Eugène Gigout (23 March 1844 – 9 December 1925) was born in Nancy, and died in Paris. A pupil of Camille Saint-Saëns, he served as the organist of the French capital's Saint-Augustin Church for 62 years. He became widely known as a teacher and his output as a composer was considerable. Renowned as an expert improviser, he also founded his own music school. His nephew by marriage was Léon Boëllmann, another distinguished French composer and organist.
The 10 pièces pour orgue (composed 1890) include the Toccata in B minor, Gigout's best-known creation, which turns up as a frequent encore at organ recitals. Also fairly often played, and to be found in the same collection, is a Scherzo in E major. Other notable pieces by Gigout are Grand chœur dialogué, which dates from 1881, and Marche religieuse. Gigout's works are now available on several commercial recordings.
His pupils included the aforementioned Boëllmann, André Fleury, Henri Gagnon, André Marchal, André Messager, and Albert Roussel.
This "Asboute" is quite different from the one by Salomé, which I uploaded a few days ago. Once again, it is both prayer and cortege, but this time, the style is grander and more "heroic" than the more intimate work by Salomé.
Like almost all 19th century "funeral pieces," this one has a touch of the "Dies irae scenario" (NOT the chant melody though) mixed in.
The work is framed by a slow march, with insistent dotted rhythms, with the feeling of sorrow being heightened by the always descending figures, that unfold like sad flowers spending their own dying blossoms on the honored dead.
Gigout gives us two "interludes," the melodies and harmonies of both are exquisite and on par (in my opinion) with ANY of the French masters.
Gigout spent 62 years of his life at the Church of St. Augustin in Paris, and several photos (old & current) of it are included, as well as photos of Gigout, the MIDI file, and the score of the piece itself.