Widely regarded as the culmination of French romanticism on the organ, Charles Marie Widor's symphonies include some of the most well-known works in the modern organ repertoire, among them the famous Toccata from the Symphony No. 5. Originally written for the magnificent organ of St. Sulpice in Paris, Widor called these works symphonies to underline the array of orchestral timbres offered by the new French organs at the time.
This recording showcases the superb John Grew, a leading figure among Canadian organists, performing on the 1914 Casavant organ in Montréal’s l’Église Très-Saint-Nom-de-Jésus. Grew is University Organist at McGill University, where he is also chair of the Organ and Church Music area of the Schulich School of Music. With 90 stops over four manuals and an electro-pneumatic action, the Casavant organ is divided into two parts in the French cathedral style. At the time of its installation in 1915, it was the largest organ in Montréal, and still enjoys a world-wide reputation for its fine balance and finish, perfected by the Saint-Hyacinth-based organ builders Casavant Frères.