Born: 1844, Nancy, France
Died: 1925, Paris, France
When EUGÈNE GIGOUT published his 6 Pièces d’orgue in 1881, the Grand Choeur Dialogué served as a finale in the French Romantic style by dint of its sheer grandiosity and, more simply, its placement as the last piece in the set. Using it instead to open this program, Miller and Spritzer have arranged the music for two organists, each assigned to one of the named “choruses” as notated in the score, enhancing the antiphonal effect.
Written entirely with a G-major key signature, Grand Choeur Dialogué’s consistent monothematic development of a simple four-bar melody, moving in and out of a variety of key centers, lasts a little over 100 bars. Nonetheless, it breaks down into three fairly equal parts. The first maintains an antiphonal nature (back and forth from one “chorus” to another) with four-square regularity, while the second part develops more imitatively and canonically without the antiphonal effect. The final part brings back some of the regularity and antiphonal nature, but never quite establishes itself as a full recapitulation.