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Alexandre Guilmant (1837-1911) marks an important turning point in the history of French organ music. Descended from a family of organists, he was largely self-taught until he went to Brussels in 1860 to study with Lemmens. From 1871-1901 he served as organist at the Trinity Church in Paris. In 1894 he was a principal figure in the establishment of the Schola Cantorum in Paris where he taught organ, and two years later he took over Widor's class at the Paris Conservatoire. Written shortly before 1870, the Morceau de concert is Guilmant's most extensive variation work for organ and amply demonstrates his melodic gift and compelling sense of musicality.

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