Charles Marie Widor

Charles Marie Jean Albert Widor (* 21. February 1844 in Lyon, † 12. March 1937 in Paris) was a French organist, composer and a music paedagogue.

One does not remember today particularly the Toccata from its organ info. ever No. 5, which oftenat the end of wedding ceremonies one plays.

Widors grandfather on the paternal side was an organ farmer zugewanderter from Hungary in the Elsass, with which Organisti entrance into the family found.

Widor studied Lyon music in its birth city with its father, who was likewise organist. It completed further studies in Brusselswith one the most renowned organists of its time, Jacques Nicolas Lemmens (1823-1881). Its composition teacher was François Joseph Fétis.

In January 1870 it became organist of the large Cavaillé Coll - organ (1862) that Paris parish church Saint Sulpice, an office, which it should exercise 64 years long. it solved 1890 César Franck off as an organ professor to Paris conservatoires, where he became later also a composition professor. Among his students well-known composers and organists ranked such as Louis Vierne, Arthur Honegger, Charles Tournemire, Darius Milhaud, Marcel Dupré and Albert Schweitzer. Widor applies thereforeas founders of the “French organ school”.

To its compositions numerous organ works, under it to ten Orgelsinfonien ( a musical kind, belong which it created), is probably the most well-known of which the fifth. In addition it wrote fairs and numerous works of other kinds (operas, ballet, vowel music, Chamber music and orchestra music). However its organ works are only played today still regularly. Widors Orgelsymphonien belong in Germany in the meantime to the firm concert repertoire and come on very large cathedral organs with the appropriate acoustics much to effect. The Toccata from the 5. Symphonie gives it on innumerable CD- Photographs and “e.g. draws”. as addition with organ concerts always. The harmonious material is perhaps rather trivial, with the means of the organ however upsetting is presented. Its 9. and 10. Orgelsinfonien base on Gregorian topics, with which these stylistic already refer Tournemire to its pupil.

Widoralso journalistically actively, first under the alias Auldétès was as music critics in the magazine “Estaffette”, starting from 1891 then as a publisher of the magazine Le Piano Soleil. An utterance Widors delivered by Albert Schweitzer shows Widors feeling for the instrument organ very beautifully: Organ plays is called onemanifest fulfilled will with the looking of the eternity.


  • Ben van Oosten: Charles Marie Widor, father of the organ Symphonie. Paderborn: Peter Ewers 1997; approx. 680 S., zahlr. Illustrations, photos and note examples, ISBN 3-928243-04-7

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