In the game of ‘What If?’ it is interesting to speculate whether ‘The Widor’ would be so ubiquitous if Princess Alexandra had not chosen it as the recessional at her wedding in Westminster Abbey. Clearly the composer had a soft spot for it as he recorded it in 1932 (sadly rather late in his career when his technique was no longer really up to its demands). He had given the premiere of the complete Fifth Symphony some fifty-three years earlier, on 19 October 1879, on the organ of the Trocadéro in Paris, one of Cavaillé-Coll’s most celebrated non-liturgical instruments. It is a considerable test of stamina for even the finest virtuosos, combining swirling manual figurations and stabbing chords, all underpinned by a broad rolling theme in the pedals.
from notes by Stephen Westrop © 2001