"Toccata in B Minor"
A pupil of Camille Saint-Saens, he served as the organist of Saint-Augustin Church in Paris 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, Leon Boellmann, became another fine organist and composer for the organ, whose death at the very young age of 35 was a severe loss to French music.) The 10 pieces pour orgue (composed 1890) are Gigout's most celebrated compositions. They include the Toccata in B minor, his 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 Choeur Dialogue and Marche Religieuse.
The Eglise Saint-Augustin de Paris (Church of St. Augustine) is a church in the VIIIe arrondissement of Paris, France. Here Charles de Foucauld was converted by its priest, father Huvelin. During the Second Empire, this area was undergoing considerable building work and demographic movement. The Prefect of Paris, Baron Haussmann was responsible for much of the design of the layout of Paris's rectilinear avenues, which called for prestigious edifices.
Saint-Augustin was built between 1860-1871 by Victor Baltard (architect of Les Halles) in an eclectic and vaguely Byzantine style. It is almost 100 meters in length, with a dome height of 60 meters, and was one of the first sizable buildings in Paris constructed about a metal frame.
Saint-Augustin's facade features the four evangelists above arcades, and above them the twelve apostles and rosette window. Its stained glass windows depict bishops and martyrs of the first centuries, and cast-iron columns within feature polychrome angels. The church's organ was built by Charles Spackman Barker. One of the earliest organs to employ electricity, it features 54 stops, with 3 keyboards and pedals. A statue of Joan of Arc, by Paul Dubois, was erected before the church in 1896.
recorded via sequenced MIDI file via computer on the Reuter opus #822 pipe organ, November 3, 2009
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