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Widor on Organ Performance Practice and Technique


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Introduction: "You know Bach, you know all" PART 1. BACKGROUND "Art does not know the absolute" "The art of organ playing has not changed at all since Johann Sebastian Bach" "In France we have neglected performance much too much in favor of improvisation" PART 2. MAXIMS Excerpts from Widor's Preface to Jean-Sebastien Bach-Ouvres completes pour orgue, Vols. 1-4, and Correlative Commentary Pace Phrasing Registration The Use of the Manuals Changing Manuals Appendix 1: Symphonies pour orgue Appendix 2: Technique de l'orchestre moderne Appendix 3: Initiation musicale Appendix 4: L'orgue moderne; La decadence dans la facture contemporaine Appendix 5: Widor's Own Performance Indications in the Symphonie gothique Bibliography


Essential reading for any serious student of the French Romantic style. Another major milestone in the journey towards recognition of this undeservedly neglected genius. ORGAN AUSTRALIA Encapsulates all Widor's pedagogical philosophy, rules for organ playing, and practical advice . . . all translated into elegant English. The advice he gives is so astute that it works for music of all time. AMERICAN ORGANIST [Rollin Smith] Translated for the first time, Widor's pedagogical writings suggest crucial advice in interpreting his organ compositions as well as those of his contemporaries from the French Romantic organ school. THE SYDNEY ORGAN JOURNAL John Near's most recent study of Charles-Marie Widor, Widor's Maxims on Organ Performance Practice and Technique, has as its primary goal to bring together all of the available information, drawn from Widor's own writing and from that of his contemporaries, that illuminates Widor's views on organ playing. In this, he has been eminently successful. --William Porter, Eastman School of Music

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