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Alexandre Guilmant

Alexandre Guilmant

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Félix-Alexandre Guilmant (12 March 1837 – 29 March 1911) was a French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 organist
Organist
An organist is a musician who plays any type of organ. An organist may play solo organ works, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers or instrumental soloists...

 and composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

.

Short biography


Guilmant was born in Boulogne-sur-Mer
Boulogne-sur-Mer
-Road:* Metropolitan bus services are operated by the TCRB* Coach services to Calais and Dunkerque* A16 motorway-Rail:* The main railway station is Gare de Boulogne-Ville and located in the south of the city....

. A student of his father, then of the Belgian master Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens
Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens
Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens , was an organist and composer for his instrument.Born at Zoerle-Parwijs, near Westerlo, Belgium, Lemmens took lessons from François-Joseph Fétis, who wanted to make him into a musician capable of renewing the organ-player's art in Belgium...

, he became an organist
Organist
An organist is a musician who plays any type of organ. An organist may play solo organ works, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers or instrumental soloists...

 and teacher in his place of birth.

In 1871 he was appointed to play the organ regularly at la Trinité church in Paris, and this position he held for 30 years. From then on Guilmant followed a career as a virtuoso
Virtuoso
A virtuoso is an individual who possesses outstanding technical ability in the fine arts, at singing or playing a musical instrument. The plural form is either virtuosi or the Anglicisation, virtuosos, and the feminine form sometimes used is virtuosa...

; he gave concerts in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 (the first major French organist to tour that country), and in Canada, as well as in Europe, making especially frequent visits to England. His American achievements included a 1904 series of no fewer than 40 recitals on the largest organ in the world, the St. Louis Exposition
St. Louis Exposition
St. Louis Exposition can refer to either:*Saint Louis Exposition *Louisiana Purchase Exposition...

 Organ, now preserved as the nucleus of Philadelphia's Wanamaker Organ
Wanamaker Organ
The Wanamaker Grand Court Organ, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the largest operational pipe organ in the world, located within a spacious 7-story court at Macy's Center City . The largest organ by some measures is the Boardwalk Hall Auditorium Organ...

.

With his colleague André Pirro
André Pirro
André Pirro was a French musicologist and an organist.Born in Saint-Dizier, Pirro learned to play the organ from his father Jean Pirro. In Paris where he became and organist and a choirmaster for the Collège Stanislas de Paris. He studied with César Franck and taught music history at the Schola...

, Guilmant published a collection of scores, Archives des Maîtres de l'Orgue (archives of the masters of the organ), a compilation of the compositions of numerous classical French composers in ten volumes, from 1898 to 1914. He proceeded in the same manner for foreign masters of the organ, publishing l'École classique de l'Orgue (classical school of the organ). These anthologies, despite all the musicological developments which have taken place since Guilmant's time, remain very valuable sources of pre-1750 music that is often hard to find elsewhere.

In 1894 Guilmant founded the Schola Cantorum
Schola Cantorum
The Schola Cantorum de Paris is a private music school in Paris. It was founded in 1894 by Charles Bordes, Alexandre Guilmant and Vincent d'Indy as a counterbalance to the Paris Conservatoire's emphasis on opera...

 with Charles Bordes
Charles Bordes
Charles Bordes was a French music teacher and composer.-Timeline:Bordes studied pianoforte with Antoine François Marmontel and composition with César Franck. He was organist and maître de chapelle at Nogent-sur-Marne from 1887 to 1890...

 and Vincent d'Indy
Vincent d'Indy
Vincent d'Indy was a French composer and teacher.-Life:Paul Marie Théodore Vincent d'Indy was born in Paris into an aristocratic family of royalist and Catholic persuasion. He had piano lessons from an early age from his paternal grandmother, who passed him on to Antoine François Marmontel and...

