I discovered the following amazing pipe organ performance by Jonathan Scott while searching for an arrangement of Saint-Saens Symphony #3 Finale for solo organ:
This inspired performance left me wondering how such transcendent expression is possible. One answer is sustained excellence based on a vision capable of spanning generations.
The concept of “standing on the shoulders of giants” is clearly at work here. Consider the generational efforts required in order for this performance to take place.
Before any music could be created, the community at Aston-under-Lyne had to marshall their resources to build the Albion Church:
The T. C. Lewis organ at Albion was built in 1895, and drew on a long history of pipe organ development and advancements. At one time, pipe organs represented the most complex human-built devices in existence. This organ went through numerous additional enhancements readying it for the 2014 performance:
The composer of the symphony, Camille Saint-Saens, spent a lifetime in composition and performance. This particular piece came later in his career, building on his experience as a church organist. His Symphony #3, interestingly, was written in 1886, just prior to the construction of the organ:
Then, over a century later came the performer, Jonathan Scott, capable of expressing the will of the community, architect, organ builder, and composer, by focusing their combined energies into an uplifting performance:
Listen to this amazing performance, and then give some thought to how we can dedicate our talents and efforts to achieve “sustained excellence”, and provide the shoulders upon which others can stand.
(Original post on September 11, 2016)