This set of 2 DVDs, 2 CDs, and an 88-page booklet develops a complete portrait of Charles-Marie Widor (1844 – 1937), the most famous composer of organ music since Bach. Widor composed ten revolutionary organ symphonies that established the organ as a rival of the orchestra and pioneered the use of symphonic forms for the instrument. On one DVD, a magnificent three-part documentary shows how Widor came to write his organ symphonies, how his compositional style developed and matured, and how these works fit into his career as a performer, teacher and writer. Presented by Gerard Brooks and Widor scholars Daniel Roth, John Near and Anne-Isabelle de Parcevaux, the documentary sets Widor’s organ music in the context of his work as a mainstream composer of operas, ballets, chamber music and orchestral symphonies. Widor's life was intertwined with that of the great French organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. Therefore, Widor's greatest organ works are recorded in surround-sound on the three best surviving Cavaillé-Coll instruments, Saint-Sulpice in Paris, where Widor himself was organist for almost sixty years, Orléans Cathedral and Saint-Ouen in Rouen. Widor's fifth and sixth symphonies are included in their entirety on both CD and DVD, performed by Gerard Brooks. Daniel Roth, the current organist at Saint-Sulpice, performs a range of movements from the other symphonies. Other Cavaillé-Coll organs are also seen and heard.
DVD 1 & 2 running time: 297 minutes; CD 1 & 2 running time: 141 minutes, 88-page color booklet | NTSC | DVD9 | 16:9 Widescreen | Region Free | DTS Digital Surround™ 5.1 / Dolby Digital 5.1 | FSFDVD010