• Reflective Resources

W is for Charles-Marie Widor

Many thanks to Tamsin S for today’s suggestion of Charles-Marie Widor’s Toccata from Symphony No. 5 for Organ & Orchestra


Composer: Charles-Marie Jean Albert Widor

Born: February 21, 1844, Lyon, France; died March 12, 1937, Paris, France


Widor was the nineteenth century’s most important organist, and among its most important composers of organ music. He was organist at the Church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris – one of the most prestigious organ jobs in France – for nearly 64 years, from 1870 until his retirement in 1933.


This work was composed: 1879 and is one of the most famous organ works by a composer not by J. S. Bach, its toccata style influenced a generation of French and Belgian organ composers, including Jongen in his Symphonie Concertante. The music builds and becomes increasingly magnificent


It is frequently performed as recessional music at Christmas and wedding ceremonies, including the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.


Charles-Marie Widor Toccata from Symphony No. 5 for Organ & Orchestra


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