Vierne: Improvisations (1928) / Transcriptions (1894, 1901, 1932)

Complete Organ Works - Volume 10

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Louis Vierne (1870–1937) brought symphonic French organ music to its stylistic climax.

Besides being a productive composer, he also gained a reputation as a brilliant improviser at his place of employment, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and throughout the world.

In 1928 Vierne, one of the best-known organists of his day, made one of the earliest organ recordings, playing Bach works and his own improvisations in Notre Dame.

Three improvisations released in 1929–30 were transferred to musical notation in 1954 by his pupil Maurice Duruflé. Another previously unpublished improvisation which was recently rediscovered among Vierne's posthumous papers was reconstructed and published in musical notation in 2005 by Duruflé's pupil Jean-Michel Louchart (b. 1946). These four improvisations join Vierne's transcriptions of works by Johann Sebastian Bach, César Franck and Serge Rachmaninoff in this volume, bringing this complete edition of his organ works to a close.


  • Vierne: Marche épiscopale (reconstructed by Maurice Duruflé) (1954)
  • Vierne: Méditation (reconstructed by Maurice Duruflé) (1954)
  • Vierne: Cortège (reconstructed by Maurice Duruflé) (1954)
  • Vierne: Improvisation (reconstructed by Jean-Michel Louchart) (2005)
  • Bach: Sicilienne (transc. for organ), BWV 1031
  • Franck: [Cinq] Pièces (transc. for organ) (1901)
  • Rachmaninoff: Prélude in C-sharp Minor, Op. 3, No. 2