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Widor, Charles-Marie
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Biography
Widor, Charles-Marie(-Jean-Albert)

(Born; Lyons, 21 Feb 1844; Died; Paris, 12 March 1937). French organist,composer and teacher. He studied in Brussels with Fétis (composition) and J.N. Lemmens (organ). He was organist at St Sulpice, Paris, for over 60 years (1870-1934) and professor of organ (1890) and composition (1896) at the Conservatoire, his pupils including Louis Vierne, Albert Schweitzer, Marcel Dupré, Honegger and Milhaud. As a performer he is remembered for his rhythmic precision and traditional interpretations of Bach, whose music he often used in teaching. Though he composed prolifically in many genres he is best known for his organ music, most of it secular and conceived to make full use of the elaborate resources of the grandiose contemporary instruments, notably those of Cavaillé-Coll. He created the organ symphony, a decorative, powerful multi-movement piece that treats the organ as a kind of self-contained orchestra, using a wide variety of heavy technical demands. From the ten he composed (1876-1900), the most famous movements are the 'Marche pontificale' of the First and the Toccata of the Fifth.(c)Groves Dictionaries, MacMillan Publishers Limited, UK

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