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Charles-Marie Widor

Charles-Marie Widor
Charles-Marie Widor, c. 1895-1910
Born (1844-02-21)21 February 1844
Lyon, France
Died 12 March 1937(1937-03-12) (aged 93)
Paris

Charles-Marie Jean Albert Widor (21 February 1844 – 12 March 1937) was a French composer and teacher.[1][2]

Life

A young Charles-Marie Widor, ca. 1870, when he became organist of Saint-Sulpice

Widor was born in François-Joseph Fétis, director of the Brussels Conservatoire, for composition. After this term of study Widor moved to Paris, where he would make his home for the rest of his life. At the age of 24 he was appointed assistant to Camille Saint-Saëns at Église de la Madeleine.

In January 1870, with the combined lobbying of Cavaillé-Coll, Saint-Saëns, and Marcel Dupré.

In 1890, upon the death of Notre-Dame de Paris, Saint-Germain-des-Près, the Trocadéro and Saint-Ouen de Rouen.

Well known as a man of great culture and learning, Widor was made a chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur in 1892, named to the Institut de France in 1910, and was elected "Secrétaire perpetuel" (permanent secretary) of the Académie des Beaux-Arts on 18 July 1914, succeeding Henry Roujon.

In 1921, Widor founded the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau with Francis-Louis Casadesus. He was the Director until 1934, when he was succeeded by Maurice Ravel. His close friend, Isidor Philipp gave piano lessons there, and Nadia Boulanger taught an entire generation of new composers.

At the age of 76, Widor married Mathilde de Montesquiou-Fézensac on 26 April 1920 at Charchigné. The 36-year-old Mathilde was a member of one of the oldest and most prominent families of Europe. She died in 1960: there were no children from this union.

On 31 December 1933, Widor resigned his position at Saint-Sulpice. Three years later he suffered a stroke which paralysed the right side of his body, although he remained mentally alert to the last. He died at his home in Paris on 12 March 1937 at the age of 93, and his remains were interred in the crypt of Saint-Sulpice four days later.

Organ symphonies

Widor wrote music for a wide variety of instruments and ensembles (some of his songs for voice and piano are especially notable) and composed four Eberhard Friedrich Walcker and the works of Franz Liszt, Julius Reubke, and Max Reger.

Widor's symphonies can be divided into three groups. The first four symphonies comprise Op. 13 (1872) and are more properly termed "suites". (Widor himself called them "collections".) They represent Widor's early style. Widor made later revisions to the earlier symphonies. Some of these revisions were quite extensive.

With the Opus 42 symphonies Widor shows his mastery and refinement of contrapuntal technique while exploring to the fullest the capabilities of the Cavaillé-Coll organs for which these works were written. The Fifth Symphony has five movements, the last of which is the famous Toccata.[3] The Sixth Symphony is also famous for its opening movement. The Seventh and Eighth Symphonies are the longest and least performed of Widor's Symphonies. The Seventh Symphony contains six movements, and the first version of the Eighth Symphony had seven. (Widor subsequently removed the Prélude for the 1901 edition.)

The ninth and tenth symphonies, respectively termed "Gothique" (Op. 70, of 1895) and "Romane" (Op. 73, of 1900), are much more introspective. They both derive thematic material from

Widor's Toccata (conclusion)

Widor's best-known single piece for the organ is the final movement, Isidor Philipp transcribed the Toccata for two pianos.

Over his career Widor returned again and again to edit his earlier music, even after publication. His biographer John Near reports: "Ultimately, it was discovered that over a period of about sixty years, as many as eight different editions were issued for some of the symphonies."[2]

Compositions

Rough dates of composition/publication are in brackets, along with the original publisher, if known.

