Almost completely blind from birth, Louis Vierne was, if not quite an infant prodigy, extremely gifted.
His uncle, Charles Colin, introduced him to the church of St. Clotilde and the music of César Franck. In his own words, this was ‘un révelation profonde’.
At the age of 19 Vierne entered Franck’s organ class at the Paris Conservatoire but sadly Franck died suddenly a few months later. He continued his studies with Charles-Marie Widor and was appointed assistant at the Conservatoire and also at the church of Saint-Sulpice.
At the age of 30 he was appointed Organiste Titulaire at Notre-Dame and remained here until his death. His life was beset with tragedy, ranging from the death of his beloved César Franck, the adultery of his wife with his close friend Charles Mutin, the dedicatee of the 2nd Symphonie and his subsequent divorce, the death in 1911 of both his mother and his great colleague and friend Alexandre Guilmant, the death of his gifted brother René in 1918 at the front, the complete loss of his remaining sight in 1918, a four-year absence of leave from Notre-Dame during prolonged illness, and finally, the massive rift with his pupil Marcel Dupré who stood in for Vierne during his absence. In addition, his relations with the clergy and church authorities at Notre-Dame were anything but cordial and worsened with the passing years.
The dynamics of this excellent sampleset are so real, that I had to boost the file by 10 dB.
Front: 70. Rear: 100