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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

[Louis Vierne at Notre Dame]
Louis Vierne

Hey, Louis, Louis

…a tribute to the memory of composer Louis Vierne (1870-1937), master of the Cavaillé-Coll organ at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

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Audio Complete Show 1 hr 58 Min

Audio 1722 Hour 1 59:00 Min

Audio 1722 Hour 2 59:00 Min

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Program Broadcast dates:

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Music played in the program

Hour 1

LOUIS VIERNE: Allegro, fr Symphony No. 2 in e, Op. 20Virgil Fox (1954 Aeolian-Skinner/Riverside Church, New York, NY) EMI Classics 66386 (Cochereau takes 9:23 for this same movement on the old console at Notre Dame)

VIERNE: Choral, fr Symphony No. 2 in e, Op. 20Pierre Cochereau (1868 Cavaillé-Coll/Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France) Solstice 177/8 & FYCD 028 (midway, transfer from mono to stereo)

VIERNE: Allegretto, Op. 1; Verset Fugue, In exitu Israël (1894) –Pierre Cochereau (Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris) Solstice 914

J.S. BACH: Fantasy in g, BWV 542 –Louis Vierne (Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris) EMI Classics 74866 (recorded in 1928)

VIERNE: Carillon de Longpont & Arabesque, fr Pieces in Free Style, Op. 31 –Brenda Lynne Leach (2003 Berghaus/St. Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre, PA) Pro Organo 7237

VIERNE: Stele pour un infant defunt, fr Triptyque, Op. 58 –Marsha Heather Long (1954 Aeolian-Skinner/Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, NY) Koch 7008

VIERNE: Meditation (1928 improvisation) --Louis Vierne (Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris) EMI Classics 74866

Hour 2

BACH: Herzlich tut mich verlangen, BWV 717. VIERNE: Cortege (1928 improvisation) --Louis Vierne (Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France) EMI Classics 74866

VIERNE: Allegro vivace, fr Symphony No. 1, Op. 14 –Olivier Latry (Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris) Soli Deo Veritas 70132

VIERNE: Aubade (i.) & Resignation (ii.), fr Pieces de Fantasie (Suite 4), Op. 55Olivier Latry (Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris) BNL 1127423

VIERNE: Allegro moderato (i.), fr Sonata in b for Cello & Piano, Op. 27 –Viviane Spanoghe, cello; Andre de Groote, piano. Classic Talent 2910.35

VIERNE: Les Djinns, Op. 35 --Steve Davislim, tenor; Queensland Orchestra/Guillaume Tourniaire, conductor. Melba 301123

VIERNE: Sanctus/Benedictus, fr Messe Solennelle, Op. 16 –Choirs of Notre Dame/Jehan Revert, director; Jacques Marichal (1968 Boisseau) & Pierre Cochereau (1868 Cavaillé-Coll/Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris) FYCD 064

Louis Vierne had been organist at the Cathedral of Notre Dame for nearly 37 years when the clergy decided that organ recitals would no longer be allowed there. One final concert was scheduled for June 2nd, 1937, reportedly the 1750th performance of Vierne’s career. More than three thousand people were gathered for the event when, midway through the program and just before an improvisation, Vierne had a heart attack. He died shortly thereafter in the organ loft, a dramatic end to a life of equal parts triumph and tragedy. On this 80th anniversary of Vierne’s death, we honor his memory and celebrate his remarkable genius.

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