Symphonic works

  • Symphony No. 1 op. 16 (1870, Durand) - Orchestra
  • Piano Concerto No. 1 op. 39 (1876, Hamelle) - Orchestra and Piano solo
  • Violin Concerto (1877) - Orchestra and Violin solo[4]
  • Cello Concerto op. 41 (1882, Hamelle) - Orchestra and Cello solo
  • Symphonie pour orgue et orchestre op. 42 (1882, A-R Editions) - Orchestra and Organ solo (arr. by Widor of movements from Op. 42)
  • Chant séculaire op. 49 - (1881, Hamelle) - Soprano solo, Chorus and Orchestra
  • Symphony No. 2 op. 54 (1882, Heugel) - Orchestra
  • La nuit de Walpurgis - poeme symphonique op. 60 (1887, Hamelle) - Chorus and Orchestra
  • Fantaisie op. 62 (1889, Durand) - Piano and Orchestra
  • Suite, from Conte d'avril op. 64 (1892, Heugel) - Orchestra
  • Symphony No. 3 op. 69 (1894, Schott) - Organ and Orchestra
  • Choral et Variations op. 74 (1900, Leduc) - Harp and Orchestra
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 op. 77 (1906, Heugel) - Piano and Orchestra
  • Sinfonia sacra op. 81 (1908, Otto Junne) - Organ and Orchestra
  • Symphonie antique op. 83 (1911, Heugel) - Soloists, Chorus, Organ and Orchestra
  • Ouverture espagnole (1897, Heugel) - Orchestra

Organ solo

  • Symphonie pour orgue No. 1 op. 13 no. 1 (1872, Hamelle)
  • Symphonie pour orgue No. 2 op. 13 no. 2 (1872, Hamelle)
  • Symphonie pour orgue No. 3 op. 13 no. 3 (1872, Hamelle)
  • Symphonie pour orgue No. 4 op. 13 no. 4 (1872, Hamelle)
  • Marche américaine (transc. by Marcel Dupré: no. 11 from 12 Feuillets d’Album op. 31, Hamelle)
  • Symphonie pour orgue No. 5 op. 42 no. 1 (1879, Hamelle)
  • Symphonie pour orgue No. 6 op. 42 no. 2 (1879, Hamelle)
  • Symphonie pour orgue No. 7 op. 42 no. 3 (1887, Hamelle)
  • Symphonie pour orgue No. 8 op. 42 no. 4 (1887, Hamelle)
  • Marche Nuptiale op. 64 (1892) (transc., from Conte d'Avril, Schott)
  • Symphonie Gothique pour orgue [No. 9], op. 70 (1895, Schott)
  • Symphonie Romane pour orgue [No. 10], op. 73 (1900, Hamelle)
  • Bach's Memento (1925, Hamelle)
  • Suite Latine op. 86 (1927, Durand)
  • Trois Nouvelles Pièces op. 87 (1934, Durand)

Chamber works

  • 6 Duos op. 3 - Piano and Harmonium (1867, Regnier-Canaux/Renaud/Pérégally & Parvy/Schott)
  • Humoresque op. 3 no. 1 - Violin, Violoncello and Piano (arr. Widor) (Pérégally & Parvy)
  • Cantabile op. 3 no. 2 - Violin, Violoncello and Piano (arr. Widor) (Pérégally & Parvy)
  • Nocturne op. 3 no. 3 - Violin, Violoncello and Piano (arr. Widor) (Pérégally & Parvy)
  • Sérénade op. 3 no. 4 - Violin, Violoncello and Piano (arr. Widor) (Pérégally & Parvy)
  • Piano Quintet No. 1 op. 7 (1868, Hamelle)
  • Sérénade op. 10 (1870, Hamelle) - Piano, Flute, Violin, Cello and Harmonium
  • Piano Trio op. 19 - Piano, Violin and Cello (1875, Hamelle)
  • 3 Pieces op. 21 - Cello and Piano (1875, Hamelle)
  • Suite op. 34 - Flute and Piano (1877, Hamelle; 1898, Heugel)
  • Romance op. 46 - Violin and Piano
  • Sonate No. 1 op. 50 - Violin and Piano (1881, Hamelle)
  • Soirs d'Alsace - 4 Duos op. 52 - Violin, Cello and Piano (1881, Hamelle)
  • Cavatine op. 57 - Violin and Piano (1887, Hamelle)
  • Piano Quartet op. 66 - Violin, Viola, Cello and Piano (1891, Durand)
  • Piano Quintet No. 2 op. 68 - 2 Violins, Viola, Cello and Piano (1894, Durand)
  • Introduction et Rondo op. 72 - Clarinet and Piano (1898, Leduc)
  • Suite op. 76 - Violin and Piano (1903, Hamelle)
  • Sonate op.79 - Violin and Piano (1906, Heugel)
  • Sonate op. 80 - Cello and Piano (1907, Heugel)
  • Salvum fac populum tuum op. 84 - 3 Trumpets, 3 Trombones, Drum and Organ (1917, Heugel)
  • 4 Pièces - Violin, Cello and Piano (1890)
  • 3 Pièces - Oboe and Piano (1891)
  • Suite - Cello and Piano (1912)
  • Suite Florentine - Violin and Piano (1920)

