Autobiographical Recollections of Charles-Marie Widor
Title Details

298 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

62 b/w illus.

Series: Eastman Studies in Music

Series Vol. Number: 195

Imprint: University of Rochester Press

Autobiographical Recollections of Charles-Marie Widor

by John R Near

Edited and translated by John R Near

Foreword by Rollin Smith

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
The last of the Romantics, Widor narrated his recollections in 1936, bringing to life his diverse experiences from the time of Louis Philippe to the cusp of World War II.

Widor's Toccata is the most famous organ piece composed in the past three hundred years—since Bach's ubiquitous Toccata in D Minor. Linked inseparably with the organ through his ten seminal organ symphonies and legendary sixty-four years as organist at Saint-Sulpice, Widor drew crowds of doting admirers from all walks of life around himself and Cavaillé-Coll's great organ of one hundred stops. It is apparent throughout these "Autobiographical Recollections" that Widor was well-connected, moving with ease among the intelligentsia, presidents, politicians, royalty, nobility, patrons, and artists. A keen observer and a man of sophistication and extraordinary erudition, Widor was an all-embracing musician and notable historical figure who led an active life beyond his famous organ gallery. As permanent secretary of the Academy of Fine-Arts, he was the cultural ambassador of France for more than twenty years. Few musicians of any era have had a broader experience, wider sphere of influence, and greater number of significant and varied accomplishments.

Preceded by a comprehensive Preface, these "Autobiographical Recollections," narrated in the last months of Widor's life, are translated into English for the first time, meticulously edited, and profusely annotated. The persons, political details, and historical events that Widor spoke of with great fluency are identified in notes that give the reader a full understanding of the narrative. Several appendixes and a trove of hitherto unpublished photos illuminate the text.
List of Illustrations
Foreword by Rollin Smith
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Tribute to Charles-Marie Widor

Part 1
Studies, Early Performances, and Aristide Cavaillé-Coll (1844-69)
Part 2
La Belle Époque: The Franco-Prussian War to The Great War (1870-1914)
Part 3
The Great War and Important Initiatives (1914-37)

Appendices
1 Birth record of Charles-Marie Widor, 1844
2 Widor's Diplôme de Bachelier ès Lettres, 1863
3 Widor's letter of appreciation to Jacques Lemmens, 1863
4 Brussels Ducal Palace organ specification, 1861
5 Widor's certificate for Chevalier de l'Ordre du Christ, 1866
6 "To Budapest," 1893
7 Widor's travels to Russia and his 1903 passport
8 Widor's list of his works in 1894
9 The Paris Conservatory organs, 1872
10 Widor's appeal for an organ hall at the Paris Conservatory, 1895
11 Widor's certificate for the Académie Royale, Brussels, 1908
12 "Debussy & Rodin," 1927
13 The American Conservatory organ, Fontainebleau, 1925
14 Letters concerning the Trocadéro organ restoration, 1926
Notes
Bibliography
Index

JOHN R. NEAR is Professor Emeritus of Music at Principia College, Elsah, IL.

JOHN R. NEAR is Professor Emeritus of Music at Principia College, Elsah, IL.

Hardcover

9781648250866

May 2024

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Title Details

298 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

62 b/w illus.

Series: Eastman Studies in Music

Series Vol. Number: 195

Imprint: University of Rochester Press