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Widor, Charles-Marie -

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Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937) was born in Lyon to a family of organ builders and showed early his talent for the organ. The renowned French organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, friend of the Widor family, was highly impressed by the young boy's talent and arranged for him to study organ in Brussels with Jacques Lemmens and composition with François-Joseph Fétis, director of the Brussels Conservatory.



In the ensuing years, Cavaillé-Coll took an almost paternal role in guiding Widor's career. In 1870, when the position of organist opened at Saint-Sulpice, Paris--where Cavaillé-Coll had installed his magnum opus of 100 stops in 1863--he, Saint-Saëns, and Gounod banded together to influence the church council to appoint the 26-year-old Widor. The appointment endured 64 years.



Commanding the almost unlimited resources of such a great instrument planted a new mode of musical expression in the young composer's thought. Following Franck's example of a few years earlier, Widor seized the multi-movement plan of the orchestral symphony, translated it to the organ, and established the organ symphony as a genre with his first four Symphonies pour orgue, opus 13 (1872). He continued to develop the form in the next series of four Symphonies pour orgue, opus 42 (1878-87). In the monumental Symphonie VIII, with a performance time of about an hour, Widor pushed organ technique to the limit and exhausted the tonal possibilities of the instrument. Turning to plainchant for melodic material in his last two organ symphonies, Symphonie gothique, opus 70 (1895) and Symphonie romane, opus 73 (1900), Widor sought to instill an unequivocal sacred character into his organ music.



Aside from his renown as an organist and composer of organ music, Widor composed prolifically for other media. His published works include music for a variety of chamber ensembles, solo piano, voice (over 70 mélodies), chorus (motets and a mass), orchestra (five symphonies, a symphonic poem, and concertos), and the theater (four operas, a ballet, a pantomime, and incidental music). While some of this music is beginning to make a comeback, especially on CD, it is Widor's magnificent organ music that has remained his most prominent legacy.
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Total 31 Compositions
Notes
Series: Symphonies, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Organ>wped, Difficulty: medium to hard
Notes
Series: Symphonies, Theme: Christmas/Advent
Orchestration: Organ>wped, Difficulty: medium
Notes
Series: Symphonies, Theme: Wedding
Orchestration: Organ>wped, Difficulty: medium to hard
Notes
Series: Chamber Music, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Flute+Clarinet+Organ>wped, Difficulty: medium
Notes
Series: Masses, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Choir>SATB+Organ, Difficulty: medium
Notes
Series: Symphonies, Theme: Christmas/Advent
Orchestration: Organ>wped, Difficulty: easy to medium
Notes
Series: Symphonies, Theme: Easter/Passiontide
Orchestration: Organ>wped, Difficulty: medium to hard
Notes
Series: Symphonies, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Organ>wped, Difficulty: medium
Notes
Series: Symphonies, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Organ>wped, Difficulty: medium
Notes
Series: Individual Works, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Organ>wped, Difficulty: medium
Notes
Series: Symphonies, Theme: Wedding
Orchestration: Organ>wped, Difficulty: medium to hard
Notes
Series: Masses, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Choir>SATB/BB+Organ 2, Difficulty: medium
Notes
Series: Symphonies, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Organ>wped, Difficulty: hard
Notes
Series: Chansons de mer, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Solo>sop+Piano, Difficulty: medium to hard
Notes
Series: Symphonies, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Piano, Difficulty: medium to hard
Notes
Series: Individual Works, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Organ>wped, Difficulty: hard
Notes
Series: Individual Works, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Organ>wped, Difficulty: hard
Notes
Series: Chansons de mer, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Solo>sop+Piano, Difficulty: medium to hard
Notes
Series: Symphonies, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Organ>wped, Difficulty: medium
Notes
Series: Chansons de mer, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Solo>sop+Piano, Difficulty: medium to hard
Notes
Series: Chansons de mer, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Solo>sop+Piano, Difficulty: medium to hard
Notes
Series: Chansons de mer, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Solo>sop+Piano, Difficulty: medium to hard
Notes
Series: Chansons de mer, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Solo>sop+Piano, Difficulty: medium to hard
Notes
Series: Chansons de mer, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Solo>sop+Piano, Difficulty: medium to hard
Notes
Series: Chansons de mer, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Solo>sop+Piano, Difficulty: medium to hard
Notes
Series: Chansons de mer, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Solo>sop+Piano, Difficulty: medium to hard
Notes
Series: Chansons de mer, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Solo>sop+Piano, Difficulty: medium to hard
Notes
Series: Chansons de mer, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Solo>sop+Piano, Difficulty: medium to hard
Notes
Series: Chansons de mer, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Solo>sop+Piano, Difficulty: medium to hard
Notes
Series: Chansons de mer, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Solo>sop+Piano, Difficulty: medium to hard
Notes
Series: Chansons de mer, Theme: miscellaneous
Orchestration: Solo>sop+Piano, Difficulty: medium to hard
Total 31 Compositions