Louis Vierne, French organist and composer, would have been 134 today.
Born nearly blind, Vierne studied music enthusiastically and became a masterful composer and improviser. He was appointed the titular organist at Notre Dame in 1900. His Organ Symphonies contain a powerful chromaticism that transcends the frailty of the performer revealing, at times, something otherworldly.
During his 1750th recital at Notre Dame, Vierne suffered a heart attack while seated at the organ. To this day, the bench on which he was seated is kept near the entrance to the organ loft nearly 100 feet above the nave. It bears a small plaque with his name.
Only Vierne would dare to die a death as dramatic as his music. What a guy. Here's to you Louis. Happy birthday.
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