the final movement” I can hear the organ. Then I hear the pianos, (analogy) like if they’re already playing, but someone put the pedal down (analogy over). The transition is quite smooth.

    1. Yes. It’s also a way of layering. You can show layers alone, one at a time, or in combinations of two or more, but you can also start with something, then keep adding. In a way a full band or orchestra is all about layers. You have percussion, woodwinds, brass, strings, and then you can add piano, singers, and so on. That’s incredibly powerful.

  2. I love it. I had not imagined organ combined with other instruments that way and the effect is wonderful. I will listen to this more than once for sure.

    Btw, I was intrigued: at 1:02 the violinist in front has a smile on his face and the one behind him has a little smile too. He turns around, they exchange smiles, he faces forward and it cuts to the organ. I was trying to hear if something happened in the music there. All I could hear is that it was beautiful.

    1. You know, we say so-and-so really “pulled out all the stops” for something. Did you know this comes from pipe organ? Because that’s exactly what happens in this piece!


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