The French composer Étienne-Victor-Paul Wachs (1851-1915) deserves more attention than he gets today. He was an organ student of Francois Benoist and Cesar Franck at the Paris Conservatoire, where he won the Premier Prix for organ in 1872. He later became organist at the church of Saint-Merry in Paris, succeeding his father, Frédéric. He wrote several organ pieces, including these two, that were published posthumously by Hamelle in 1917. and wrote organ pieces. He is remembered today (slightly) for a series of very well crafted piano salon pieces. His works capture as well as any the atmosphere of 'La Belle Époque'.
I know that it must seem that I've lost all "sense of seriousness" with some of this music, but I think you have to "approach it historically." Certainly that is the case with THIS piece.
It comes from a LONG-gone age, where Palm Sunday was the chance for Parisian ladies to "practice for Easter" by wearing their Palm Sunday finery... ;-)
Certainly this piece, written in 1903, and probably Wachs' most famous work, shows nothing of the terrors to come in Holy Week. Rather it shows the light-heared "festival aspects" of the day at hand, and completes the solemn liturgy of the High Mass on Palm Sunday morning.
Once again, this performance uses the "non-extended" version of the organ, and I got "more sound" by using all the Octave graves at the end. Alas, I fear it DOES need a 32' reed! ;-)
If you think of it, this piece sounds "just" like the Widor "Toccata" - minus all the notes... ;-)
I promise - NO MORE WACHS! :-)