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Symphony No.3 "Carnival of Animals" (Ormandy) [CD]

Camille Saint-Saëns, E. Power Biggs Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Nov 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Sony Music
  • ASIN: B000026HYF
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,444 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Camille Saint-Saens - Symphony No.3 "Carnival of Animals" (Orm

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saint-Saens's Symphony No. 3 ("Organ") 25 Feb 2006
Format:Audio CD
Whether you have just discovered the wonderful Organ Symphony or have loved it for ages, this is a recording not to be missed. Eugene Ormandy recorded this work with the Philadelphia Orchestra probably more times (at least four) than any other great conductor and is arguably one of its greatest exponents.
All of the recordings are superb but, although this one (Sony SBK 47655)was recorded back in 1962, I feel that it has the edge for several reasons: 1) You feel that the musicians are really enjoying themselves, such is the relish with which they all play; 2) the Aeolian-Skinner organ at the Philadelphia Academy of Music (where the work was recorded) must be one of the most magnificent-sounding organs in the world; 3) the organ playing of Edward Power Biggs has to be heard to be believed; 4) the other pieces on the CD, such as the Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah, Danse Macabre and Carnival of the Animals are also superb and come as a bonus; 5) it is simply amazing value for money.
It is also a great recording for the car, as it is divided into 24 tracks, which means that if you wanted to, you could listen the the sublime Maestoso and Allegro over and over again. (If I am in a bad mood or feeling fed-up, these two tracks always snap me out of it!)
For playing on your hi-fi at home, Ormandy's 1980 recording (Telarc CD80051) with Michael Murray on the organ of St Francis de Sales Church, Philadelphia, (reputed to be the world's largest and most powerful organ) takes a lot of beating for sheer power, although I find it somewhat lacking in comparison with the earlier recording, and you get only the symphony, in only two tracks, and it is a full-priced CD.
If you can't decide, go for the Sony disc - it's cheaper, you get much more and, in my view, better music for your money.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this is what big amplifiers were built for. 15 Jun 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I have to admit a a fondness for organ music. I have some great stuff by Bach played by Ton Koopman for instance. So how was Saint Saens symphonie No 3?

Amazing really. I suppose the famous bit the maestosto is the star piece of the CD but the rest is excelent too. Made to be played loud(why else have a piano and an organ in one work) it rattles the windows and drives away any negative feelings. This should be played to depressives as it is sure to make the sadest heart lift.

