It is altogether fitting with the somber news coming from Paris this week that local musical organizations are joining together to perform two masterworks of the French classical repertoire.

Under the batons of Music Director Octavio Más-Arocas and Choral Director Brian Nabors, the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra will join forces with over 100 singers from the Symphony Chorus and the Shelby Chamber Choir to perform “Fin Magnifique,” May 11 at 8:00 PM at the Renaissance Theatre.

The concert, presented as a part of the OhioHealth Symphony Series, will feature the moving Requiem by Gabriel Fauré and the Renaissance’s Mighty Wurlitzer Organ in Symphony No. 3 in C minor, “The Organ Symphony,” by Camille Saint-Saëns.

Requiem is one of the best-known large works of French composer Gabriel Fauré. The seven-movement work is scored for soprano and baritone soloists, sung by Rachel Skiba and Brian Johnson, choir, orchestra and organ, played by Shawn Dawson. Fauré wrote of the work, “Everything I managed to entertain by way of religious illusion I put into my Requiem, which moreover is dominated from beginning to end by a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest.” Fauré was not a religious man (his son once described him as a ‘skeptic’), but he managed to create a masterpiece which embodies the fear-free nature of death.

The second half of the performance will feature Camille Saint-Saëns Symphonie No. 3 “avec orgue” (with organ). A masterpiece of the late 19th century, the Organ Symphony features brilliant orchestral writing characteristic of the Romantic period. Saint-Saëns said about it, “I gave everything to it I was able to give. What I have here accomplished, I will never achieve again.” This was indeed true, as it was the composer’s last attempt at the symphonic form. The work is not a true symphony for organ; however, two of the four movements include the use of a pipe organ. Once again, the Mighty Wurlitzer will be used and performed on by Shawn Dawson.

One hour prior to the concert, 7:00 PM, the wildly popular ‘Symphony Chat’ will be held in the Renaissance Ballroom. This free talk is led by music historian, Mark Sebastian Jordan, whose insights will transform the way you think about the music you will hear later in the evening.  Free hors d’oeuvres by Dan Lew Exchange, free dessert by the Women’s Guild of the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra, and half price wine and beer will enhance your experience. Seating is limited.

The concert will also include an interactive app called EnCue. During Saint-Saëns Symphonie No. 3, patrons will be encouraged to open the EnCue app and enjoy the concert like never before, with pictures and insights synced with the music. This free app is available on in the App Store or on Google Play.

Tickets are on sale now online at and at the Renaissance Box Office for the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra’s “Fin Magnifique,” starting at $10 for students and $15 for adults. A limited number of $50 Family Four Pack tickets are available for this event by contacting the Box Office. This concert is presented with additional funding from the Ohio Arts Council.

Source, Photos: Renaissance Performing Arts Association

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