Two Pieces for Viola and Piano, Op.5
Louis Vierne (1870-1937) was born in the French town of Poitiers. He studied piano and organ as a boy before entering the Paris Conservatory where he studied with Cesar Franck and Charles Marie Widor. From 1892, Vierne served as an assistant to the organist Charles-Marie Widor at the church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris and subsequently became principal organist at the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris, a post he held from 1900 until his death in 1937. Much of his music reflects the difficulties he encountered in life, including his near blindness, the loss of his son and brother in WWI and his divorce. He also pursued a career as a teacher. Vierne had an elegant, clean style of writing that respected form above all else. His harmonic language was romantically rich, but not as sentimental or theatrical. Most of his output was for the organ, however he did not ignore chamber music and wrote a string quartet, a piano quintet and several instrumental works.
His Two Pieces for Viola and Piano—Le Soir and Legende—–date from 1894.