This rare recording of Bach's great Fantasia in g minor BWV 542/1 for Organ was made in 1929 by Louis Vierne [See menu bar, Photos 2] seated at the historic 1868 console of the world famous Cavaille-Coll Grand Organ of the Cathedral de Notre-Dame, Paris, France.

At the time this recording was made the instrument, for many reasons, was in abominable shape -- some of it wasn't working at all, a good bit of the pipework was hideously out of tune, some of the Barker-assisted tracker action had stiffened due to the console shifting over the years, and the drawstop action had become noisy.  Sound recording technology of the time also was primitive compared with today.  Nevertheless this recording captures a glimpse of the glorious sound that Vierne knew from this organ and for which he wrote his greatest Organ music -- a sound which subsequent renovations and enlargements of the instrument over time and with the best of intentions have failed to preserve.

One notes in this recording, among other things, the incredible clarity in such wet acoustics brought about by Vierne's employment of imperceivably broken touch for the rapidly moving lines in this music.  

The webmaster of this web site can trace his lineage tutorially back to Louis Vierne and dedicated his Prelude Internationale Op. 5 from Ten Pieces for Organ Op. 1-9, composed in 2015, to the memory of this great French master.

The score is free for printing on this web site.


We sincerely thank the producers for posting this historic sound track and slide show for public viewing.