Vierne Organ Works

24 Pieces en style libre, 24 Pieces de Fantasie, Complete Organ Symphonies, by Ben van Oosten ★★★★
Louis Vierne was an assistant to Charles-Marie Widor in Paris, and during the first third of the 20th century was a formidable organist at Saint Sulpice in Paris. He was legally blind, and had a fairly unfortunate life, being involved in an accident that injured his left leg, having an unfortunate marriage and social life, but otherwise commanding a great presence in the organ scene. His improvisations often became the subject of many of the compositions above. While he is distinctly different from Widor, there are many similarities in their compositional style, including a Debussy-style compositional trait of painting moods rather than distinctive tunes. The result is organ music that is very easy to listen to, yet compelling enough to never venture towards being boring. Vierne is unfortunately not well enough known, and his works are definite masterpieces worth belonging in a good classical collection. There are a grand total of 9 CD’s in this 3 set collection, and the performance by Ben van Oosten is most compelling.