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Known as a master of the French style of improvisation on pipe organs, Pierre Cochereau (1924-1984) also enhanced his substantial career as a composer when others started transcribing his sophisticated improvisations. In Boléro sur un thème de Charles Racquet (1973), a snare drum drones the bolero rhythm creating a sort of trance, while a melody meanders in and out of consonant and dissonant axes. (Charles Racquet was a 17th-century organist at Notre-Dame.) Berceuse à la mémoire de Louis Vierne (1973) sounds similarly spellbinding and tranquil, opting for an austerely economical motivic development and tonal harmonic progression.
— Gregg Wager is a composer and critic. He is author of Symbolism as a Compositional Method in the Works of Karlheinz Stockhausen and High and Low Culture Since 1975. He has a PhD in musicology from the Free University Berlin and a JD from McGeorge School of Law.