Author Topic: Louis Vierne - Blind French Organist/Composer!  (Read 8381 times)

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Offline SonicMan46

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Louis Vierne - Blind French Organist/Composer!
« on: November 16, 2008, 04:11:14 PM »
Louis Vierne (1870-1937) - French organist and composer, born w/ congenital cataracts w/ limited sight the remainder of his life; studied w/ Franck & Widor at the Paris Conservatoire.  An organ virtuoso who became the organist at Notre Dame, and died there while playing the organ in 1937!

A Wiki Bio HERE, which includes a listing of his compositions - acquired my first CD of this composer in the mail yesterday (shown below), chamber works despite him being best known for his organ compositions - would appreciate further comments on this French organist & and recommendations on his organ pieces for those in the know - thanks!  :)


 

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Louis Vierne - Blind French Organist/Composer!
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2008, 04:51:21 PM »
I have his Symphony and the Poeme for Piano and Orchestra on a Timpani disc.

Will write more when I am back on here from Wednesday!

pjme

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Re: Louis Vierne - Blind French Organist/Composer!
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2008, 12:17:51 PM »


I'll leave it to Dundonnell to give full comments. But it is a beautiful disc ( now also available in a cheaper re-edition) - music that hovers somewhere between César Franck and,possibly, Elgar.
The Poème has a Debussy-like quality in its vaguely exotic melodies & gorgeous harmonies.

P.


Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Louis Vierne - Blind French Organist/Composer!
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2008, 04:07:07 PM »
P - thanks for the comments above on the Timpani disc shown; apparently, this company has put out a number of recordings of Vierne's music - unfortunately, Amazon shows several but not the one you posted - OOP?  :-\

Offline drogulus

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Re: Louis Vierne - Blind French Organist/Composer!
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2008, 04:26:18 PM »

     I have some of the organ music, and the Messe Solenelle. I can recommend this Hyperion disc for the Vierne, and the Widor and Dupré as well.

     
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Offline Cato

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Re: Louis Vierne - Blind French Organist/Composer!
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2008, 06:15:39 PM »
Vierne rawks!    8)

Whenever it is a cold dark November in my soul, I know it is high time to listen to Vierne again!

All the Symphonies for Organ are works of genius: highly recommended!  They are tours of all the known and unknown parts of the soul.  Also recommended is the CD below with his orchestral Symphony A minor and the Poeme.


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Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Louis Vierne - Blind French Organist/Composer!
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2008, 06:25:11 PM »
Vierne rawks!    8)

All the Symphonies for Organ are works of genius: highly recommended! 

Cato - thanks for the above comments - I think that my next purchase will be the Symphonies for Organ - these works seem to be his most popular recordings; I've been looking at those available on Amazon (offerings pictured below) - so would appreciate comments from you & others regarding the best choices & value - thanks all!

   

pjme

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Re: Louis Vierne - Blind French Organist/Composer!
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2008, 12:46:33 AM »
P - thanks for the comments above on the Timpani disc shown; apparently, this company has put out a number of recordings of Vierne's music - unfortunately, Amazon shows several but not the one you posted - OOP?  :-\

The disc has been re-issued in a less expensive series.... Peter

Offline Cato

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Re: Louis Vierne - Blind French Organist/Composer!
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2008, 07:38:55 AM »
For the complete Vierne Organ Symphonies, check a company called the Musical Heritage Society: they used to offer a set, but their things are only available through them, as far as I know.
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Louis Vierne - Blind French Organist/Composer!
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2008, 06:36:40 PM »
..I think that my next purchase will be the Symphonies for Organ - these works seem to be his most popular recordings; I've been looking at those available on Amazon (offerings pictured below) - so would appreciate comments from you & others regarding the best choices & value - thanks all!

   

TTT - no responses concerning these choices for Symphonies for Organ by the composer in this thread - I'm strongly considering the Brillant series of 3-CDs (these are works acquired from the Signum label) - before my purchase of this 'inexpensive' set, are there any comments?

Thanks - Dave -  :)

Offline sTisTi

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Re: Louis Vierne - Blind French Organist/Composer!
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2008, 11:48:15 AM »
TTT - no responses concerning these choices for Symphonies for Organ by the composer in this thread - I'm strongly considering the Brillant series of 3-CDs (these are works acquired from the Signum label) - before my purchase of this 'inexpensive' set, are there any comments?

Thanks - Dave -  :)
Hi Dave,
I have the Brilliant set and listened to Symphony 3 just yesterday. While I can't say anything negative about the performance, the recording quality leaves much to be desired imo. Compared to other organ recordings I have (and like very much), e.g. Widor's symphonies by Pincemaille or Bach's organ works played by Hurford, the Filsell recording of Vierne does not sound right. There is lots of (way too much imo) reverberation and the sound seems muddy and lacks sharpness and "bite". It sounds as if it was recorded from far away.
Maybe I'm being too critical and others wouldn't find the sound quality problematic, but I would at least encourage you to listen to some sound samples before buying to see how you react to it. If you can't find samples of decent quality online, tell me and I can upload a sample track tomorrow.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2008, 11:53:29 AM by sTisTi »

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Louis Vierne - Blind French Organist/Composer!
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2008, 12:50:30 PM »
I have the Brilliant set and listened to Symphony 3 just yesterday. While I can't say anything negative about the performance, the recording quality leaves much to be desired imo. Compared to other organ recordings I have (and like very much).....................

