(mid-70s release, featuring Alastair Sampson on the organ of Eton College Chapel).
Louis Vierne was born in Poitiers in 1870. He studied the organ at the Paris Conservatoire with Cesar Franck and then with Charles-Marie Widor and Alexandre Guilmant. He composed a variety of music in his lifetime, including for choral and orchestra, but the majority of his compositions were for organ.
Unlike his admirer Claude Debussy, who reacted against the Germanic style of composing, which was so dominant in the first third of the twentieth century, Vierne carried on with a fairly Teutonic style of composition.
His third organ symphony, is perhaps his most popular. The five separate movements stand well on their own, although the symphony, certainly, still has a unity in its spirit. The opening Allegro Maestoso and closing Finale are complimentary ; they are sonata-form movements, arresting and grand, the first regal, the last fiery.
The second and fourth movements also balance, both being reflective ; the second lyrical (with a languid theme for a solo reed stop), while the fourth is beautiful but withdrawn. As for the middle movement, Intermezzo, this is a dance-like piece in three time.
There is an extra track at the end of Side Two, the March Funebre, from Vierne's second book of the "24 Pieces en Style Libre" (1913).
Side One : Organ Symphony No.3 in F sharp minor, Op.28, by Vierne (c. late 1910s / early 20s) :-
1) I Allegro Maestoso 2) II Cantilene - Andantino Moderato 3) Intermezzo - Allegretto non vivo
Side Two : Organ Symphony 3 continued... :-
1) IV Adagio - Quasi Largo 2) V Final - Allegro
Side Two, track 3) : March Funebre No.18 Op.31
Records graded visually to RRPG grades
(photo four : insert)