Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 17

Thread: St. Sulpice, from an odd angle

  1. #1
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    5,340
    Post Thanks / Like

    St. Sulpice, from an odd angle

    I love this, great footage of a wonderful French masterpiece

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PVMj...eature=related

  2. #2
    Rear Admiral Appassionata greatcyber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Montreal, Quebec
    Posts
    1,553
    Post Thanks / Like
    That's on our list of places to see during our travels.

    Stephen

  3. #3
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Moscow, Russia
    Posts
    10,538
    Post Thanks / Like
    Hi CT64,

    Oh I just love that instrument - It would be neat to get a *digital* version of it with the acoustics of St. Sulpice sampled in.

    Cheers,

    CD
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  4. #4
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Madisonville,Ky.42431
    Posts
    4,411
    Post Thanks / Like
    I can see why there are so many pipes in that organ. It has two
    consoles to it. The main one and a smaller one.
    judy tooley

  5. #5
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    It sure as hell ain't MY "lucky" country :(
    Posts
    739
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blimey! That's a long way down if you trip - positively vertigo inducing. The memories of sitting at and playing that instrument will never fade - absolutely sublime.

    Judy - the two manual console belongs to a completely separate instrument that is down the front of the church. St Sulpice is blessed with TWO Cavaille-Coll organs - what more could anyone need?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corno Dolce
    It would be neat to get a *digital* version of it with the acoustics of St. Sulpice sampled in.
    If I could afford a digital sample of S-S, I'd just get a building to match (not that anything could really!)
    Last edited by Soubasse; Aug-01-2008 at 07:47.
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

  6. #6
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Moscow, Russia
    Posts
    10,538
    Post Thanks / Like
    Hi Ms. Judy,

    The smaller console belongs to the choir organ and is in no way connected to the Grand Organ. I know that since I have played there a few times and have attended concerts there many more times.

    Cheers,

    CD
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  7. #7
    Commodore con Forza
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    544
    Post Thanks / Like
    Actually, that might not be such an "odd" angle if you were up there tuning the pipes!! Just be careful to keep your balance.

    I've read more than once that, somewhere along the line, the 4th and 5th manuals on that organ were reversed. The Recit (swell) was originally the fifth manual, but it was something of a reach, especially with any pedal part to speak of. So they reversed the two manuals for a (somewhat) lesser reach.

    As long as we're on the subject, that rather odd-ball pedal for controlling the swell shutters (way over on the right side) must operate so it's either open or closed - no keeping it at some intermediate setting. Anyone know for sure?

  8. #8
    Commodore con Forza
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    521
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by dll927 View Post
    I've read more than once that, somewhere along the line, the 4th and 5th manuals on that organ were reversed. The Recit (swell) was originally the fifth manual, but it was something of a reach, especially with any pedal part to speak of. So they reversed the two manuals for a (somewhat) lesser reach.
    The permutation is somewhat more involved than that. When CC built the organ in 1862, the order of manuals was as follows:

    I Grand-Chœur — II Grand-Orgue — III Bombarde — IV Positif — V Récit.

    This simply reflected the order of the divisions inside the organ, from bottom to top: GCh and GO on the first level, Bb and Pos on the second, and Rec on the third (in the huge swell box you can see sticking out at the top of the case).

    Note that at Notre-Dame, which CC built six years later, the order of the manuals was exactly the same. As they say, “if it happens once, it's a bug; if it happens twice, it's a feature”, so one might view this manual order as somehow “standard” for CC five-deckers. Note also that in both instruments, one could only couple each manual to the Grand-Chœur, without intermediate couplers (say Rec/Pos), which is consistent with CC's earlier habits.

    Note also that in the 1860s, this order was not a problem — keep in mind that Widor hadn't written his symphonies yet!

    In 1903, the symphonic repertoire was much more prominent (Widor had written his 10, and Vierne just finished #2), so when Mutin restored St-Sulpice, Widor asked him to change the order as follows:

    I Grand-Chœur — II Grand-Orgue — III Positif — IV Récit — V Solo (ex-Bombarde).

    (At the same time, Widor also had the missing Rec/Pos coupler added.)

    In Notre-Dame, Vierne asked for similar changes, even moving all five manuals, leading to the following order in 1932:

    I Grand-Orgue — II Positif — III Récit — IV Solo (ex-Bombarde) — V Grand-Chœur.


    Quote Originally Posted by dll927 View Post
    As long as we're on the subject, that rather odd-ball pedal for controlling the swell shutters (way over on the right side) must operate so it's either open or closed - no keeping it at some intermediate setting. Anyone know for sure?
    Actually, there is one intermediate position. The three positions are labelled pp, p, and f. Note that these are exactly the dynamical markings Widor uses in his symphonies, plus ff and fff. This confirms that until f, they are meant to be realized with the swell box alone, with ff meaning Anches Positif, and fff meaning Anches Grand-Orgue (i.e., Tutti).

  9. #9
    Commodore con Forza
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    544
    Post Thanks / Like
    All interesting stuff. That organ will probably remain a favorite subject of discussion.

    My understanding is that the Grand choeur and Grand orgue are one division, with the first manual devoted mainly to the reeds and upperwork.

    As for couplers, we have to keep in mind that they didn't yet have electric consoles. No thumb pistons. So it wasn't as easy to include all the couplers we are used to nowadays. Since most of the coupling and ventil system were controlled by those little pedals above the pedalboard, there's only so much room for so many pedals.

    When you look at the specifications of Cavaille-Coll organs, you often see "octaves graves", which would mean a sub-octave coupler. But rarely do you see "octaves aigues", the super-octave coupler. Interesting. One reason might be that 4' and 2' stops have smaller pipes than 16s and take up less room. So do it that way instead of with couplers.

