• CPO7777062 Katalognummer
  • 761203770625 EAN
  • 3SACD Format
  • 2019 Utgivelsesår

Schmitt, Christian

Widor, Charles-Maria



Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937)
Organ Symphonies 5, 6, 8-10

CD 1:Symphony No. 5 op. 42,1 in F minor;
Symphony No. 9 op. 70 “Gothique”;

CD 2: Symphony no. 6 op. 42,2 in G minor;
Symphony No. 10 op. 73 “Romane”;

CD 3: Symphony No. 8 op. 42,4 in B major

Christian Schmitt
Cavaillé-Coll-Orgel der Abteikirche St. Ouen (Rouen)


Charles-Marie Widor: this name is the embodiment of French organ music of
the nineteenth century. The illustrious organ builder Cavaillé-Coll
promoted Widor’s career while he was still a student and recommended him
for the post of titular organist at St-Sulpice. Widor quickly gained renown
as a composer, and his ten symphonies for organ solo are regarded even
today as the non plus ultra of the virtuoso French school. Christian
Schmitt’s release of Widor’s first four organ symphonies immediately
demonstrated that this musician ranking as the most outstanding German
organist of the younger generation was their congenial interpreter. Now
Schmitt interprets the six other symphonies on the St-Ouen Abbey Church
constructed by Cavaillé-Coll from 1888 to 1890. Widor is said to have
described this instrument as »Une orgue à Michel-Ange« – a reference to the
universal artist Michelangelo that may be interpreted to mean that for him
this organ was just as multifaceted and perfect. The St-Ouen organ was one
of the last instruments designed by Cavaillé-Coll. Since it has been
preserved without changes, it is of great historical significance. And the
opportunity to experience this music and the organ in spectacular surround
sound makes for magnificent listening. In formal respects not so much
changes in the fifth and sixth symphonies. Both continue to have five
movements and adapt to the »classical« orchestral symphonic formats only in
some passages. The rich sound palette of the organ, which leads to a
majestic tutti, plays a more important role than in the orchestra. In his
organ symphonies Widor seems to assign central importance to the
presentation of the organ’s infinitely combinable tones in the context of
the most very different forms. Another Widor speaks to us in his late organ
symphonies. Albert Schweitzer described them (1906) as »transitional works.
They are designed for the organ and yet boldly orchestral in their
conception. At the same time, however, the austere element increasingly
comes into the foreground, the austere element that then led Widor back to
sacred art in his last two symphonies [Nos. 9 and 10].« Here the Protestant
Schweitzer meant the Catholic Widor’s ultimate return to liturgical
sources, in particular to Gregorian chant.


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Widor, Charles-Maria: Organ Symphonies 5, 6, 8-10 <span>-</span> Schmitt, Christian Widor, Charles-Maria: Organ Symphonies 5, 6, 8-10 Schmitt, Christian

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