Third of Three: Theme from Symphony No. 3, Mvt. 3
Camille Saint Saens
SMC SO156FS/ HL 368185
The Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78, was completed by Camille Saint-Saëns in 1886 at what was probably the artistic peak of his career. It is also popularly known as the Organ Symphony, since two sections out of four use the pipe organ. Of the composition Saint-Saëns said, "I gave everything to it I was able to give. What I have here accomplished, I will never achieve again." The composer seemed to know it would be his last attempt at the symphonic form, and he wrote the work almost as a type of "history" of his own career: virtuoso piano passages, brilliant orchestral writing characteristic of the Romantic period, and the sound of a cathedral-sized pipe organ. This arrangement for string orchestra is the serious, C minor 6/8 theme from the scherzo movement of the symphony.