“I gave everything to it I was able to give. What I have here accomplished, I will never achieve again”, wrote Camille Saint-Saëns, rightly proud of his Third Symphony in C minor, Op. 78 (Organ Symphony) dedicated to the memory of Ferencz Liszt. The work was commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society of London in 1886, the premiere took place in London on 19 May of the same year, conducted by the composer himself. Although Saint-Saëns was considered to be a conservative composer, this symphony stands out for its originality due to its unusual form. The work consists not of traditional four, but of two large movements, each of which can be divided into two sections. Also, in this symphony Saint-Saëns creatively used keyboard instruments – a striking, virtuoso piano part and a majestic-sounding organ. Known as one of the best organists of the 19th century, the composer was well aware of the possibilities of this instrument and effectively revealed them in the finale of the work. However, both piano and organ are treated not as solo instruments, but are masterfully blended into the imposing fabric of the orchestra. Therefore, the work is considered to be a symphonic opus of genius characteristic of the Romantic period, revealing the traditions of French musical culture.
Saint-Saëns’ grandiose work is performed by the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra and organist Renata Marcinkutė Lesieur, conducted by professor, maestro Juozas Domarkas, the LNSO’s honorary conductor, who had served as its artistic director and principal conductor for 51 years.
ORCHESTRA: LITHUANIAN NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
CONDUCTOR: JUOZAS DOMARKAS
SOLOISTS: RENATA MARCINKUTĖ-LESIEUR (organ)