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Symphony No 2 in E minor, Op 20

composer
1902

 
The Deuxième Symphonie in E minor, Op 20 (1902) is cyclic and draws virtually exclusively on the germinal ideas announced in the first movement. The initial theme [A] is rhythmic (marked marcato), the second [B] more hymn-like and lyrical. The opening Allegro (in sonata form) is dark and turbulent and the following Choral seems a further 'homage à Franck'. As in the Chorals of Franck, Vierne's theme is original, but it is constructed from the two main themes of the first movement heard in reverse order. The dramatic ascent to the chorale theme's ecstatic re-appearance towards the close is grandiloquent and majestic.

The dance-like scherzo (where, in its contrasted second episodes, [A] is heard on an 8' pedal beneath limpid phrases high up in the compass) looks forward to many of the Pièces de Fantaisie in its quicksilver textures and the Cantabile converts themes [A] and [B] both tonally and rhythmically. After a 'maestoso' lntroduction, the Finale begins where the opening Allegro left off. Hardly the well-known crowd-pleaser of the First Symphony, the main theme [A] reappears only altered slightly and the brooding disquiet of the opening Allegro is maintained. The ending, which ultimalely establishes the tonic major key, is triumphant but not transfigured. Debussy heard the Symphony at its premiere (played by its dedicatee Charles Mulin) and commented that 'The Symphonie of M. Vierne is a remarkable work; it contains abundant musicianship with ingenious discoveries in the special sonority of the organ. Old J. S. Bach, the father of us all, would have been pleased with M. Vierne'.

from notes by Jeremy Filsell © 2005

Recordings

Vierne: Symphonies pour orgue
Studio Master: SIGCD063Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Vierne: Symphony No 2 & Les Angélus
CDH55044Last few CD copies remaining

Details

Movement 1: Allegro
Track 1 on CDH55044 [7'18] Last few CD copies remaining
Track 7 on SIGCD063 CD1 [8'09] Download only
Movement 2: Choral
Track 2 on CDH55044 [8'33] Last few CD copies remaining
Track 8 on SIGCD063 CD1 [7'25] Download only
Movement 3: Scherzo
Track 3 on CDH55044 [3'59] Last few CD copies remaining
Track 9 on SIGCD063 CD1 [4'22] Download only
Movement 4: Cantabile
Track 4 on CDH55044 [8'10] Last few CD copies remaining
Track 10 on SIGCD063 CD1 [8'22] Download only
Movement 5: Final
Track 5 on CDH55044 [7'49] Last few CD copies remaining
Track 11 on SIGCD063 CD1 [9'01] Download only

Track-specific metadata for CDA66284 track 5

Final
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-89-28405
Duration
7'49
Recording date
18 September 1987
Recording venue
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Vierne: Symphony No 2 & Les Angélus (CDA66284)
    Disc 1 Track 5
    Release date: July 1989
    Deletion date: July 2000
    Superseded by CDH55044
  2. Vierne: Symphony No 2 & Les Angélus (CDH55044)
    Disc 1 Track 5
    Release date: July 2000
    Last few CD copies remaining
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