Paul Etienne Victor Wachs

Paul Etienne Victor WachsPaul Etienne Victor Wachs was born at Paris, September 19, 1851.

He studied at the Paris Conservatory where he was a pupil of Cesar Franck, Duprato, and Victor Masse.

He showed particular talent as an organist, and in 1877 secured the first prize for organ playing.

After his student days were over he became “organist accompagnateur” at the famous church of St. Sulpice, and then organist of the Church of St. Mery – a post held formerly by Saint-Saens, Chauvet and Tissot.

He became an Officer of the French Academy in 1900, and was appointed an Officer of Public Instruction in 1908.

He has composed works for the orchestra, organ, piano and violin, and earned an international reputation.

Wachs has also published works on harmony, counterpoint, plain-song, and improvisation.

Nevertheless, he is best known by his many excellent salon pieces for piano. These include:

  • Necklace of Gems
  • Rosy Fingers
  • The Song of the Bathers
  • Shower of Stars

His best known organ pieces, are perhaps, Pastorale, and Hosanna.

Wachs has melodic gifts of a very high order, and his works all have clever harmonic background. These works also have the merit of being extremely “playable”, and it is evident that the composer possesses a unique knowledge of the piano keyboard and its possibilities.

He died July 6, 1915.