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Charles Marie Widor: Finale to Organ Symphony #8

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Published on Jul 18, 2009

John Near recorded this dramatic and sensitive performance of the Widor 8th finale in 1985 on the Aeolian-Skinner organ (Op. 1203, 1952) at The First Church of Christ, Scientist (The Mother Church) in Boston. Near was organist there from 1970-1985, and the recordings he made there were released in 2002 by the Raven company of Richmond Virginia, on the album "John Near: The Boston Years." In 1985 he joined the faculty of Principia College in Elsah IL, becoming Professor of Music and college organist. His doctoral dissertation in 1984 was the first complete posthumous biography of Charles Marie Widor (1844-1937). He has also performed Widor's music at Saint Sulpice, where Widor was organist from 1870 to 1934.
In the liner notes John says that the "austere main theme.... immediately presents the listener with music of imposing power and gravity." It seems to me that this piece is the one that most resembles Widor's portraits. And this version by John Near at The Mother Church brings out all the deeper qualities of the piece, although recordings of it seem to be rare. The entire organ symphony was the most monumental work for organ yet conceived when it was written in the 1880s, and published as Op. 42 along with his other great symphonies #5,6 and 7.
More info about this CD is at:
https://www.ravencd.com/merchantmanag...
See my list of organ favorites with links to hear them at:
http://philosopherswheel.com/ericorga...

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