Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra
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“I will never achieve this again”: Saint-Saëns’ “Organ” Symphony

An ardent pacifist and humanist, German composer Bernd Alois Zimmermann's abhorrence for his country's actions during World War II resulted in compositions that were cries for justice and brotherhood; one work was described as "a protest against what Zimmermann perceived as the 'racial hatred' he saw poisoning society." In his last work, Ich wandte mich und sah an geschah unter die Sonne ("And turning around me, I saw all the injustice under the sun"), the composer employs texts from the Book of Ecclesiastes and Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov to create a harrowing indictment of the suppression of freedom and lack of compassion for one's fellow man. The Philharmonic's season closes with a return to the music of Saint-Saëns – a work in which even the modest composer knew he had surpassed himself, the radiant "Organ" Symphony. A handful of Seattle's leading performers share the stage for this program, including actors Terry Edward Moore and Leslie Law, baritone Charles Robert Stephens, and organist Joseph Adam.