1989 Jann at the Waldsassen Basilica, Germany

1989 Jann at the Waldsassen Basilica, Germany

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    Programs that feature this organ

    #0328: Four by Four

    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.

    #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.

    #9713: A Blessing of Brahms

    Both early and late in life, the special power of organ music spoke profoundly through the art of Johannes Brahms [1833-1897]. This centenary tribute includes it all. In his teens, while studying with Robert and Clara Schumann, Brahms thought of becoming a professional organist, but gave up the notion as being fiscally impractical. His four early works show that he well understood the instrument’s potential. His very last compositions, the Chorale-preludes, were dedicated to the memory of his lifelong friend, Clara Schumann. This program provides a sampler overview of available Brahms recordings, many of which individually emcompass Brahms’ complete works.