Friday Pipe Organ (6 Jan 2011)

   Posted by: John   in Friday Pipe Organ

I haven’t done Friday Pipe Organ for a long time, even though I have thought about it any number of times.  I will try to be better at it.

This week I am featuring a piece by Charles-Marie Widor, a prolific French Romantic era composer who was also titular orgainst at St. Sulpice, Paris from 1870 to 1933.  Much of the organ music written during this period was very difficult and this piece is no exception.  It is the 3rd movement from Widor’s 7th symphony for organ, written in 1890.  As this piece is in the public domain, I am also going to attach a pdf of the sheet music.  If you are able to follow along, you get a very good idea of how difficult it is.  The meter is typically 3/8 and 6/8, however the key moves between 3 and 6 sharps several times.  The Recit manual is set up with a reed instrument (Trompette), the Positiv and Grand manuals are more flutes and foundations, while the pedal is flute coupled to the Recit reed. 

If you follow the sheet music (Widor – 7th Organ Symphony – Andante), you can see the melody played largely on the Recit manual, the reed sound.  However, a countermelody is played on the Grand manual, along with a common countermelody in the pedals.  Additionally, at times each hand is playing a melody while similtaneously holding other notes against it.  As I said, difficult.

The organist in this clip is Ben Van Oosten and he is playing the magnificent 1890 Cavaille-Coll organ in the Church of St Ouen in Rouen, France. 

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