Read how Vierne fulfilled a life-long dream and died on the E-flat.
Just listen to the first few seconds to get a feel for the anger and frustration that he poured out in some of his works. For more of the same, troll ahead to 4:45. This is a great example of a piece that was written for a particular instrument (this Cavaille-Coll organ) and falls flat on anything less.
It was quite a day when I went into Notre Dame cathedral eleven years ago. First, I looked up at the massive rose window, a moment that caused me to gasp. One of those Grand Canyon moments. Unforgettable. Then, the organ sounded. I could have died happy right then.
While you have the volume up, try out this recent spine-tingling version of the Welsh national anthem sung at a rugby match--a much better recording than I have posted previously.