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Long-forgotten Widor work brought back to life


Harold Fabrikant and Daniel Mitterdorfer, enthusiastic to reinstate unfairly forgotten music, have recently uncovered what they believe to be the earliest extant composition by Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937), written in 1865 during a visit to Portugal. The Ouverture Portugaise, for organ, wind ensemble and orchestra, was premiered at the International Exposition in Porto, where the young Widor was engaged each day to demonstrate the J. W. Walker organ. According to his memoirs, Widor destroyed his copy of the work some years after composing it, believing it to be so immature it was unworthy of publication. However another copy of the full score exists in the collection of the Portuguese royal family by virtue of its dedicatee, King Luiz I, in the Biblioteca da Ajuda, Portugal.  "We are delighted to have found a lively composition, well worth hearing again", said Harold Fabrikant. It is believed the work has not been performed since its premiere 151 years ago.

Crescendo Music Publications have released a new performing edition of the work. The editors have worked to resolve several infelicities and ambiguities in the original manuscript. A full list of all changes and corrections is provided in the preface. A study score is now available, along with instrumental parts and a large-format score and there are plans for a recording in April 2017. Please see for pricing information.

PDF sample pages from the new edition. Click here. Acknowledgement: Crescendo Music Publications.
PDF of Portuguese source. Click here. Acknowledgement: Biblioteca da Ajuda.

Any further enquiries can be directed to Daniel Mitterdorfer (Crescendo Music Publications) at or telephone +61414 648 837.