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Widor, Charles Marie

Charles Marie Widor (shärl märē´ vēdōr´), 1845–1937, French organist and composer. He was organist at St. Sulpice from 1869 until his retirement in 1934. In 1891 he succeeded César Franck as professor of organ at the Paris Conservatory and later also became professor of composition there. Chief among his compositions are 10 symphonies for organ. He composed operas, chamber music, orchestral suites, and piano concertos as well. In 1904 he wrote a supplement to Berlioz's treatise on orchestration. He also made, with Albert Schweitzer, an edition of the organ works of Bach.

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Widor, Charles-Marie (Jean Albert)

Widor, Charles-Marie (Jean Albert) (b Lyons, 1844; d Paris, 1937). Fr. organist and composer. Org., St Sulpice, Paris 1870–1933. Succeeded Franck as prof. of org., Paris Cons., 1890, prof. of comp. from 1896. Mus. critic of L'Estafette for many years. Famous as improviser. Ed. complete org. works of Bach (with Schweitzer). Wrote treatise on modern orchestration, 1904. Comp. 5 operas; ballet; 2 syms. with org.; sym.-poems; 2 pf. concs.; vc. conc.; 10 org. syms.; shorter org. pieces; choral works; and chamber music.

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Widor, Charles Marie

WIDOR, CHARLES MARIE

Organist, composer, critic; b. Lyons, Feb. 21, 1844; d. Paris, March 12, 1937. He was the pupil of his organist father and later of J. N. Lemmens and fÉtis at Brussels Conservatory. He achieved fame at Sainte-Sulpice (18701934) for his organ technique and masterly improvisations. He succeeded César franck as professor of organ at the Paris Conservatory (18911905), where he developed such masters as vierne, Dupré, and Schweitzer. He was also critic for L'Estafette, member of the Institute (1910), permanent secretary of the Académic des Beaux Arts (1914), reformer of the organ-building art with Cavaillé-Coll, and promoter of the Bach cult in recital hall and church. Most representative of his many compositions are the ten Organ Symphonies (suites), idiomatic music exploring the tonal and technical resources of the modern organ in modified Franck harmonic style. There are also symphonies, concerti, chamber and choral works, and operas, besides important scholarly products, e.g., the Widor-Schweitzer edition of Bach, and La Musique grecque et les chants de l'église latine (1895).

Bibliography: i. philipp, Musical Quarterly 30 (1944) 125133. h. grace, Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. e. blom 9 v. (5th ed. London 1954) 9:284285. Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, ed. n. slonimsky (5th, rev. ed. New York 1958) 1792. j. j. anthony, Charles-Marie Widor's Symphonies pour orgue: Their Artistic Context and Cultural Antecedents (D.M.A., diss. University of Rochester, 1986). l. archbold, "Widor's Symphonie romane," French Organ Music from the Revolution to Franck and Widor, ed. l. archbold and w. j. peterson, (Rochester 1995) 249-274. o. ochse, "Widor as Teacher" Organists and Organ Playing in Nineteenth-Century France and Belgium (Bloomington and Indianapolis 1994) 183-194. f. raugel, "Charles-Marie (-Jean-Albert) Widor", The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 20, ed. s. sadie (New York 1980) 398-399. n. slonimsky, ed., Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Eighth Edition (New York 1992) 2046. a. thomson, The Life and Times of Charles-Marie Widor, 18441937 (Oxford 1987).

[c. a. carroll]

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