For those unfamilliar with the rest of the disc the irony of the carnival of animals is good fun too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another bargain 15 Feb 2014
Format:Audio CD
ormandy's last digital recording of the organ symphony on telarc is sonically impressive yet this earlier version still holds up very well and was something of a welcome surprise in buying this disc which I bought to replace a favourite cassette of carnival of the animals. Hugely enjoyable as this organ symphony is, this is a beautifully performed and impressively recorded version of carnival played in a chamber version by several celebrated soloists. Look it out and you will be surprised. why this performance is not more widely known is baffling. Saint Saens was famously not keen on public performances of carnival but with such a pleasing performance it would be hard to believe that the composer himself would not break out into a smile.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Replacement vinyl 31 Oct 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Bought the vinyl LP of Saint-Saens organ symphony from a charity shop and loved it. Bought this as the CD replacement. Very speedy and efficient service.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At this Price you may as well Take My Word For it.... 23 Jan 2000
By S. Antonio Arch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Time and time again I have heard music lovers complain that technology does little justice to the art and science of recording great music; that it was done better in the old days when all we had was vinyl and that at least vinyl recorded the warmth and heart along with the performance. Finally, from listening to this recording, I understand what people mean by all of this!
I have heard coutless other recordings of this piece of music. I have heard the legend of Charles Dutoit trekking the entire Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal to a church in Ste. Eustache so as to enjoy its near-perfect acoustics and legendary organ. The recording that these sessions yeilded was carried out with the latest in contemporary recording equipment. It does not hold a candle to this recording by the Philadelphia Orchestra. I have heard it described as "banged up" and "scratchy" but I can only describe it as "warm" as if eavesdropping on the rehearsal from just beyond a wooden door. The Analog-to-Digital re-mastering is, in my humble opinion, wonderful, magical and I am all the more thankful that the great E. Power Biggs is a part of the effort.
If you decide to own a copy of this symphony, there are countless interpretations, but this is the one to own, and at this price you just can't go wrong. This is the only version that I listen to...the only version that I will listen to.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Hear to Believe!!! 19 Mar 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Saint-Saens is without a doubt my favorite composer. He has been since I was eight, I could rave on and on for hours about how wonderful his works are!! It is interesting; he was accused of being stuffy and too conservative and conventional, but in fact he had a great sense of humor and it is exactly his staying with his style of music that makes him so different. This interpretation of the music, especially the Organ symphony, has a haunting and very expressive tone. Some movements sound so full and powerful and gigantic; others are so sweeping and deep that it will move you to tears. And at first I did not like the Bacchanale, but it has grown to be one of my favorite overall works of him. Also Danse Macabre is wonderfull, and the Carnival of the Animals shows the same diversity that the Organ symphony had but with more humorous touches. The Marche Militare is great for any fan of marches, not necessarily Sousa marches. I am least satisfied in interpretation with the Carnival of the Animals; I believe I have heard better, but it may be only a matter of taste. Whether you are just starting in classical music or are an avid fan, this is a great disc to add to your collection.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great Organ Symphony 16 Dec 2002
By Timpanist - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Although this interpretation of the Organ Symphony delivers for the most part - delicate when needed, intense to contrast - I find that the tempo in the finale is much too quick, and races through what should be so much more grandiose. Also, the poor recording of the timpani (sounds at times like it was in another room) is especially disappointing as the last few bars sail by. A good disc for its coverage of Saint-Saens' repertoire, but the end of the Organ Symphony leaves one disappointed.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Carnival of the Animals and more 28 Dec 2002
By Bruce Gray - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Like some other people, I bought this album with an eye towards having a complete version of Saint-Saens' wonderful "Carnival of the Animals".
But I was favorably impressed by the playing of E Power Biggs on the Organ parts of Saint-Saens' "Symphony #3". His playing was masterful, to say the least, and it was not overpowered by the backing of the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Eugene Ormandy.
The additional features of the Bacchanale (from Saint-Saens' "Samson and Dalila"), the French Military March, and the "Danse Macabre" only add to the luster of this fine CD. The Bacchanale only whets my appetite for a complete copy of "Samson and Dalila". The "Marche Militaire Francaise" makes me want to hear the remainder of "Suite Algerienne". And the "Danse Macabre" makes a wonderful prelude to "Carnival of the Animals".
Those who do not have a complete copy of "Carnival of the Animals", one of Saint-Saens' most recognizable pieces, will not go wrong by selecting this to add to their library of Classical music. Even those who have other versions of "Carnival" will be pleased by the other selections on this CD. 75 minutes of pure power and pleasure.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful recording with excellent performers 22 Feb 2001
By Neera - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Saint-Saens has a flare for the ornate without tiring your ear. He describes a scene with sound, painting a picture of skeletons dancing (Danse macabre, inspired by a poem "describing the figure of Death playing the violin in a nocturnally eerie graveyard while skeletons perform a ghostly dance" (Cd booklet)), militia marching proudly, or fish swimming along peacefully in an aquarium. His music is a delight to the ear and the mind.
This recording is clear and the music precise. The compilation of works is very desirable - Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Opus 78 "Organ", Bacchanale from Samson et Dalila Opus 47, Marche militaire francaise, Danse macabre Opus 40, and Carnival of the Animals - any fan of classical music should have this CD! To top it off, the list of musicians performing is quite impressive:
The Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Eugene Ormandy, performs Symphony No. 3 with Edward Biggs on organ. Bacchanale, Marche Militaire Francaise, and Danse Macabre are also performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra with the same conductor.
The Carnival of the Animals is performed chamber-style with: Piano I & Conductor: Philippe Entremont Piano II: Gaby Casadesus Flute: Alain Marion Clarinet: Michel Arrignon Glockenpiel: Michel Cals Xylophone: Michel Cerutti Violin I: Regis Pasquier Violin II: Yan-Pascal Tortelier Viola: Gerard Causse Cello: Yo-Yo Ma Double Bass: Gabin Lauridon
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