The pipe organ of 19th century France offered players a virtual symphonic soundscape, and this week we’ll listen to a pair of works that exploit those resources to the full. Charles-Marie Widor at the Church of Saint Sulpice, was the first to thoroughly articulate a symphonic organ style, creating scores rich in color and virtuosity. Widor’s pupil and colleague, Louis Vierne at Notre Dame Cathedral, increased the emotional intensity of the genre to embrace passion, heartbreak and rage.
Nine soloists on as many instruments play the Fourth Symphonies by this pair of famous composers, creating the grandest sort of sonic experience. We’re not kidding when we say it’s as simple as Four by Four.