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Finale, Symphony No 3 in C

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Camille Saint-Saëns

Camille Saint-Saëns (arr. Earl Slocum)

This work bears the designation Opus 78 and the popular title "Organ Symphony."

General Info

Year: 1886 / 1974
Duration: c. 7:35
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: TRN Music Publishers
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $95.00   |   Score Only (print) - $12.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
English Horn
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Organ (optional)
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Snare Drum
  • Crash Cymbals


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Camille Saint-Saens Symphony No. 3 in C Major, generally referred to as the "Organ Symphony," was his last major effort in the symphonic form. The work, bearing a dedication to Franz Liszt, was composed for the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and had its initial performance in the British capital under the direction of Saint-Saens on May 19, 1886. The symphony was indeed modern for its day and was orchestrated with the sure hand of an expert. The organ, which gives the symphony its name, is frequently and effectively employed. This transcription of the finale for concert band by Earl Slocum also makes use of the organ. However, the work can be effectively performed without it by making use of cued notes for other instruments.

The Finale (Maestoso) begins with a sustained C major chord followed by contrapuntal treatment of material vaguely reminiscent of the principal theme of the first movement. Then the initial theme, wholly transformed, is presented by the woodwinds and repeated by the organ with the full strength of the band. There follows a development (Allegro) built on a rhythm of three measures. An episode of a tranquil and pastoral character is twice repeated. A brilliant coda follows, in which the initial theme by a last transformation ends the work; the rhythm of three measures becomes naturally and logically a huge measure of three beats; each beat is represented by a whole note, and 12 quarters form the complete measure. After a fanfare by the trumpets and a solo passage for timpani, the movement finishes, as it began, with a chord in C major for organ and band.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class AA
  • Florida: VI
  • Georgia: VI
  • Louisiana: V
  • Mississippi: VI-A
  • New York: Concert Band VI
  • Oklahoma: V-A
  • South Carolina: VI
  • Tennessee: VI
  • Virginia: VI


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project  *Stetson University (Deland, Fla.) Symphonic Band (Doug Phillips, conductor)- 19 November 2021

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Saint-Saens, C.; Slocum, E. (1974). Finale, Symphony No. 3 in C : Opus 78 : Organ Symphony [score]. TRN Music: Beaumont, Texas.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 523.
  • Symphony No. 3 (Saint-Saens), Wikipedia Access 7 December 2015