Talk:Organ Symphony No.5, Op.42 No.1 (Widor, Charles-Marie)

Does anyone know if there have been orchestral versions made of the Widor Organ Symphonies? I want to make one for this symphony and I'd like some ones to study for their version of the orchestration. Also, could anyone explain the registrations shown on the top of the score included here? Thanks Justin Tokke 20:22, 19 June 2007 (EDT)

Hi Justin, I'm not sure that any arrangements for orchestra of the 5th symphony exist in print. You could check out Widor's Symphony for Organ and Orchestra Op.42bis, which he arranged from various movements of the second and sixth symphonies. As for the registration, I'll assume you aren't familiar with the organ at all. The three categories Récit, Positif, Grand Orgue and Pédale refer to four different divisions within a pipe organ. Each division has a set of ranks, and a rank is a set of pipes, of the same type and quality, and having one pipe for every key on the manual or pedal. Each rank in a division can be activated by means of a stop on the console. In general, each of the first three divisions is directly playable by one manual, and the pedal devision is playable on the pedal. The Récit division (called Swell in english) is enclosed in a box with slats that open or shut by means of a swell pedal in order to increase or decrease the volume. This and other divisions with this quality are called "expressive". Certain divisions can be coupled to other manuals so that more than one division can be played on one manual. The Récit can be coupled to all other divisions, the Positif (sometimes called Choir or Oberwerk) to everything but the Recit, the Grand Orgue (sometimes called Great or Hauptwerk) only to the Pedal, and the Pedal cannot be coupled to anything. In the score, the figures R, P, and G refer to what divisions should be playing at any given time. For example, at the beginning, the organist would play only on the Récit; at bar 17 he or she would switch to the Positif (which has been coupled with the Swell) so that both divisions are playing. To begin to explain the meanins of the french directions in the registration, I have to speak about the different types of pipes. There are two main types: Flues and Reeds. Flues have a mouth which cause the air to vibrate. By varying the length, diameter, and material of the pipe, different qualities of sound can be created. The first, called a Principal (represented by Fonds or Montres on the score) is a very clear, strong sound with more overtones. A flute (same word in French) is more mellow, softer, with less overtones. A string (French: Gambe or Viole, also some others) is sharper, but kind of breathy and weak. A voix celeste (as appears in the fourth movement),used only combination with a string pipe, is a rank which is tuned slightly sharp in order to create slow beats and a tremolo sound. Reed pipes operate by a vibrating tongue to create a very biting sound. Reeds in general are referred to as "Anches" in French. An oboe (or hautbois) sounds soft and is appropriate for lyrical or soft passages. Most other reeds are simply imitations of orchestral brass and wind instruments and sound appropriately loud. Lastly, it must be understood that the numbers after the stops refer to the octave which the pipe plays in. An 8' stop will be played at concert pitch. A 4' stop is an octave higer, a 2' stop is two octaves higher, etc., and a 16' stop is an octave lower, a 32' stop is two octaves lower, etc. There are also such things called mutations, which transpose at intervals different from an octave. A 2 2/3' transposes up one octave and a fifth. Mixtures are stops that add a number (usually 3-5) of ranks of high mutations and are used with principal pipes for a much brighter sound in loud passages. In the Widor score, not all registrations are specifically laid out; most organists know that fortissimo means Full organ with mixtures (but no loud reeds), and tutti always mean Full Organ with reeds. Artistic registration is very important to the performance of an organ work, and much of it is left to the performer and the instrument being performed upon. I hope this long explanation helps! Let me know if you have any other questions. Best, --Goldberg988 10:45, 20 June 2007 (EDT)
Thank you! This is just what I needed. Justin Tokke 20:54, 7 July 2007 (EDT)

Small typo on page 7 of "IV. Toccata" (IMSLP #12348)

Bar 54, right hand, 26th note: Can't be an f sharp. Probably a g sharp. Any idea on how to contact the person who typeset this piece?