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Cello Sonata in A major Op.80

Charles-Marie Widor (b. 1844 - d. 1937)

Adrian Brendel

Adrian Brendel

Composer
Charles-Marie Widor (b. 1844 - d. 1937)
Composition Year
1907
Work Movements
1. Allegro moderato
2. Andante con moto
3. Allegro vivace
Artists
José Gallardo [piano], Adrian Brendel [cello]

Programme Note Writer:
© Francis Humphrys

Charles-Marie Widor is best-known for his series of organ symphonies and his long service of 64 years as organist of St Suplice in Paris. On the death of Franck in 1890 he became Professor of organ at the Conservatoire. Through his teachers he could trace his organ lineage all the way back to Bach. Subsequently he became Professor of composition and his pupils included Vierne, Honneger, Nadia Boulanger, Varèse, and Milhaud. By all accounts he was a magnificent teacher with an encyclopaedic knowledge of all art-forms, not just his own. He inspired both loyalty and affection in his students; Varèse wrote that he was human, unpretentious and open-minded, and had a sense of humour. At the outbreak of the Great War, Widor was put in charge of supervising the removal of 766 of the Louvre’s finest treasures to a safe location in Toulouse as Paris expected a second German invasion.

Widor’s Cello Sonata is a big powerful work in three movements with a glorious succession of melodies and brimming with ideas. It opens with a rippling piano accompaniment that leads to the first of the cello’s many gorgeous themes. The second idea is announced in an almost aggressive manner but it is soon mollified and is worked into the rhapsodic nature of this movement. The Andante is a subtly worked set of variations. The Allegro vivace Finale is an intricate juggling of 5/4 and 4/4 time requiring increasing virtuosity from the two players. Towards the end the music slows almost to a halt before a whirlwind coda flies through the final bars.

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Cello Sonata in A major Op.80

Composer: Charles-Marie Widor (b. 1844 - d. 1937)
Performance date: Thursday 7th July 2016
Venue: St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland

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Composer Charles-Marie Widor (b. 1844 - d. 1937)
Work Title Cello Sonata in A major Op.80
Composition Year 1907
Work Movements 1. Allegro moderato
2. Andante con moto
3. Allegro vivace
Artist(s) José Gallardo [piano], Adrian Brendel [cello]
Performance Date Thursday 7th July 2016
Performance Venue St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland
Event Crespo Series
Duration 00:27:25
Recording Engineer Richard McCullough, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category Duo
Instrumentation vc, pf
Programme Note Writer © Francis Humphrys

Charles-Marie Widor is best-known for his series of organ symphonies and his long service of 64 years as organist of St Suplice in Paris. On the death of Franck in 1890 he became Professor of organ at the Conservatoire. Through his teachers he could trace his organ lineage all the way back to Bach. Subsequently he became Professor of composition and his pupils included Vierne, Honneger, Nadia Boulanger, Varèse, and Milhaud. By all accounts he was a magnificent teacher with an encyclopaedic knowledge of all art-forms, not just his own. He inspired both loyalty and affection in his students; Varèse wrote that he was human, unpretentious and open-minded, and had a sense of humour. At the outbreak of the Great War, Widor was put in charge of supervising the removal of 766 of the Louvre’s finest treasures to a safe location in Toulouse as Paris expected a second German invasion.

Widor’s Cello Sonata is a big powerful work in three movements with a glorious succession of melodies and brimming with ideas. It opens with a rippling piano accompaniment that leads to the first of the cello’s many gorgeous themes. The second idea is announced in an almost aggressive manner but it is soon mollified and is worked into the rhapsodic nature of this movement. The Andante is a subtly worked set of variations. The Allegro vivace Finale is an intricate juggling of 5/4 and 4/4 time requiring increasing virtuosity from the two players. Towards the end the music slows almost to a halt before a whirlwind coda flies through the final bars.