Wayne Fisher, Organist

Music of Wayne Fisher on SoundCloud

Jean Guillou: Sagas, Op. 20, Nos. 4 and 6

 Guillou Sagas on Soundcloud

twaltonbaker ยท Wayne Fisher plays Jean Guillou: Sagas, Op. 20, Nos. 4 and 6

The 6 Sagas originated as a set of improvisations inspired by the flight of Apollo 8, which happened around Christmas 1968. There was no moon landing, but the astronauts took the famous photo showing the distant earth appearing to rise over the nearby surface of the moon. Guillou's improvisations were recorded and produced as Visions cosmiques.

Each improvisation had a characteristic title. Saga No. 4 had been entitled "Leonardo," and Saga No. 6 "Icarus". Those titles were dropped, however, when the improvisations were published as 6 Sagas.

Jean Guillou (1930-2019) was renowned as a composer, organist, pianist, pedagogue, improviser, and consultant in organ design. He was for many years the Titulaire of Saint Eustache in Paris.

These are two of the numbers on a recital that Wayne Fisher played at St. Thomas Church in New York City on June 8, 1975. The organ is Aeolian-Skinner Op. 205-A, also identified in the Pipe Organ Database (Organ Historical Society) as Gilbert F. Adams (1969), its sound made famous by Marcel Dupré in his recordings of Widor and Franck and his own music.

Please note: the tape is missing the first bit of No. 6, and there is a short cipher towards the end, which WF manages to bat away.

Wayne Fisher (1910-1985) taught organ for many years at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati, and served as chairman of the organ department.