Skip to page content

Although written as a finale, the Toccata by Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937) from his Symphony No. 5 in F minor, Op. 42, No. 1, stands alone as a popular piece suitable for a variety of occasions. Its perpetual 16th-note motion in the right hand, crisp repeated chords in the left hand, and octave-leaping melody in the pedals follow faithfully the distinctive elements of the French organ toccata, in an exhilarating and iconic way.

– Gregg Wager is a composer and critic. He is author of Symbolism as a Compositional Method in the Works of Karlheinz Stockhausen. He has a PhD in musicology from the Free University Berlin and a JD from McGeorge School of Law.