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Favorite Romantic organist, and their piece

Posted By: Brandon_W_T

Favorite Romantic organist, and their piece - 02/16/10 11:51 PM

So here is a good question.

What is everyones romantic- late classical period organist? And what is their favorite piece from that composer?

I would have to say mine is Cesar Franck.

His music is just pure soul satisfying to me. Perfect in every way. smile

My favorite piece from him is the beautiful prelude, fugue, et variations.

Sounds like gold or platinum (whatever you prefer!) on a real Cavaille Coll organ!
Posted By: apple*

Re: Favorite Romantic organist, and their piece - 03/01/10 02:06 AM


i hate to say, but he is not my favorite.. i am stuck in the old ages and can't even think of another romantic (beside Debussey)
Posted By: mrenaud

Re: Favorite Romantic organist, and their piece - 03/01/10 09:43 PM

Even though I'm an organist myself, I must admit that I am not at all familiar with Franck. Do you happen to have any special recommendations (both to listen to and to play)?

Let's see... Max Reger, hands down. Most of his organ music is a bit on the difficult side, but I recently bought a book of his chorale preludes. Most of them quite short and not as hard as his larger pieces. One day I hope I'll be able to play the Choral Fantasia on "A mighty fortress is our God" op. 26.

Then, Louis Vierne. I like his harmonies, they sound very modern for his time, and to some extent they still do even now. I have a recording of his organ symphonies, and although I haven't listened to all of them in full depth, I quite like the 4th.

Finally, Alexandre Guilmant. He may not be as high calibre as the other two, but he's got some charming little pieces, and most of them very accessible even to the non-virtuoso organist.

Overall, I'd say that Reger is one of my personal top three organ composers. The other two are Bach and Messiaen.
Posted By: argerichfan

Re: Favorite Romantic organist, and their piece - 03/01/10 10:05 PM

Originally Posted by Brandon_W_T

My favorite piece from him is the beautiful prelude, fugue, et variations.

Since you are an admirer of Franck -as I am- may I just make a small quibble? Your 'favorite' piece has only one variation, so no plural! wink

As a composer for organ, I rate Franck just behind Bach, and IMO the best complete set is by Jeanne Demessieux on Festivo 155/6. The recordings show their age, but are still remarkably atmospheric. Avoid Michael Murray on Telarc, or god forbid, Jean Guillou on Dorian.

If I had to choose just one piece of Franck, I would have to say the Priere.
Posted By: Brandon_W_T

Re: Favorite Romantic organist, and their piece - 03/02/10 04:28 AM

Mrenaud, I suggest you hit youtube!

Franck is probably one of the greatest romantic organist to ever live.

Like I said, My favorite piece by him is Prelude, Fugue, et variation. (sorry I haven't played it in a while, argerichfan!)

He also wrote the very very famous Piece Heroique (spelling!?) A chilling, sorta haunting piece.

Next in line I would put maybe Widor, or Vierne! Hard choice!

Speaking of Vierne!!!! Has anyone heard the recordings made by Vierne himself on the C-C organ at Notredame?!?!
Posted By: ex_aedibus

Re: Favorite Romantic organist, and their piece - 10/06/10 04:24 PM

My favourite Romantic composer for the organ is Cesar Franck, especially the Grand Piece Symphonique and the Chorales. I once had the good fortune of getting to try out the M.P. Moller/Goulding & Wood organ in the main gallery of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. Hearing those massive chords from the Third Chorale die away in that vast cavernous place was an experience to say the least.

I really like Max Reger, though I find him really hard to play at times. My favourite piece of his is the Chorale Fantasy on "Hallelujah, Gott zu Loben", Op. 53, No. 3. I am also very partial to Op. 40, No. 1, namely the Chorale Fantasy on "Wie schoen leuchtet uns der Morgenstern".
Posted By: Brandon_W_T

Re: Favorite Romantic organist, and their piece - 10/07/10 04:41 PM

Franck... Piece Heroique

And all his other works, noting the prelude, fugue et variations especially.
Posted By: goodvibrations

Re: Favorite Romantic organist, and their piece - 10/10/12 02:04 AM

Cesar Franck, Cantabile in B from the 3 Pieces of 1878. Virgil Fox's Riverside Church recording of it was the first I heard, so a part of me gravitates to his dramatized rendition of it. My favorite section of it is the canon at bar 51, and I rate versions by how well the voices balance there. Michael Murray's St Sernin Basilica recording of it is my overall favorite, somewhat more so than Rene Saorginn's St Sernin recording on Turnabout from the 1960s and Andre Marchal's Musical Heritage recording of it a St Eustache. As for Jean Gillou, (same St Eustache????) well, he's in a class by himself, beyond even VF.

Next to Franck, I like Tournemire and Vierne, the pieces on the Musical Hertiage album recorded by the Durufles, including Viere's "Chimes of Westminster" and Tournemire's improvisation on "Victimae Paschali".

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