    I've watched numerous tapes and "YOU-tubes" of Roth playing that organ, and it seems that he spends 90 % of the time playing on that Grand-choeur manual. Meantime the other manuals are obediently following along. Ah, mechanical organs!! With more modern organs you often see mechanical key action but electrical stop controls with pistons and the whole regalia.

    Then there's the whole discussion about why we still have mechanical action to begin with.

  10. #10
    Commodore con Forza
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    782
    Post Thanks / Like
    funny thing is that i never entered st sulpice, but i walk along this church many times in a year! one can often hear the organ play on the right side, on a little place with benches. on the other side there's always a homeless on top of the little stairway.
    at this moment they seem to be repairing or cleaning the facade, as it's often the case with precious buildings like this one.

  11. #11
    Commodore con Forza
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    544
    Post Thanks / Like
    Now for a moment, let's go a bit east. I've often noticed that many German and Scandanavian organs have pistons only under the first manual. This would seem to mean no division pistons, only generals. And are they adjustable or pre-ordained?

    Even in this country, there were earlier piston-setting systems before the "capture" system came along. And they were far less convenient, although I'm not quite sure just how they operated - I'm not quite that old!!

    By now we've even passed that stage, and have electronic "levels" so pistons can be set for more than one combination. Nice, especially if more than one organist plays the instrument on a regular basis.

  12. #12
    Commodore con Forza
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    521
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by dll927 View Post
    My understanding is that the Grand choeur and Grand orgue are one division, with the first manual devoted mainly to the reeds and upperwork.
    From a logical registrational point of view, this is true. Note however that within the organ, the GCh and GO chests are as separate from each other than the Positif and Solo chests one level higher.

    Quote Originally Posted by dll927 View Post
    As for couplers, we have to keep in mind that they didn't yet have electric consoles. No thumb pistons. So it wasn't as easy to include all the couplers we are used to nowadays. Since most of the coupling and ventil system were controlled by those little pedals above the pedalboard, there's only so much room for so many pedals.
    It was perfectly possible to build complete couplers. In fact, CC did so in the Ilbaritz organ for Baron de l'Espée, whose four manuals had all six intermanual couplers from top to bottom (plus all four pedal couplers). I still believe that CC didn't build additional couplers until the 1860s just because he didn't see the need to do so until people like Guilmant and Widor asked for them. In addition, this allowed to save costs on many instruments, since the first manual was then the only one for which Barker machines were needed. St-Omer Cathedral, built in 1855, is probably the best known example of this situation. (If St-Sulpice still needed Barker machines for the other manuals despite having no couplers between them, it's only for reasons of sheer size.)

    Quote Originally Posted by dll927 View Post
    When you look at the specifications of Cavaille-Coll organs, you often see "octaves graves", which would mean a sub-octave coupler. But rarely do you see "octaves aigues", the super-octave coupler. Interesting. One reason might be that 4' and 2' stops have smaller pipes than 16s and take up less room. So do it that way instead of with couplers.
    Indeed — the only example of a CC superoctave coupler I'm aware of is at St-Ouen, Rouen, which has one on the Récit.

    Quote Originally Posted by dll927 View Post
    I've watched numerous tapes and "YOU-tubes" of Roth playing that organ, and it seems that he spends 90 % of the time playing on that Grand-choeur manual. Meantime the other manuals are obediently following along.
    One reason for this is that there is a spoon that allows you to disengage the first manual from its own Barker machine while the other manuals remain coupled to it. So when the score tells you to go from Grand-Orgue to Positif, operating that spoon turns out to be more convenient than lifting your hands from I to III, which would run the risk of rhythmical disruption in your play.

    Quote Originally Posted by dll927 View Post
    Ah, mechanical organs!! With more modern organs you often see mechanical key action but electrical stop controls with pistons and the whole regalia.

    Then there's the whole discussion about why we still have mechanical action to begin with.
    Well, that's in the “Don't get me started” category.

  13. #13
    Commodore con Forza
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    544
    Post Thanks / Like
    Sunwaiter's comment reminds me of what happened at First Congregational in L. A.

    Suddenly, about fifteen years ago, there appeared a black wrought-iron fence that completely surrounds the church. I can only surmise that it's a sign of the times, along with the area the church is in. They also operate a K-12 school that is connected to the church, so that might also have been part of the thinking.

    But the end result is that you just can't take the same pictures of the church that you could before. (Among other things I'm a photo hobbyist.) And the "plaza" at the west end is no longer accessible, due to the fence.

  14. #14
    Commodore con Forza
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    521
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by sunwaiter View Post
    funny thing is that i never entered st sulpice, but i walk along this church many times in a year! one can often hear the organ play on the right side, on a little place with benches. on the other side there's always a homeless on top of the little stairway.
    at this moment they seem to be repairing or cleaning the facade, as it's often the case with precious buildings like this one.
    If you enter through the rightmost porch of the western façade, there is a door immediately to your right leading up to the organ loft. Try to be there on a Sunday just before the 12 o'clock mass begins: someone will open the door from the inside and let people go up to the loft and watch the organist play. Most of the time, it will be Daniel Roth, except when his assistant Sophie-Véronique Choplin substitutes for him. Both of them are quite charming and friendly.

  15. #15
    Commodore con Forza
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    782
    Post Thanks / Like
    except for the names of the people, i knew that already but thank you. there

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Odd uses for manuscript paper
    By Erin in forum Classical Music Forum
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: May-15-2006, 06:49

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •