Francophiles take note…   2 comments

November 16, 12:45 pm (just after the noon mass)

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown LA.

It’s exciting to be playing at OLA again! This time the program will be one large piece, César Franck’s Grande Pièce Symphonique.

Patterned after Beethoven’s beloved Ninth Symphony, it’s the first French romantic symphony for the organ. After it appeared in 1863, it became the prototype for the later organ symphonies of Louis Vierne, Charles-Marie Widor, and others (the famous Toccata by Widor is the last movement of his Fifth Symphony).

One of my organ teachers said it is “the first – and the best” organ symphony. When I mentioned to a colleague I was playing it, he said “Really? I don’t think I’ve heard that piece for 50 years!”

I also have a deep personal and emotional interest in this piece, as it was on one of the first organ recordings I heard (bought for me when I was 10 or 11), and was probably one of the factors that caused me to fall in love with the organ.

So this piece is dear to my heart!

And I’ll be playing it on one of the best organs in the world, in exactly the resonant acoustic Franck had in mind.

I’ll make sure it’s a splendid experience! Do come!

You can read more about the Cathedral (including directions and parking) and its organ at

Posted October 26, 2011 by Ray Urwin in Uncategorized

2 responses to “Francophiles take note…

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  1. One of my first organ recordings was the old Dupre recording of it at St Sulpice. The trackers were almost louder than the Fonds. Great piece.

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