Hi sTisTi - thanks for the comments on the Brilliant recordings - I'll search out some sound snippets of all of the offerings, and hold off on a purchase a little longer - Dave

Offline Rinaldo

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Re: Louis Vierne - Blind French Organist/Composer!
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2016, 04:52:49 AM »
Just a little thread necromancy:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/T9rCTrkIKnM" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/T9rCTrkIKnM</a>

Tuneful, sublime, moving. Vierne's been on my radar for quite some time but I've yet to commit to a serious exploration of his music, especially the organ works. What I've heard so far was engaging and highly enjoyable.

snyprrr

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Re: Louis Vierne - Blind French Organist/Composer!
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2016, 06:56:58 AM »
Just a little thread necromancy:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/T9rCTrkIKnM" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/T9rCTrkIKnM</a>

Tuneful, sublime, moving. Vierne's been on my radar for quite some time but I've yet to commit to a serious exploration of his music, especially the organ works. What I've heard so far was engaging and highly enjoyable.

I second that Piano Quintet... WWI, sombre to the maxxx...yay!!!

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Louis Vierne - Blind French Organist/Composer!
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2016, 08:40:19 AM »
Boy - 8 years since my last post to this 'short' thread!  ;D

But I did add a 3-CD set of the Organ Symphonies w/ Jeremy Filsell - for those interested some reviews on Gramophone and on the Signum Classics Website - need to re-listen - Dave :)


Offline André

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Re: Louis Vierne - Blind French Organist/Composer!
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2016, 01:29:02 PM »
Vierne, like Franck, Tournemire, Widor and Dupré is often thought of (if thought of at all) as an organ music composer. Born semi-blind the organ was the instrument he mastered. But he was a superb composer of chamber music. 

I would choose that medium above the organ as the path to Vierne's importance as a composer. Fortunately, the label Timpani did us the favor of recording his chamber music oeuvre on 2 nicely filled discs:




Just like Pierné, Koechlin, Tournemire, Roussel, Schmitt, there is nothing in Vierne's chamber music that will stop the trains and make one shout 'Bravo!'. But their tentacles make their way and grab the attention over time. 1890-1950 was a great period for french chamber music.



Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Louis Vierne - Blind French Organist/Composer!
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2016, 05:02:54 PM »
Vierne, like Franck, Tournemire, Widor and Dupré is often thought of (if thought of at all) as an organ music composer. Born semi-blind the organ was the instrument he mastered. But he was a superb composer of chamber music. 

I would choose that medium above the organ as the path to Vierne's importance as a composer. Fortunately, the label Timpani did us the favor of recording his chamber music oeuvre on 2 nicely filled discs:

 

Just like Pierné, Koechlin, Tournemire, Roussel, Schmitt, there is nothing in Vierne's chamber music that will stop the trains and make one shout 'Bravo!'. But their tentacles make their way and grab the attention over time. 1890-1950 was a great period for french chamber music.

Hi André - thanks for the recommendation - went to Amazon USA and could not find that chamber set - BUT found another one inserted above (right) - 2-CDs - went ahead and ordered a used copy on the Amazon MP - several excellent Amazon reviews.  Dave :)


kishnevi

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Re: Louis Vierne - Blind French Organist/Composer!
« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2016, 06:37:29 PM »
Hi André - thanks for the recommendation - went to Amazon USA and could not find that chamber set - BUT found another one inserted above (right) - 2-CDs - went ahead and ordered a used copy on the Amazon MP - several excellent Amazon reviews.  Dave :)

Sonic Man, do you realize that CD is part of the complete organ works series, which MDG boxed up.
I have it, but not yet listened to any of it.

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Louis Vierne - Blind French Organist/Composer!
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2016, 10:30:29 PM »
Sonic Man, do you realize that CD is part of the complete organ works series, which MDG boxed up.
I have it, but not yet listened to any of it.

Yep - but already have the Organ Symphonies - assume not a duplication - Dave :)


Offline Florestan

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Re: Louis Vierne - Blind French Organist/Composer!
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2016, 03:28:28 AM »


I strongly second this one. There is also an excellent twofer of his complete piano music, on Timpani as well.



I also recommend this disc, in which the tragedy of his Piano Quintet (written in the memory of his elder son, killed in WWI) is balanced by the sunny but no less superb one by Reynaldo Hahn.

"Beauty must appeal to the senses, must provide us with immediate enjoyment, must impress us or insinuate itself into us without any effort on our part."
 --- Claude Debussy