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About this Piece

The term “Gothic” in the title of Charles-Marie Widor’s (1844-1937) Ninth Organ Symphony originates from the distinctive Gothic architecture of the Church of St. Ouen in Rouen, where one of the most famous Cavaillé-Coll pipe organs in France is located. Widor called the instrument “a Michelangelo of an organ.”

The second movement of this organ symphony utilizes a distinctive E-flat-major melody with a few well-placed chromatic twists and turns supported by a repetitive accompaniment. The influence of César Franck is apparent, but the work stands on its own as arguably the most popular piece Widor ever wrote.

The term “Gothic” in the title of Charles-Marie Widor’s (1844-1937) Ninth Organ Symphony originates from the distinctive Gothic architecture of the Church of St. Ouen in Rouen, where one of the most famous Cavaillé-Coll pipe organs in France is located. Widor called the instrument “a Michelangelo of an organ.”

The second movement of this organ symphony utilizes a distinctive E-flat-major melody with a few well-placed chromatic twists and turns supported by a repetitive accompaniment. The influence of César Franck is apparent, but the work stands on its own as arguably the most popular piece Widor ever wrote.