Louis Vierne

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Vierne 1910

Louis Vierne (8 October 1870 – 2 June 1937) was a French organist and composer. He wrote a lot of music for the organ, including six large works called symphonies, 24 Fantasy Pieces (which includes his famous Carillon de Westminster), and 24 Pieces In Free Style. Some of these can be played on the harmonium as well as on the organ.

Life[change | change source]

Vierne was born in Poitiers. He was almost completely blind from birth. He faced a lifetime of professional frustration, sickness, blindness, loss of family and friends, and disappointments. This all influenced his music.

He died while giving an organ recital at Notre Dame.

Organ symphonies[change | change source]

  • Organ Symphony No. 1 in D minor, Op. 14 (1898–1899)
  • Organ Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 20 (1902–1903)
  • Organ Symphony No. 3 in F♯ minor, Op. 28 (1911)
  • Organ Symphony No. 4 in G minor, Op. 32 (1914)
  • Organ Symphony No. 5 in A minor, Op. 47 (1923–1924)
  • Organ Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 59 (1930)

Symphony No. 6 exploits the full 12-tone chromatic scale. Vierne's pupil Maurice Duruflé played the Symphony's first performance at Notre Dame in 1935.

References[change | change source]

  • Woodstra, Chris, et. al. 2005. All Music Guide to Classical Music. All Music Guide, LLC. p. 1456.