The Washington Cathedral Pipe Organ: Grand Choeur Dialogué by Gigout

>> Thursday, November 12, 2009

I apologize for failing to post this yesterday as I intended this to be in honor of Veteran's Day.  But better a day late than never!

Eugène Gigout (23 March 1844 – 9 December 1925) was a French organist and a composer of European late-romantic music for organ.

A pupil of Camille Saint-Saëns, he served as the organist of Saint-Augustin Church in Paris for 62 years. He became widely known as a teacher and his output as a composer was considerable. Renowned as an expert improviser, he also founded his own music school. (His nephew-by-marriage, Leon Boëllmann, became another fine organist and composer for the organ, whose death at the very young age of 35 was a severe loss to French music.)

The 10 pièces pour orgue (composed 1890) are Gigout's most celebrated compositions. They include the Toccata in B minor, his best-known creation, which turns up as a frequent encore at organ recitals. Also fairly often played, and to be found in the same collection, is a Scherzo in E major. Other notable pieces by Gigout are Grand Choeur Dialogué and Marche Religieuse. Gigout's works are now available on several commercial recordings.

The Grand Choeur Dialogué was recorded in 1976, just after this magnificent instrument was enlarged to its present 189 ranks. Paul Callaway was organist/choirmaster at the cathedral from 1939 to 1976.  This LINK will take you to a 2008 Washington Post article that describes the organ.


Kay Dennison November 12, 2009 at 4:31 PM  

Fabulous!!!!!! Thanks!!!!!


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