Alexandre Guilmant was one of the greatest representatives of the French Romantic organ school, and composed almost exclusively for his instrument. A rare exception is this “Morceau symphonique”, written in 1902 for the Paris Conservatoire’s annual trombone class competition. The charming piece soon found its way into the repertoire – as did Saint-Saëns’s “Cavatine” (HN 1119) – and is today among the essential standard works of trombone literature. The “Morceau symphonique” is here offered in its first-ever Urtext edition, based on the autograph and the first edition. We also offer here a particularly special treat – the sight-reading piece that Guilmant wrote for the same competition.
- Morceau symphonique and Morceau de lecture
The organist and composer Alexandre Guilmant (1837 – 1911) was one of the founders of the great French Romantic organ tradition, together with César Franck and Charles-Marie Widor. Guilmant enjoyed international renown as an organ virtuoso, and as a composer, educator and editor of organ music from the 16th to the 18th centuries he render ed invaluable service to the … more
About the composer
Composer, organist, and publisher, whose precise technique, improvisatory skill, and outstanding abilities in organ registration made him a celebrated concert organist and sought-after teacher throughout Europe. He left behind very extensive works and collections for the organ. Aside from those he wrote orchestral pieces, chamber music, and treatises on and about organ music.
|1837||Born in Boulogne-sur-mer on March 12, the youngest son of the organist and music director Jean-Baptiste Guilmant. From his father and his sister he early on receives a comprehensive musical education. Gustav Carulli instructs him in composition.|
|from 1853||Organist at Saint-Joseph.|
|1858||He becomes music director at Saint-Nicolas and teacher of solfège at Boulogne’s Ecole Communale de Musique.|
|from 1860||Studies with organist Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens in Brussels for several weeks. Composes larger-scale organ works. Concerts take him to important organs, including those of St. Sulpice (1862) and Notre-Dame (1868).|
|1871–1901||Organist at La Trinité in Paris.|
|from 1878||Organist at the Palais du Trocadéro (Cavaillé-Coll organ). Career as a concert organist. Active as editor of forgotten works for organ by earlier composers, among them Titelouze, Grigny, Clérambault, and Couperin. Openness to contemporary organ literature (Franck, Widor, Liszt, Wagner transcriptions). Tours through Europe and America.|
|1896–1911||Organ professorship at the Paris Conservatoire, where Marcel Dupré and Nadia Boulanger are among his pupils.|
|1894||With Vincent d’Indy and Charles Bordes he founds the Schola Cantorum.|
|1911||Dies in Meudon on March 29.|