The organ has had an important place in classical music throughout its history. Antonio de Cabezón, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, and Girolamo Frescobaldi were three of the most important composers and teachers before 1650. Influenced by these composers, the North German school then rose to prominence with notable composers including Dieterich Buxtehude and especially Johann Sebastian Bach, considered by many to have achieved the height of organ composition. During this time, the French Classical school also flourished. After Bach, the organ's prominence gradually lost ground to the piano. Felix Mendelssohn, A.P.F. Boëly, and César Franck led a resurgence in the mid-19th century, leading a Romantic movement that would be carried further by Charles-Marie Widor, Louis Vierne, and others. In the 20th century, early-modernist Max Reger devoted a great deal of his compositional time to the organ; from small organ pieces to large-scale works such as the choral fantasias, Symphonic Fantasy and Fugue (Opus 57), Fantasy and Fugue on B.A.C.H (Opus 46) and the monumental, Introduction, Variations and Fugue on an Original Theme (Opus 73). Reger's contribution to the organ repertoire is second only to Bach.
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