Widor’s Symphonies for Organ Solo op. 13
Charles-Marie Widor: this name is synonymous with French organ music of the nineteenth century. The leading organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll took Widor under his wing while he was still a schoolboy and later recommended him for the post of titular organist at Saint-Sulpice. Widor also quickly made a name for himself 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, certainly the most distinguished German organist of the younger generation, is again the interpreter of our first, freshly recorded organ symphonies solo opus. His recording of the Organ Symphonies opp. 42, 3, and 69 was awarded an ECHO Klassik prize in 2013. He performs the Symphonies op. 13 on the Saint-Ouen Abbey Church organ built by Cavaillé-Coll from 1888 to 1890. Charles-Marie Widor is reported to have termed this instrument »une orgue à Michel-Ange.« Widor’s allusion to the universal artist Michelangelo is to be understood to mean that he held this instrument to be just as multifaceted as it was perfect. The Saint-Ouen organ was one of the last instruments built by Cavaillé-Coll, and it has even survived without modification, which lends it a high historical significance. And it is simply magnificent!