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DPO Classical Connections Series Gets Into the Musical Mind of Camille Saint-Saëns and His Organ Symphony

DAYTON, OH (January 22, 2014) – On Friday, February 7, 2014 at 8 pm in the Mead Theatre of the Schuster Center, Artistic Director Neal Gittleman and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will present the Demirjian Classical Connections Concert Camille Saint-Saëns and His Organ Symphony*.

In the unique Classical Connections format, Dayton Philharmonic Artistic Director Neal Gittleman takes the first half of the concert to analyze the music and life of the featured composer with stories and demonstrations. A performance of the entire major work (The Organ Symphony) follows on the second half, directly after intermission. The concert is followed immediately by a Q&A with our affable Maestro.

Saint-Saëns’ Marche Militaire Française from his Suite Algérienne opens the concert. Have you ever vacationed somewhere and found yourself wondering what it might be like to live there? Somewhere during a visit to France’s then African colony Algeria, Camille Saint-Saëns must have done just that. We know he was impressed by the place and France’s military presence there. The proof is his four-movement symphonic poem Suite Algérienne, Opus 60, of which March Militaire Française is the finalé. The work gained fame with orchestras, bands, and wind ensembles. And Boston Pops legendary conductor Arthur Fiedler was a huge fan as well. As for his instant love for Algeria, Camille Saint-Saëns discovered more than simply what it would be like to visit there. He died there as well.

Saint-Saëns’ “Organ” Symphony is the featured work on the program. Here’s something only the French could dream up: a four-movement symphony written in two movements. It’s the Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78 by Camille Saint-Saëns. Since two of those four movements use an organ, the work became popularly known as the Organ Symphony. Here’s another thing that makes the piece original: the piano is scored for both two and four hands at various places. For whatever reason, Saint-Saëns created the piece with the hallmarks of his unique style: virtuoso piano sections and illustrious orchestral composition.

The performance of The Demirjian Classical Connections Concert Camille Saint-Saëns and His Organ Symphony* is sponsored by Gilbert and Patricia Templeton in memory of Edward and Helen Hennessey and Harold and Marian Templeton.

Single Tickets: $9 | $12 | $19 | $28 | $35 | $39

*No. 9 in Discover Classical WDPR/WDPG’s 2013 Top I00 List of Classical Favorites