Widor's Toccata from Wurzburg Cathedral





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Published on Oct 21, 2008

Hans Musch playing Widor's Toccata from Symphony No 5 Op.42 on the Klais organ in Wurzburg Cathedral. I have only included this piece as its very rare to find recordings from Wurzburg Cathedral, one of largest organs built by Klais. Apart from this one, there is a recent recording on the German Unda Maris label and thats about it.

Hans Musch was born in 1935 in Leutkirch and studied in Rome, Freiburg and Munich and worked at the College of Music in Freiburg im Breisgau since 1966. And thats all the info I have been able to find out about him.

The Klais organ was built in 1969 and was completely new, since the last Klais organ (built in 1937) was destroyed in 1945 when the cathedral sustained heavy damage. The choir and transcepts were rebuilt to their baroque splendour but the nave was rebuilt into a more Romanesque style with a flat wooden ceiling. As you can see from a few photos in the video, the console is a five manual beast modelled on Cavaille-Coll's great examples in Notre Dame and St Sulpice but totally finished in black, even to having black naturals on the keyboard with white sharps. It contains 6,654 pipes and 86 speaking stops. There is a small 'swallows nest' choir organ of 20 stops, but this is to be joined by another choir organ of 52 stops to be built by Steinmeyer in 2010! To me it has a characteristic Klais sound, although nowhere near as overbearing as its organ in Cologne Cathedral with its unusual mixtures and recent bombastic reeds.

This recording comes from a Christophorus CD 74606 which features the complete 5th symphony of Widor and Franck's Choral No.3 and Cantabile. It was originally recorded in 1969 and reissued on CD in 1990, but I have no idea if this title is currently available.

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