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Christian Schmitt|Widor : Organ Symphonies Nos. 5, 6, 8-10

Widor : Organ Symphonies Nos. 5, 6, 8-10

Christian Schmitt

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“An organ for Michelangelo” allegedly exclaimed Charles-Marie Widor upon seeing for the first time the Cavaillé-Coll organ at the Church of St. Ouen in Rouen, completed in 1890 and which has remained in pristine condition to this day. The famous organ builder had in fact integrated in his piece older elements from a Crespin Carlier organ from 1630, thus creating an instrument with wide-ranging sounds, from baroque to late romanticism. And Widor’s Organ Symphony No.9, Op. 70 “Gothique” is dedicated to this very organ! Here, this monumental work is played on the masterpiece that inspired it, a touching return to the original sound sources.
In addition to the Ninth, this collection also features the Fifth and its final Toccata which is without a doubt the most famous moment in all of Widor’s work, as well as the Sixth, also made up of five movements, both characterised by their symphonic radiance.
The Eighth, the Ninth and the Tenth end Widor’s cycle of ten symphonies for organ, which he wrote between 1887 and 1900 before turning his attention to other musical genres. All the while, he pursued his immense career as an international soloist until the end of his long life, as well as his vocation as a teacher, counting among his students the likes of Louis Vierne, Albert Schweitzer, Charles Tournemire and Marcel Dupré, and as a composition professor for Arthur Honegger, Edgar Varèse and Darius Milhaud.
His style bears the clear influence of César Franck, whom he succeeded at the Conservatoire de Paris, and to a lesser extent of Saint-Saëns, for whom he worked as an assistant during his studies. The Cavaillé-Coll in Rouen is truly one of the most extraordinary instruments of its time; and Widor’s music is perfectly tailored for its thousand facets. © SM/Qobuz

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Widor : Organ Symphonies Nos. 5, 6, 8-10

Christian Schmitt

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Organ Symphony No. 5 in F Minor, Op. 42 No. 1 (Charles-Marie Widor)

1
I. Allegro vivace - Più lento
00:11:24

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

2
II. Allegro cantabile
00:06:41

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

3
III. Andantino quasi allegretto
00:07:18

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

4
IV. Adagio
00:04:23

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

5
V. Toccata. Allegro
00:06:15

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

Organ Symphony No. 9, Op. 70 "Gothique" (Charles-Marie Widor)

6
I. Moderato
00:07:22

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

7
II. Andante sostenuto
00:05:18

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

8
III. Allegro
00:04:12

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

9
IV. Moderato - Allegro
00:12:29

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

DISC 2

Organ Symphony No. 6 in G Minor, Op. 42 No. 2 (Charles-Marie Widor)

1
I. Allegro
00:09:46

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

2
II. Adagio
00:07:43

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

3
III. Intermezzo
00:06:02

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

4
IV. Cantabile
00:05:28

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

5
V. Finale
00:07:00

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

Organ Symphony No. 10, Op. 73 "Romane" (Charles-Marie Widor)

6
I. Moderato
00:06:57

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

7
II. Choral. Adagio
00:07:39

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

8
III. Cantilène. Lento
00:06:31

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

9
IV. Final. Allegro - Andante
00:09:48

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

DISC 3

Organ Symphony No. 8 in B Major, Op. 42 No. 4 (Charles-Marie Widor)

1
I. Allegro risoluto
00:09:31

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

2
II. Moderato cantabile
00:06:31

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

3
III. Allegro
00:04:38

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

4
IV. Variations. Andante
00:13:15

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

5
V. Adagio
00:08:27

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

6
VI. Finale. Tempo giusto
00:07:10

Charles-Marie Widor, Composer - Christian Schmitt, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2019 CPO (P) 2019 CPO

Album review

“An organ for Michelangelo” allegedly exclaimed Charles-Marie Widor upon seeing for the first time the Cavaillé-Coll organ at the Church of St. Ouen in Rouen, completed in 1890 and which has remained in pristine condition to this day. The famous organ builder had in fact integrated in his piece older elements from a Crespin Carlier organ from 1630, thus creating an instrument with wide-ranging sounds, from baroque to late romanticism. And Widor’s Organ Symphony No.9, Op. 70 “Gothique” is dedicated to this very organ! Here, this monumental work is played on the masterpiece that inspired it, a touching return to the original sound sources.
In addition to the Ninth, this collection also features the Fifth and its final Toccata which is without a doubt the most famous moment in all of Widor’s work, as well as the Sixth, also made up of five movements, both characterised by their symphonic radiance.
The Eighth, the Ninth and the Tenth end Widor’s cycle of ten symphonies for organ, which he wrote between 1887 and 1900 before turning his attention to other musical genres. All the while, he pursued his immense career as an international soloist until the end of his long life, as well as his vocation as a teacher, counting among his students the likes of Louis Vierne, Albert Schweitzer, Charles Tournemire and Marcel Dupré, and as a composition professor for Arthur Honegger, Edgar Varèse and Darius Milhaud.
His style bears the clear influence of César Franck, whom he succeeded at the Conservatoire de Paris, and to a lesser extent of Saint-Saëns, for whom he worked as an assistant during his studies. The Cavaillé-Coll in Rouen is truly one of the most extraordinary instruments of its time; and Widor’s music is perfectly tailored for its thousand facets. © SM/Qobuz

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