Alexandre Guilmant

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Alexandre Guilmant
Alexandre Guilmant 001.jpg
Guilmant, 1896
Born(1837-03-12)12 March 1837
Boulogne-sur-Mer, France
Died29 March 1911(1911-03-29) (aged 74)
  • Composer
  • Organist

Félix-Alexandre Guilmant (French: [gilmɑ̃] ; 12 March 1837 29 March 1911) was a French organist and composer. He was the organist of La Trinité from 1871 until 1901. A noted pedagogue, performer, and improviser, Guilmant helped found the Schola Cantorum de Paris. He was appointed as Professor of Organ in the Conservatoire de Paris in 1896. [1]



Guilmant was born in Boulogne-sur-Mer. A student first of his father Jean-Baptiste and later of the Belgian master Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens, he became an organist and teacher in his place of birth.

In 1871 he was appointed to play the organ regularly at la Trinité church in Paris, and this position, organiste titulaire, was one he held for 30 years. [2] Guilmant was known for his improvisations, both in the concert and church setting. His inspiration came from gregorian chants, and he was greatly noted amongst his colleagues for his mastery of the melodies. [1] From then on, Guilmant followed a career as a virtuoso; he gave concerts in the United States (the first major French organist to tour that country), and in Canada, as well as in Europe, making especially frequent visits to England. His American achievements included a 1904 series of no fewer than 40 recitals on the largest organ in the world, the St. Louis Exposition Organ, now preserved as the nucleus of Philadelphia's Wanamaker Organ.

With his younger colleague André Pirro, Guilmant published a collection of scores, Archives des Maîtres de l'Orgue (Archives of the Masters of the Organ), a compilation of the compositions of numerous pre-1750 French composers. The collection was printed in ten volumes, the first in 1898 and the last (which Guilmant did not live to finalize) in 1914. Guilmant provided a rather similar survey of organ pieces by foreign composers, publishing l'École classique de l'Orgue (Classical School of the Organ). These anthologies, despite all the musicological developments which have taken place since Guilmant's own time, remain very valuable sources of early music.

In 1894 Guilmant founded the Schola Cantorum with Charles Bordes and Vincent d'Indy. He taught there up until his death at his home in Meudon, near Paris, in 1911. In addition, he taught at the Conservatoire de Paris where he succeeded Charles-Marie Widor as organ teacher in 1896. [2] As a teacher, Guilmant was noted for his kindness and attention to detail. His students' recollections feature accounts of a particular focus on all facets of a note: attack, release, character. [3] Marcel Dupré was the most celebrated of his many students. Others included Augustin Barié, Joseph-Arthur Bernier, Joseph Bonnet, Alexandre Eugène Cellier, Abel Decaux, Gabriel Dupont, Charles Henry Galloway, Philip Hale, Edgar Henrichsen, Édouard Mignan, and Émile Poillot. See: List of music students by teacher: G to J#Alexandre Guilmant .

Guilmant's interest in Marcel Dupré began when the latter was a child. Albert Dupré, father of the celebrated Marcel, studied organ with Guilmant for seven years prior to his son's birth. In Dupré's memoirs, he includes an anecdote where Guilmant visits his mother upon his birth and declares that the child will grow up to be an organist. After frequent visits throughout his childhood, Marcel Dupré began studying with Guilmant formally at age 11. From this time until his death, Guilmant championed the young virtuoso and did much to advance his career. [4] Guilmant's house was later purchased then demolished by Dupré and rebuilt. His home organ was also sold to Dupré.


Clarence Eddy and Alexandre Guilmant, 1898 GuilmantEddy.jpg
Clarence Eddy and Alexandre Guilmant, 1898