Piano solo

  • Variations de concert sur un thème original op. 1 (1867, Heugel)
  • Sérénade op. 3 no. 4 (arr. Leistner) (Hamelle)
  • Airs de ballet op. 4 (1868, Hamelle)
  • Scherzo-valse op. 5 (1868, Hamelle)
  • La Barque (Fantaisie italienne) op. 6 (1877, Durand)
  • Le Corricolo (Fantaisie italienne) op. 6 (1877, Durand)
  • Caprice op. 9 (1868, Hamelle)
  • 3 Valses op. 11 (1871, Hamelle)
  • Impromptu op. 12 (1871, Hamelle)
  • 6 Morceaux de salon op. 15 (1872, Hamelle)
  • Prelude, andante et final op. 17 (1874, Hamelle)
  • Scènes de bal op. 20 (1875, Hamelle)
  • 6 Valses caractéristiques op. 26 (1877, Hamelle)
  • Variations sur un thème original op. 29 (revision of op. 1) (1877, Hamelle)
  • 12 Feuillets d’album op. 31 (1877, Hamelle)
  • [Cinq Valses] op. 33 (Hamelle)
  • Dans les bois op. 44 (1880, Hamelle)
  • Pages intimes op.48 (1879, Hamelle)
  • Suite polonaise op. 51 (1881, Hamelle)
  • Suite op. 58 (1887, Hamelle)
  • Carnaval, douze pièces pour piano op. 61 (1889, Hamelle)
  • Nocturne, from Contes d'Avril op. 64
  • [5 Valses] op. 71 (1894, Hamelle)
  • Suite Écossaise op.78 (1905, Joseph Williams)
  • Introduction (Hamelle)
  • Intermezzo (Hamelle)

Songs and choral works

  • O Salutaris op. 8 (1868, Hamelle) - Contralto or Baritone, Violin, Cello and Organ
  • 6 Mélodies op. 14 (1872, Hamelle)- Voice and Piano
  • Tantum ergo op. 18 no. 1 (1874, Hamelle) - Baritone Choir, SATB Choir and Organ
  • Regina coeli op. 18 no. 2 (1874, Hamelle) - Baritone Choir, SATB Choir and Organ
  • 6 Mélodies op. 22 (1875, Hamelle) - Voice and Piano
  • Quam dilecta tabernacula tua op. 23 no. 1 (1876, Hamelle) - Baritone Choir, SATB Choir, Choir Organ and Grand Organ
  • Tu es Petrus op. 23 no. 2 (1876, Hamelle) - Baritone Choir, SATB Choir, Choir Organ and Grand Organ
  • Surrexit a mortuis (Sacerdos et pontifex) op. 23 no. 3 (1876, Hamelle) - SATB Choir, Choir Organ and Grand Organ
  • Ave Maria op. 24 (1877, Hamelle) - Mezzo-Soprano, Harp and Organ
  • 3 Choruses op. 25 (1876, Hamelle) - SATB Choir
  • 3 Mélodies op. 28 - (1876, Hamelle) - Voice and Piano
  • 2 Duos op. 30 - (1876, Hamelle) - Soprano, Contralto and Piano
  • 3 Mélodies italiennes op. 32 (1877, Hamelle) - Voice and Piano
  • 3 Mélodies italiennes op. 35 (1878, Hamelle) - Voice and Piano
  • Messe op. 36 (1878, Hamelle) - Baritone Choir, SATB Choir, Choir Organ and Grand Organ
  • 6 Mélodies op. 37 (1877, Hamelle) - Voice and Piano
  • 2 Duos op. 40 (1876, Hamelle) - Soprano, Contralto and Piano
  • 6 Mélodies op. 43 (1878, Hamelle) - Voice and Piano
  • 6 Mélodies op. 47 (1879, Hamelle) - Voice and Piano
  • 6 Mélodies op. 53 (1881, Hamelle) - Voice and Piano
  • Ave Maria op. 59 (1884, Hamelle) - Voice, Harp and Organ
  • O salutaris op. 63[bis] (1889, Hamelle) - Voice, Violin, Cello and Organ
  • Soirs d'été op. 63 (1889, Durand) - Voice and Piano
  • Ecce Joanna, Alleluia! (Schola Cantorum) - SATB Choir and Organ
  • Psalm 112 (1879, Hamelle) - Baritone Choir, SATB Choir, Choir Organ, Grand Organ and Orchestra
  • Chansons de mer op. 75 (1902)
  • Da Pacem (1930, Durand) - SATB Choir and Organ or Piano
  • Non Credo (1890, Durand) - Voice and Piano