. He taught there up until his death at his home in Meudon
Meudon
Meudon is a municipality in the southwestern suburbs of Paris, France. It is in the département of Hauts-de-Seine. It is located from the center of Paris.-Geography:...

, near Paris, in 1911. In addition, he taught at the Conservatoire de Paris
Conservatoire de Paris
The Conservatoire de Paris is a college of music and dance founded in 1795, now situated in the avenue Jean Jaurès in the 19th arrondissement of Paris, France...

 where he succeeded Charles-Marie Widor
Charles-Marie Widor
Charles-Marie Jean Albert Widor was a French organist, composer and teacher.-Life:Widor was born in Lyon, to a family of organ builders, and initially studied music there with his father, François-Charles Widor, titular organist of Saint-François-de-Sales from 1838 to 1889...

 as organ teacher in 1896. Marcel Dupré
Marcel Dupré
Marcel Dupré , was a French organist, pianist, composer, and pedagogue.-Biography:Marcel Dupré was born in Rouen . Born into a musical family, he was a child prodigy. His father Albert Dupré was organist in Rouen and a friend of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, who built an organ in the family house when...

 was the most celebrated of his many students. Others included Augustin Barié
Augustin Barié
Augustin Barié , was a French composer and organist.Barié was born in Paris, and was blind from birth; however, he had large hands which spanned an eleventh, allowing him to play the difficult organ works of composers such as César Franck with relative ease...

, Joseph-Arthur Bernier
Joseph-Arthur Bernier
Joseph-Arthur Bernier was a Canadian organist, pianist, composer, and music educator. Born in Lévis, Quebec, he was the senior member of a prominent family of musicians from Quebec City...

, Joseph Bonnet
Joseph Bonnet
Joseph Bonnet was a French composer and organist.One of the major French pipe organ players, Joseph Bonnet was born in Bordeaux. He first studied with his father, an organist at St. Eulalie. At the age of 14, he became official organist, first at St. Nicholas and almost immediately at St. Michael...

, Alexandre Cellier
Alexandre Cellier
Alexandre Eugène Cellier was a French organist and composer.Cellier studied organ with Alexandre Guilmant until 1908. In 1908 he won the first prize for organ at the Conservatoire de Paris. Before that he also studied with Henri Dallier and Charles-Marie Widor...

, Abel Decaux
Abel Decaux
Abel Decaux was a French organistand composer. He studied organ with Charles Widor and Alexandre Guilmant and composition with Jules Massenet. For twenty five years from around 1900 he was organist at the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, in Paris. In 1923 he went to the United States of America, to teach...

, Gabriel Dupont
Gabriel Dupont
Gabriel Édouard Xavier Dupont was a French composer, known for his operas and chamber music.Dupont was born in Caen. Following after his father who was teacher at the Malherbe secondary school and the organist at the Church Saint-Étienne in his home town, at the age of 15, Dupont began his studies...

, Philip Hale
Philip Hale
Philip Hale was an American music critic.An 1876 graduate of Yale University, Hale practiced law upon leaving college, also studying piano with John Kautz and playing the organ in a church...

, Edgar Henrichsen
Edgar Henrichsen
Edgar Henrichsen was a Danish composer and organist. He was the brother of Roger Henrichsen, and was a student of Gustav Helsted and Alexandre Guilmant.-References:...

, and Édouard Mignan
Édouard Mignan
Édouard Mignan was a French organist and composer.He was born in Orléans and 14 years old he became the organist of église Saint Paterne. He studied organ in Paris with Alexandre Guilmant and Louis Vierne and won the Grand Prix de Rome in 1912. He was organist at Saint-Thomas-d'Aquin from 1917...

.

Compositions


Guilmant was an accomplished and extremely prolific composer. Unlike Widor, who produced a great deal of music in all the main genres, Guilmant devoted himself almost entirely to works for his own instrument, the organ
Organ (music)
The organ , is a keyboard instrument of one or more divisions, each played with its own keyboard operated either with the hands or with the feet. The organ is a relatively old musical instrument in the Western musical tradition, dating from the time of Ctesibius of Alexandria who is credited with...

