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Pastorale (24 Pièces en style libre pour Orgue ou Harmonium, Op.31, No. 20)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (03/03/18)
Composer: Vierne, Louis
Sample Producer: Voxus Virtual Organs
Sample Set: Stahlhuth/Jann - Dudelange
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
Titular organist of Notre-Dame de Paris from 1900 until his death in 1937, and master of its superb 1867 Cavaillé-Coll instrument, Louis Vierne confided to it his closest thoughts. Following the eldritch splendors of the Third Symphony for organ (1911), the Pièces en style libre, composed in 1913, work a vein of intimate fantasy often laced with Vierne's penchant for the grotesque and bizarre. Specified as suitable for performance on a harmonium, the composer's registrations nevertheless indicate a variety of coloristic effects which come off adequately only on large instruments, while the grandeurs of several demonstrative numbers -- e.g., the Cortège, or the Carillon -- exceed the harmonium's modest capacity. The collection runs the gamut of major and minor keys in order -- C major, C minor, D flat major, etc. -- in a salute to Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier.

"Livre II" dates from 1914, and "Pastorale" is the 20th work in the set. Another miniature masterpiece, the Pastorale is a showpiece for the Récit Hautbois.

There is a wistful quality about Vierne’s modal melody, although the final phrase is
invariably chromatic. Characterised by wide leaps over a steady bass tread and a
dominant pedal in the tenor, the unbroken oboe melody is prefaced by a four-bar
LH recitative on the Great flute to which reference is again made at the bottom of
the first page in a brief ‘call-and-response’ bridge passage leading to a passage based on the rhythmic figuration of the opening. After a halting recit from the oboe there is an exact reprise of the oboe melody, complete with dominant pedal and treading bass. The
harmony is, unusually, reminiscent of Grieg.

The score is attached below, as well as some varied photos of Louis Vierne, including one of his grave.

I also attached an excellent English pdf that goes in to great and interesting details about the entire "24 Pièces en style libre."
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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