Hey, Louis, Louis #1722
…a tribute to the memory of composer Louis Vierne (1870-1937), master of the Cavaillé-Coll organ at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
LOUIS VIERNE: Allegro, fr Symphony No. 2 in e, Op. 20 –Virgil Fox (1954 Aeolian-Skinner/Riverside Church, New York, NY) EMI Classics 66386 (Cochereau takes 9:23 for this same movement on the old console at Notre Dame)
VIERNE: Sanctus/Benedictus, fr Messe Solennelle, Op. 16 –Choirs of Notre Dame/Jehan Revert, director; Jacques Marichal (1968 Boisseau) & Pierre Cochereau (1868 Cavaillé-Coll/Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris) FYCD 064
Louis Vierne had been organist at the Cathedral of Notre Dame for nearly 37 years when the clergy decided that organ recitals would no longer be allowed there. One final concert was scheduled for June 2nd, 1937, reportedly the 1750th performance of Vierne’s career. More than three thousand people were gathered for the event when, midway through the program and just before an improvisation, Vierne had a heart attack. He died shortly thereafter in the organ loft, a dramatic end to a life of equal parts triumph and tragedy. On this 80th anniversary of Vierne’s death, we honor his memory and celebrate his remarkable genius.