. His organ output includes: 'Pièces dans différents styles', published in 18 books; 'L'organiste pratique', published in 12 books; Eighteen 'Pièces Nouvelles'; and 'L'Organiste liturgique', published in 10 books. Guilmant's Eight Sonatas were conceived with the Cavaillé-Coll organ of La Trinité in mind, and are therefore symphonic in style and form, taking their place alongside the symphonic organ works of César Franck
César Franck
César-Auguste-Jean-Guillaume-Hubert Franck was a composer, pianist, organist, and music teacher who worked in Paris during his adult life....

 and the Organ Symphonies of Charles-Marie Widor
Charles-Marie Widor
Charles-Marie Jean Albert Widor was a French organist, composer and teacher.-Life:Widor was born in Lyon, to a family of organ builders, and initially studied music there with his father, François-Charles Widor, titular organist of Saint-François-de-Sales from 1838 to 1889...

.

Most of his pieces (and all of the most frequently played ones) are fairly short, but his big symphonic works have had their occasional champions, and they turn up on CD every so often. The Sonate No. 1/Symphonie No. 1 for organ and orchestra, Op. 42, was programmed by Sergei Koussevitzky in the 1930s, but was not heard again until Igor Buketoff
Igor Buketoff
Igor Buketoff was an American conductor, arranger and teacher. He had a special affinity with Russian music and with Sergei Rachmaninoff in particular. He also strongly promoted British contemporary music, and new music in general.- Biography :Buketoff was born in Hartford, Connecticut, the son...

 revived it for a 1977 live recording with the Butler University
Butler University
Butler University is a private university located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Founded in 1855 and named after founder Ovid Butler, the university offers 60 degree programs to 4,400 students through six colleges: business, communication, education, liberal Arts and sciences, pharmacy and health...

 Orchestra (note, the composer's name is misspelled "Gilmont" in the source).

Opus list

Opus Title
1 Ave Verum pour Choeur et Orgue
2 O Salutaris Hostia pour Choeur et Orgue
3 Faux-Bourdons - Chant de la Commission de Reims et Cambras
4 Messe en Fa majeur pour Choeur et Orgue
6 Première Messe à 4 Voix, Choeur et Orgue
7 Te Deum pour Choeur et Orgue
8 Quam Dilecta (Psaume 83) pour Choeur et Orgue
9 Messe Brève pour Choeur et Orgue
11 Troisième Messe Solennelle pour Choeur et Orgue
12 Cinq Litanies en l’honneur de la bienheureuse Vierge Marie à une, deux, trois ou quatre voix
(13) Échos du mois de Marie - Cantiques à une ou deux voix égales avec accompagnement d'orgue ou d'harmonium
14 12 Motets pour Choeur et Orgue
15 Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 1
16 Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 2
17 Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 3
18 Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 4
19 Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 5
20 Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 6
21 Kyrie Eleison pour Choeur et Orgue/Orchestre
22 Prière pour Violoncello et Piano
23 Deux Morceaux pour Harmonium
24 Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 7
25 Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 8
26 Pastorale pour Harmonium et Piano duo
27 Prière et Berceuse pour Harmonium
28 Canzonetta pour Harmonium
29 Fughetta de Concert pour Harmonium
30 Aspiration Religieuse pour Harmonium
31 Scherzo pour Harmonium
32 Deux Pièces pour Harmonium
33 Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 9
34 Marche Triomphale pour Harmonium et Piano duo
35 Mazurka de Salon pour Harmonium
36 Scherzo Capriccioso pour Harmonium et Piano duo
37 O Salutaris pour Basse ou Baryton et Orgue
38 Idylle pour Piano
39 L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 1
40 Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 10
41 L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 2
42 Sonate No. 1/Symphonie No. 1 pour Orgue (et Orchestre)
43 Fantaisie sur deux Mélodie Anglaises pour Orgue
44 Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 11
45 Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 12
46 L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 3
47 L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 4
48 Six petites pièces pour Piano réunies
49 L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 5
50 L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 6
Seconde Sonate pour Grand Orgue
51 Balthazar: Scène Lyrique
52 L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 7
53 Symphonie-Cantate Ariane
54 Cantate en l’honneur de Frédéric Sauvage
Frédéric Sauvage
Frédéric Sauvage was a French boat builder who carried out early tests of screw-type marine propellers.Sauvage was born at Boulogne-sur-Mer. In a public demonstration with a small boat on January 15, 1832 in Honfleur, he was able to show that a propeller is more efficient than the then standard...