Opus list

1Ave Verum pour Choeur et Orgue
2O Salutaris Hostia pour Choeur et Orgue
3Faux-Bourdons - Chant de la Commission de Reims et Cambras
4Messe en Fa majeur pour Choeur et Orgue
6Première Messe à 4 Voix, Choeur et Orgue
7Te Deum pour Choeur et Orgue
8Quam Dilecta (Psaume 83) pour Choeur et Orgue
9Messe Brève pour Choeur et Orgue
11Troisième Messe Solennelle pour Choeur et Orgue
12Cinq Litanies en l’honneur de la bienheureuse Vierge Marie à une, deux, trois ou quatre voix
(13)Échos du mois de Marie - Cantiques à une ou deux voix égales avec accompagnement d'orgue ou d'harmonium
1412 Motets pour Choeur et Orgue
15Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 1
16Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 2
17Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 3
18Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 4
19Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 5
20Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 6
21Kyrie Eleison pour Choeur et Orgue/Orchestre
22Prière pour Violoncello et Piano
23Deux Morceaux pour Harmonium
24Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 7
25Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 8
26Pastorale pour Harmonium et Piano duo
27Prière et Berceuse pour Harmonium
28Canzonetta pour Harmonium
29Fughetta de Concert pour Harmonium
30Aspiration Religieuse pour Harmonium
31Scherzo pour Harmonium
32Deux Pièces pour Harmonium
33Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 9
34Marche Triomphale pour Harmonium et Piano duo
35Mazurka de Salon pour Harmonium
36Scherzo Capriccioso pour Harmonium et Piano duo
37O Salutaris pour Basse ou Baryton et Orgue
38Idylle pour Piano
39L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 1
40Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 10
41L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 2
42Sonate No. 1/Symphonie No. 1 pour Orgue (et Orchestre)
43Fantaisie sur deux Mélodie Anglaises pour Orgue
44Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 11
45Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 12
46L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 3
47L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 4
48Six petites pièces pour Piano réunies
49L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 5
50L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 6
(Seconde Sonate pour Grand Orgue)
51Balthazar: Scène Lyrique
52L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 7
53Symphonie-Cantate Ariane
54Cantate en l’honneur de Frédéric Sauvage pour Choeur et Orchestre
55L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 8
56L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 9
(Troisième Sonate pour Grand Orgue)
57L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 10
58L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 11
59L'Organiste Pratique pour Harmonium, livraison 12
60Noëls pour Harmonium ou Orgue (4 livraisons)
61Quatrième Sonate pour Harmonium ou Grand Orgue
62Couronnement de Notre-Dame de Boulogne-sur-Mer pour Choeur et Orchestre
63Méditation sur le Stabat Mater pour Orgue et Orchestre
64Christus Vincit pour Choeur et Orgue
65L'Organiste Liturgiste pour Orgue ou Harmonium (10 livraisons)
66Ecce Panis pour Choeur et Orgue
67Deux Romances sans Paroles pour Violoncello ou Violon et Piano
6860 Interludes dans la tonalité Grégorienne pour Orgue ou Harmonium
69Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 13
70Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 14
71Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 15
72Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 16
73Pie Jesu pour Baryton et Choeur
74Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 17
75Pièces dans différents styles pour orgue, livraison 18
77Sept pièces for organ
78Berceuse (Elegie) pour Flûte et Piano
79Berceuse pour Flûte ou Violon et Piano
80Sonate No. 5 pour Grand Orgue
81Allegro pour Orgue et Orchestre
82Two pieces for organ
83Final alla Schumann pour Orgue et Orchestre
84Grand Choeur en forme de Marche pour Grand Orgue
85Romance sans Paroles pour Flute et Piano
86Sonate No. 6 pour Grand Orgue
87Offertoire sur le commun des confesseurs non pontifes
88Morceau Symphonique pour Trombone et Piano
89Sonate No. 7 (Suite) pour Grand Orgue, dédié à Monsieur Charles Galloway
9018 Pièces Nouvelles pour Orgue (7 livraisons)
91Sonate No. 8/Symphonie No. 2 pour Grand Orgue/Orgue et Orchestre
92Voluntary for the Organ
93Chorals et Noëls pour Orgue
94Trois Oraisons pour Orgue

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  1. 1 2 Archbold and Peterson, ed. (1995). French Organ Music: From the Revolution to Franck and Widor. University of Rochester Press.
  2. 1 2 Ochse, Orpha Caroline (1994), Organists and Organ Playing in Nineteenth-Century France and Belgium, Indiana University Press, pp. 195–96, ISBN   0-253-21423-8
  3. Murray, Michael (1985). Marcel Dupré: The Work of a Master Organist. Boston: Northeastern University Press.
  4. Dupré, Marcel (1975). Recollections. Translated by Kneeream, Ralph. Belwin-Mills Publishing Corporation.
  5. "New Listings - October to November 2007". Trotterbooks. Archived from the original on 2012-02-22. Retrieved 2017-01-17.
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