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Toccata from Symphony for Organ No. 5

Toccata from Symphony for Organ No. 5

Widor, Charles-Marie

Arr. Bishop, Andrew


  • Ensemble: Brass Ensemble and Organ
  • Genre: Classical
  • Grade: 5
  • Duration: 5.5 minutes
  • Catalog Number: AOS915

Charles-Marie Widor was appointed the "Provisional" Organist at the Church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris, France in 1870 at the age of 25, and incredibly, he held the same title there for nearly 64 years until his retirement December 31,1933. Widor was an active recitalist, teacher and composer, and his ten Organ Symphonies remain as his most well-known compositions. Among those, his Organ Symphony No. 5, Op. 42 No. 1 is by far his most popular and regularly performed. The fifth movement "Toccata" of Symphony No. 5 has become one of the most iconic organ works of all time, and thus is commonly referred to simply as "Widor's Toccata."

This transcription for organ and brass explores the premise that the addition of brass is not simply to play second fiddle to the organ, providing extra volume and pomp. Rather, it treats both entities as equals, including alternating sections of the piece between organ and brass, as well as allowing almost all the brass players the chance to display the Toccata's 16th-note flourishes with great virtuosity. The indicated q = 118 tempo should be considered the top-end governor, with recommended tempi ranging from 108-118.

Instrumentation (423.01)
  • Organ
  • 4 Trumpets in C
  • 2 Horns in F
  • 2 Trombone
  • Bass Trombone
  • Tuba

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