Tjeerd van der Ploeg Charles Tournemire and L'Orgue Mystique
Het ORGEL 95 (1999), nr. 3, 10-20 [summary]

Charles Tournemire (1870-1939) is the most important innovator of late-romantic French organ music. In his magnum opus, L'Orgue Mystique (1927-1932), he paraphrased the Gregorian Chants for Sundays and ecclesiastical holidays. L'Orgue Mystique consists of three major parts devoted to Christmas, Easter and Whitsuntide. It contains music for other ecclesiastical feasts as well. Each section has the same structure: Prélude à l'Introït, Offertoire, Elévation, Communion, Pièce terminale. Characteristic are the scoring (each manual has its own staff), the precise playing instructions, the improvisational quality.

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Charles Tournemire (1870-1939)

Tournemire gravitated in L'Orgue Mystique towards older organ music, as did other organists of his time. The liturgical function of L'Orgue Mystique is comparable to the function of the classical Livre d'Orgue, although L'Orgue Mystique contains music for the proprium as well. The influence of the Northern German Stylus Phantasticus manifests itself in short pedal motives, trills etc. As a result of this increased interest in older music, the Cavaillé-Coll organ at Ste.-Clotilde at Paris, where Tournemire had succeeded César Franck, was altered. However, not all of Tournemire's registration instructions could be realised with the new specification.

See also

• Tournemire