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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
By 
J. S. Morgan "johnmorgan747" (44, RH1 2JN,UK) - See all my reviews
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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
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C. Marshall "clmrshll" (N England) - See all my reviews
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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
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
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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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Symphony 3/Danse Macabre/Carnival [CASSETTE]
Symphony 3/Danse Macabre/Carnival [CASSETTE] by Camille Saint-SaŽns (Audio Cassette - 1992)
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