1885 Cavaillé-Coll organ at Saint Etienne, Caen, France

1885 Cavaillé-Coll organ at Saint Etienne, Caen, France

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Programs that feature this organ

#0217: King Widor

He was the big cheese in the French organ world of one hundred years ago, and on our next Pipedreams broadcast we celebrate his legacy with a composite performance of his most famous work. Although he wrote 10 solo organ symphonies, his Number V has always been the most popular, because of its famous concluding Toccata. We’ll hear the entire work, each movement played by a different soloist on a different instrument, plus another symphony, for organ and orchestra, a rare gem presented in concert at the American guild of Organists Convention in Atlanta. Hear the lavish and lovely compositions of Charles-Marie Widor a toast to King Widor this week on Pipedreams.

#0221: Organic Opera

It’s all about the theatre of the imagination on our next Pipedreams program, as we put away our hymn books and follow the King of Instruments to the opera house. Enjoy familiar melodies from Rossini, Puccini, Mozart and Gounod, excerpts from Thais and I Puritani, The Barber of Seville and Die Fledermaus done up in a way you’d never expect. Hear Simon Gledhill at the Sanfilippo Music Salon and Thomas Heywood at Melbourne Town Hall. Delight in mechanical player-organs from the 19th century, and the stunning virtuosity of Wayne Marshall at Peterborough Cathedral. These magic flutes sing a different song, as we explore repertoire from the lyric stage minus the prima donas and helden tenors. Enjoy highlights from Puccini and Donizetti, Mozart, Massenet and Vincenzo Bellini, as we present the extraordinary, even nutritious (?) sounds of organic opera this week on Pipedreams.

#0532: Archive of Deep Six

The passionate and powerful Sixth Organ Symphony by Charles-Marie Widor in two versions, for organ solo and with orchestra. Widor’s arrangement of the outer movements of his popular Sixth Organ Symphony [solo] was his first major essay for organ and orchestra. He went on to create two additional, totally original organ and orchestra compositions later in life. It was prepared for a London concert in 1882, later played by Charles Courboin in Antwerp in 1900, and presented again by Courboin, with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Stokowski, at the Wanamaker Store in 1919. The Bowden/McKinley performance in Indiana was only the second American outing for this score since that Philadelphia premiere.

#0728: Archive of Alain On Alain (Part 1)

…the famous French recitalist, recording artist and teacher Marie-Claire Alain talks about her life and shares her music. With more than 200 albums to her credit, she is synonymous with the art of French organ music today. On our next Pipedreams program, Marie-Claire Alain talks about her family’s history, including the time when her organist father built an instrument for their home, upon which her older brother composed some of the foremost works of the 20th century. Meanwhile, this little black sheep of the talented Alain family grew up to be a famous teacher and recitalist who helped popularize the French Classics, and has recorded the complete works of Bach three times. Marie-Claire Alain talks and plays from the heart. She is a vital force in broadening the French musical perspective. Daughter and sister, teacher and recitalist, she has lived a life with and for music. Hear her story Alain on Alain this week on Pipedreams.

#2044: One on One

Grandeur and majesty. Passion and poetry. These are the elements of a new musical style that evolved in Paris in the latter 19th-century which revolutionized the art of the organ. On our next Pipedreams broadcast, we’ll hear two ‘firsts’ - two symphonic works for solo organ by Charles-Marie Widor and his pupil and, ultimately, competitor, Louis Vierne. Inspired by the sonorities of the lavish new instruments designed by master organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, both Widor, who was the first to call a composition an organ symphony, and Vierne created musical masterpieces that are both a challenge to play and a joy to hear.