Widor

Discussion in 'Classical Music' started by michaelab, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. michaelab

    michaelab desafinado

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    I picked up a CD of Saint-Saens Symphony No.3 "Organ" which also had on it Widor's famous Toccata, the one that always gets played at the end of weddings :rolleyes: . I noticed that it's the 5th movement from Symphony No.5 op.42 no.1, does that mean there's a whole symphony surrounding it? Is it orchestral or just an organ symphony (if there is such a thing)?

    The disc also had the Allegro from Symphony No.6 (also solo organ), which doubled the number of pieces by Widor I'd ever listened to :D .

    Is Widor just a one hit wonder then or is it worth looking up some of his other stuff?

    Michael.
     
    michaelab, Nov 19, 2004
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  2. michaelab

    tones compulsive cantater

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    Mike, they are completely organ works, no other instruments whatsoever. They were written to utilise the possibilities of the new generation of big organs then coming into vogue in France. The famous Toccata suffers from over-exposure, but the rest of Organ Symphony No.5 is certainly listenable. The same is true of the other organ symphonies I've heard (I haven't heard them all). They're not Bach, but they're big, spectacular works and (I think)well worth a listen.
     
    tones, Nov 19, 2004
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  3. michaelab

    simon48

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    I think Widor is excellent at his best; I have his symphonies 5 & 6 (Novalis 150 015-2) Guenther Kaunzinger, Klais-Orgel Dom zu Limburg; this is one of my absolute favourite CDs; some amazing music.
     
    simon48, Nov 19, 2004
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  4. michaelab

    michaelab desafinado

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    Thanks guys, I'll see if I can find that CD and give it a listen. I just love the sound of a pipe organ so I'll probably like it :)

    Michael.
     
    michaelab, Nov 19, 2004
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  5. michaelab

    GrahamN

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    Michael

    The other big writer of organ symphonies was Louis Vierne, with 6 to his name. The Final to No 1 is probably his most famous piece, also occasionally used for wedding recessionals, but Nos 2 & 3 taken as a whole are supposed to be the best of the set. Vierne tends to be a bit more impressionistic than Widor. I don't actually have any of his symphonies yet, but Olivier Latry (on BNL) is supposed to be the master, which I can certainly believe having heard him live.

    You should also hear Guillmant's Symphony (or Sonata) No 1. This exists in two versions, with and without orchestra (hence the two designations), both of which are great rousing pieces. The orchestral version, along with Widor 5 and the Poulenc Concerto, are on one of my favourite (and longest at 79:54) CDs - Ian Tracy/J-P Tortelier/BBC Phil from Liverpool Anglican Cath. on Chandos CHAN9271.

    If you're interested, there are free admission organ recitals at the London cathedrals every Sunday: Westminster Cath @ 16:45, St Pauls @ 17:00 and Westminster Abbey @ 17:45 - it's very possible to get both Westminster gigs in on the same day! They do publish the organists ahead of time, but the programme only infrequently (e.g. last spring they did a full Vierne series at West. Cath.). There are also weekly weekday lunchtime recitals at several of the City churches.
     
    GrahamN, Nov 20, 2004
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  6. michaelab

    Fen Dancer Two left feet

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    I was listening to the Toccata the other night and wondering if anyone had done a full orchestral arrangement of it, with no organ. I reckon it would sound pretty good.
     
    Fen Dancer, Nov 24, 2004
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