camille saint-saëns dedicated his organ symphony to franz liszt – a perfectly appropriate payback, since liszt was the guy who boldly endorsed monsieur saint-saëns as “the world’s greatest organist.” the work makes a stormy and tragic first impression, like brahms in a beret, and surprisingly one has to wait until a third of the work is over to hear the first peeps outta the pipes, which enter reverently low and lovely. it was during this relative calm that the beavs first noticed guest conductor mei-ann chen was doing something it had never, ever seen before: conducting without a written score! [maestra chen, that is totes bad ass ~ props, indeed!] anywho… the organ mindfully weaved its way through every section of the band, creating a contemplative state of sound impossible to reproduce with any other instrument. the vigorously returning brahmsian melody snapped us out of our meditation, returning the band to battle with sergio clearly leading the charge as triangle-bearer. things turn suspiciously quiet for a spell, and then – whammo! the organ (finally) takes the schnitzer crowd to church, busting out a ginormous c major chord and snapping any dozing heads back into their upright and locked positions. while doug schneider was tearing it up on the rodgers 568 digital console, katherine george (who i wrongly assumed was the worst page turner in the world) stopped her wallflower routine and joined yoko greeney at the piano bench, teaming up like some keyboard avengers for a remarkable 30-fingered extravaganza of heavenly glory. the last minute of this grand finale is absolutely chock full of pomp and extraordinary circumstance, with uncle camille pulling out all the stops. [lol ~ literally!] jesus h. christ: the brass, the organ, the timpani, the final resounding notes that mei-ann chen didn’t want to end… wow! as the beaver exited the aisle and genuflected, it offered up a silent thanksgiving to that big conductor in the sky for such a wonderfully sublime orchestra right here in p-town. gentle reader, can i get an amen?
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- My 2932nd and final tweet: Thanks for following the Beavs these past few seasons. Wishing all my tweeps lots of peace, love, and Haydn! 3 years ago