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I would like to hear about your favorite concert and what made it special for you.<P>Mine occurred many years ago when I was attending the University of Utah. Maurice Abravenel had in just two years built the Utah Symphony from 50 core players to over 80 and secured a major recording contract. The highlight of the subscription season for me was a snowy December night featuring Saint Saens Organ Symphony with Alexander Schriener at the massive Tabernacle organ. Our seats were just above and behind the organ console so I could see every move Schriener made as the piece unfolded. The first three movements had a balanced dialogue between the orchestra and the organ. Schriener gave a hint that things were going to be different when he opened the fourth movement with a mighty chord including two 32' ranks in the pedal. The orchestra responded and the tension escalated as the movement progressed. As the final measure approached Abravanel bought the orchestra up to triple forte. Schriener hit the master coupler bringing all 183 ranks of the organ on line. I could see the orchestra playing for all they were worth but the organ made their efforts irrelevant. <BR>A stunned silence greeted the ending. Then a wild cheering and clapping arouse from the sold out auditorium. People had tears of joy streaming down their faces and looked at each other in wonder at what they had experienced. The greatest tribute however was after people filed out of the hall. As was custom, the last movement of the final piece was played back through the Tabernacle's external speakers. Fully half of the audience stood in the snow to listen. <BR>Next month the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra has an organ gala to celebrate the installation of the historic Casavant Opus 553 organ c 1912 in our new symphony hall. As before the concert is sold out and we have box seats overlooking the organ console. I can only hope that some of that magic from a night long ago will be present in this concert.
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