Stage music

  • Le capitaine Loys (ca. 1878, unpublished) - Comic opera
  • La korrigane (1880, Hamelle) - Ballet
  • Maître Ambros: drame lyrique en 4 actes et 5 tableaux de François Coppée & Auguste Dorchain Op.56 (piano reduction published by Heugel, 1886) - Opera
  • Conte d'avril op. 64 (1885; 1891, Heugel) - Incidental music
  • Les pêcheurs de Saint-Jean : drame lyrique en 4 actes (1895; 1904, Heugel) - Opera
  • Nerto: drame lyrique en 4 actes (1924, Heugel) - Opera

Writings

  • Technique de l'orchestre moderne faisant suite au Traité d'instrumentation de H. Berlioz (1904, Paris: Lemoine)
  • L'Orgue moderne, la décadence dans la facture contemporaine (1928, Paris: Durand)
  • Vieilles Chansons pour les Petits Enfants: avec Accompagnements de Ch. M. Widor From the Collections at the Library of Congress
Preceded by
Louis James Alfred Lefébure-Wély
Titular Organist, Saint Sulpice Paris
1870–1934
Succeeded by
Marcel Dupré

References

  1. ^
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Classic FM - Charles-Marie Widor: Organ Symphony No.5 in F minor. Accessed 26 December 2013
  4. ^ The concerto was edited by conductor Martin Yates, and its premiere recording was made by Sergey Levitin and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in 2015. Charles-Marie Widor, Volume 3: Violin Concerto and Symphony No.1
  • ——— (2011). Widor: A Life Beyond the Toccata. Series: Eastman Studies in Music, v. 83. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press (ISBN 978-1-580-46369-0)
  • Hobbs, Alain (1988). Charles-Marie Widor (1844–1937). L’Orgue, Cahiers et mémoires, no. 40. L’Association des Amis de l’Orgue.

External links

  • The Complete Organ Symphonies of Charles-Marie Widor(Embellishments), John R. Near,
  • 3rd, 6th et 10th symphonies for pipe organ, by Marc Dubugnon at the Swiss Reformed Church of Saint Martin, in Vevey, the three symphonies on YouTube
  • Toccata in F from Symphony No. 5 interactive hypermedia (Shockwave Player required) at the BinAural Collaborative Hypertext
  • Performances of organ works by Charles-Marie Widor in MIDI format at Logos Virtual Library
  • Free scores by Charles-Marie Widor at the International Music Score Library Project
  • The Mutopia Project has compositions by Charles-Marie Widor
  • Works by Charles-Marie Widor at Project Gutenberg
  • Works by or about Charles-Marie Widor at Internet Archive
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