18 August 2008

Saint-Saëns and Babe

Last semester, I discovered French composer Saint-Saëns' piece "Danse Macabre" - a wonderfully dark tune that reminds me of the large carvings in medieval cathedrals. This piece was the first I had ever heard of Saint-Saëns, and my immediate reaction was one of wonder - mostly wondering about why nobody had introduced me to the "French Beethoven" before college.

Luckily for me, NPR was on the ball - about a week after my discovery, the UGA NPR affiliate was broadcasting a special from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. One of the pieces performed was
Saint-Saëns' third symphony, the "Organ Symphony". But before the orhcestra performed, the commentator mentioned one of the defining movies of my childhood - Babe. In the scene, Farmer Hoggett* sings to Babe, then does a little dance.

Of course, this scene was mentioned because the tune comes from one of the greatest parts of the third symphony - the performing organist that night said he loves playing this opus because it gives him a chance to play without holding back. To see just what in the world I'm talking about, just click the video link.

That'll do, reader. That'll do.
Rock on.

*Arthur Hoggett is played by professional Hollywood "That Guy" James Cromwell, perhaps better known to Trekkies as Zephraim Chochrane. Or to Aasimov fans as Dr. Robert Lanning. Or to Oliver Stone fans for his upcoming role as George H. W. Bush. Or...yeah. That Guy.