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Cat. No. CHAN 9785 Price: £9 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 9785 - Guilmant/ Widor/Franck: Symphonic Organ Works, Vol. 2
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Available From: 20 January 2000
The development of the organ in its symphonic guise, largely by the revolutionary new organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, led to the development of a new sound for a new age. The three composers on this disc were all known to each other; their lives were directly interconnected, they all knew Cavaillé-Coll and presided over on of his instruments in the churches where they were organist. Franck was the first to imply symphonic treatment, although he eventually evolved his own personal and cyclic approach to composition. His Grand Pièce symphonique of 1862 preceded Widor’s first Organ Symphony by a decade. By 1874 Guilmant had produced his First Organ Symphony. Widor’s Symphony No. 3 for Oragan and Orchestra is in two sections, beginning with the organ below the surface of the texture before it breaks forth and enters directly into dialogue with the orchestra, ending in a great hymn of praise to all creation. Guilmant’s Symphony No. 2 for Organ and Orchestra is an eclectic exercise culminating in a great fugue, the organ repertoire’s most celebrated form. Frank’s Choral No. 2 is not a set of embellishments like Bach’s chorales, but rather developmental, ‘cyclic’ variations on new melodies.

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