 pour Choeur et Orchestre
55 L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 8
56 L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 9
Troisième Sonate pour Grand Orgue
57 L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 10
58 L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 11
59 L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 12
60 Noëls pour Harmonium ou Orgue (4 livraisons)
61 Quatrième Sonate pour Harmonium ou Grand Orgue
62 Couronnement de Notre-Dame de Boulogne-sur-Mer pour Choeur et Orchestre
63 Méditation sur le Stabat Mater
Stabat Mater
Stabat Mater is a 13th-century Roman Catholic hymn to Mary. It has been variously attributed to the Franciscan Jacopone da Todi and to Innocent III...

pour Orgue et Orchestre
64 Christus Vincit pour Choeur et Orgue
65 L'Organiste Liturgiste pour Orgue ou Harmonium (10 livraisons)
66 Ecce Panis pour Choeur et Orgue
67 Deux Romances sans Paroles pour Violoncello ou Violon et Piano
68 60 Interludes dans la tonalité Grégorienne pour Orgue ou Harmonium
69 Pièces dans differents styles pour orgue, livraison 13
70 Pièces dans differents styles pour orgue, livraison 14
71 Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 15
72 Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 16
73 Pie Jesu pour Baryton et Choeur
74 Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 17
75 Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 18
77 Sept pièces for organ
78 Berceuse (Elegie) pour Flûte et Piano
79 Berceuse pour Flûte ou Violon et Piano
80 Sonate No. 5 pour Grand Orgue
81 Allegro pour Orgue et Orchestre
82 Two pieces for organ
83 Final alla Schumann
Robert Schumann
Robert Schumann, sometimes known as Robert Alexander Schumann, was a German composer, aesthete and influential music critic. He is regarded as one of the greatest and most representative composers of the Romantic era....

 pour Orgue et Orchestre
84 Grand Choeur en forme de Marche pour Grand Orgue
85 Romance sans Paroles pour Flute et Piano
86 Sonate No. 6 pour Grand Orgue
87 Offertoire sur le commun des confesseurs non pontifes
88 Morceau Symphonique pour Trombone et Piano
89 Sonate No. 7 (Suite) pour Grand Orgue
90 18 Pièces Nouvelles pour Orgue (7 livraisons)
91 Sonate No. 8/Symphony No. 2 pour Grand Orgue/Orgue et Orchestre
92 Voluntary for the Organ
93 Chorals et Noëls pour Orgue
94 Trois Oraisons pour Orgue

External links

  • Felix Alexandre Guilmant Website dedicated to Guilmant with complete opus list
  • Alexandre Guilmant on culture.gouv.fr
  • Alexandre Guilmant on Naxos
    Naxos Records
    Naxos Records is a record label specializing in classical music. Through a number of imprints, Naxos also releases genres including Chinese music, jazz, world music, and early rock & roll. The company was founded in 1987 by Klaus Heymann, a German-born resident of Hong Kong.Naxos is the largest...

  • Alexandre Guilmant on bach-cantatas
  • YouTube Clive Driskill-Smith plays the Scherzo Symphonique on the Rieger organ of the Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.

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