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Charles-Marie Widor: Organ Symphonies Opp. 42 & 81

> Organ Symphony, Op. 42bis - I. Allegro maestro
> Organ Symphony, Op. 42bis - II. Andante
> Organ Symphony, Op. 42bis - III. Finale: Allegro
> Sinfonia sacra, Op. 81 - I. Adagio
> Sinfonia sacra, Op. 81 - II. Adagio
> Sinfonia sacra, Op. 81 - III. Andante con moto
> Sinfonia sacra, Op. 81 - IV. Allegro moderato
> Sinfonia sacra, Op. 81 - V. Tempo I ma un poco agitato

Album Summary

>Widor, Charles-Marie : Symphony for organ & orchestra, Op. 42bis
>Widor, Charles-Marie : Sinfonia Sacra, for organ & orchestra, Op. 81
Performer Conductor Ensemble
  • >
Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Charles-Marie Widor: This name epitomizes French organ music of the 19th century. The famous organ builder Cavaille-Coll accepted him as a pupil, and also recommended him for the post of titular organist at St. Sulpice, which was (and is) the site of what is probably his greatest instrument. Widor rapidly made a name for himself as a composer, and his 10 symphonies for solo organ are still seen as the non-plus ultra of the virtuoso French school today.

Gramophone Magazine
The Bamberg players are at their most effective in the central movement...Solyom's superbly paced direction and Schmitt's sensitive interweaving with the orchestral textures gives a real sense of purpose and unity to this often complex score.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Konzerthalle Bamberg (09/10/2008-09/12/2008).



Reviews

Widor for organ and orchestra
The two symphonies are quite different and really showcase Charles Marie Widor’s skill. The Symphony Op. 42 is a reworking of movements from two of Widor’s symphonies for solo organ. The interesting back story is that Widor reworked the music because King Edward VII of England asked him to come to the Royal Albert Hall to play the “Voice of Jupiter” organ. Widor needed a work for organ and orchestra and the rest is history. The Symphony opens in heroic style with lots of splashes for brass. The middle movement is impassioned and quintessentially Romantic while the closing Allegro is boisterous and busy. Not a great work, but a highly entertaining one. The Sinfonia Sacra is sublime. Widor was a great lover of German music and concertized quite a bit in the country. It was the great Bach scholar Albert Schweitzer who suggested that Widor compose a work for organ and orchestra based on the chorale “Nun komm der Heiden Heiland,” a tune which inspired Bach (he wrote a cantata based on it and numerous organ pieces). Widor responded with a masterpiece that showcases some pretty impressive contrapuntal skills, great orchestration and, of course, some remarkable organ writing. Check out the final big fugue that closes the work to get an idea of how well Widor responded to the task. Organist Christian Schmitt plays a German organ and it actually works quite well in this music, particularly the instrument’s warm flutes. Stefan Solyom leads the Bamberg Symphony and they play quite beautifully and really shine with some fine string playing in the gorgeous Adagio that opens the work.
Submitted on 04/05/10 by Craig Zeichner 
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Works Details

>Widor, Charles-Marie : Symphony for organ & orchestra, Op. 42bis
  • Performer: Christian Schmitt (Organ)
  • Conductor: Stefan Solyom
  • Notes: Konzerthalle Bamberg (09/10/2008-09/12/2008)
  • Running Time: 23 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1882

>Widor, Charles-Marie : Sinfonia Sacra, for organ & orchestra, Op. 81
  • Performer: Christian Schmitt (Organ)
  • Conductor: Stefan Solyom
  • Notes: Konzerthalle Bamberg (09/10/2008-09/12/2008)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1908