“Vive La France” This Saturday Evening – UT Symphony Focuses on French Music

University of Tennessee Symphony Orchestra
“Vive la France”
Dukas: Fanfare from from La Perí
Fauré: Requiem
Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 in C Minor (“The Organ Symphony”)
James Fellenbaum, conducting
Saturday, February 21
7:30 p.m. James R. Cox Auditorium, Alumni Memorial Building on the UT Campus, FREE


After a Saturday evening concert opening with the Fanfare from the ballet La Perí  by Paul Dukas (conducted by Kelly Thomas), the UT Symphony will be joined by the choral organizations of the School of Music (the Chamber Singers, the Concert Choir, and the Men’s and Women’s Chorales) for Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem. Soloists are Caitlin Thomas, soprano; Thaddeus Ennen, baritone;  and Makoto Winkler, baritone. James Fellenbaum conducts.

The finale of “Vive la France” is a work that invariably satisfies listeners interested in both delightful construction and dramatic, goose-bump raising finales. However, discussing Camille Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, nicknamed the “Organ Symphony,” requires a few qualifications. First, it was commissioned and premiered, not in France, but by the Philharmonic Society of London for a 1886 performance. (That organization was renamed the Royal Philharmonic Society in 1912.)

Second, it departed from true symphonic form in its construction, having two movements that each have two sections. And third, the use of the organ comes not throughout, but in the second half of each movement to great effect. That great effect arrives in the final Maestoso – Allegro section with full orchestra and organ that is one of the most stirring sonic finales in all of classical music. The organist will be Professor of Organ, John Brock, on the Cox Auditorium’s pipe organ.

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