He was the Organist Titulaire Basilica Ste-Clotilde, Paris 1898-1939. His roles also included professor of Chamber Music, Paris Conservatory, and teacher of organ improvisation. Tournemire recorded five improvisations in 1930. These were later transcribed by Maurice Duruflé, who patiently listened to the phonograph recordings over and over, so as to notate them.
L'Orgue Mystique, created between 1927 and 1932, covers the cycle of the Catholic Liturgical Year. These pieces, fifty-one sets of five movements each, are based on the Gregorian chants for the day. Though composed works, they sound almost like improvisations when played. His music is an interesting contrast to his colleague, peer, and friend Louis Vierne, also a gifted improviser, whose improvisations actually sound more like composed works. Tournemire died in 1939, though the exact cause of his death is somewhat murky.
Some sources say he drowned during a vacation accident, others say he succumbed to a sudden illness and was found dead in a street at Arcachon. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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|L'Orgue mystique, Op. 55-57: 5 Improvisations: No. 3. Improvisation sur le Te Deum|
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