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Thread: Cavaille-Coll organs

  1. #1
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    Cavaille-Coll organs

    Other than St. Sulpice, St. Ouen, and St. Sernin, are there any C-C organs left still in pretty much original condition? So many have been replaced, electrified, or otherwise abominated.

    It does seem to me that Europeans do not follow the American habit of thinking that an organ "has" to be updated every thirty years or so.

    What influence do "ministries of culture" play in Europe? We don't have such a thing here, and I've sometimes wondered if that is the reason that in some European countries organs are still pretty much the way they were originally built, even centuries ago. Of course, another reason could be that you don't need to play with genuine craftsmanship.

  2. #2
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Aloha dll927,

    The *Orgelbewegung* movement in Europe adulterated and bastardised many a beautiful Cavaille-Coll Organ. The Cavaille-Coll organs in St. Etienne in Caen, St. Francois de Sales in Lyon, Notre-Dame d'Auteuil, and in Orleans Cathedral are the first to come to mind. There are others, most of which are *choir organs*.

    Cheerio,

    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

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corno Dolce View Post
    The *Orgelbewegung* movement in Europe adulterated and bastardised many a beautiful Cavaille-Coll Organ. The Cavaille-Coll organs in St. Etienne in Caen, St. Francois de Sales in Lyon, Notre-Dame d'Auteuil, and in Orleans Cathedral are the first to come to mind.
    Indeed, Caen and Lyon are intact. Auteuil was modified in the 1930s by Gloton-Debierre (the addition of stops kept the CC stops intact, but the transmission was electrified). Orléans was butchered by Haerpfer in 1980, but now beautifully restored by Hurvy.

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    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    Anyone know what happened to the Cavaille-Coll's of Albert de L'Espee? He was damn near a collector of a number of superb (by most accounts) specimens. I know one of them ended up in Sacre-Coeur, but whatever happened to the others (there were 4 or 5 weren't there?). How can one man have that much!! It's obscene!!
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

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    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Aloha Soubasse,

    Good to see you on the forum again. According to Dr. Jesse Eschbach's Vol. 1 on Aristide Cavaille-Coll the Baron's Paris House organ was moved to the Church of St. Antoine des Quinze-Vingts in 1909.

    Here's the spec list:

    http://www.uquebec.ca/musique/orgues...ntoineqvp.html

    Cheerio,

    CD

    ps: Methinks the Baron only had two pipe organs
    *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

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    There was at least a third, though built by Mutin, Cavaillé-Coll's successor. You might find this unbelievable, but the Baron actually grew tired of his Cavaillé-Coll organ of the Ilbaritz villa only a few years after it was installed. So he asked Mutin to replace it with a new one in 1907. The “old” one was then kept in Mutin's shop until its rebuilding in the Sacré-Cœur in 1919.

    The Baron didn't keep his Mutin organ for much longer, since he sold the whole villa in 1911. The subsequent fate of the organ can be found here, where two recordings can also be obtained.

    There may also have been organs at his other residences (Wikipedia mentions one at his villa of Belle-Île-en-Mer), but I am not aware of anything specific.

    Anyway, the most obscene aspect may not have been the sheer magnificience of these organs in private ownership, but rather the very short time periods for which he actually kept them. Like a child getting a shiny blinking toy for Christmas, and losing all interest in it well before Easter. Also reminds me of the castles of Bavarian king Ludwig II.

  7. #7
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Aloha acc,

    What a fate for such an instrument. I guess the Baron wanted to show that he had money to burn - too bad he got tired of C-C. I have heard this rumor that there was a significant C-C organ in the Catholic Cathedral of New Orleans, Louisiana but it had one day been dismantled and put out on the street to be picked up by the garbage collectors. If this is true...Heavy Sigh.......

    Cheerio,

    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

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    Tracking down CC organs in Louisiana (or more generally, for that matter, in North America) seems to be a tricky business. But since you have Jesse Eschbach's book, I guess you have already read Agnes Armstrong's essay at the end of that book.

  9. #9
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Aloha acc,

    Yes, I did read Ms. Armstrong's piece and it does provoke thoughts on research. Two Churches are mentioned but not the Cathedral. Another mystery is afoot........

    Cheerio,

    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

  10. #10
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acc View Post
    There was at least a third, though built by Mutin, Cavaillé-Coll's successor. You might find this unbelievable, but the Baron actually grew tired of his Cavaillé-Coll organ of the Ilbaritz villa only a few years after it was installed. So he asked Mutin to replace it with a new one in 1907. The “old” one was then kept in Mutin's shop until its rebuilding in the Sacré-Cœur in 1919.

    The Baron didn't keep his Mutin organ for much longer, since he sold the whole villa in 1911. The subsequent fate of the organ can be found here, where two recordings can also be obtained.

    There may also have been organs at his other residences (Wikipedia mentions one at his villa of Belle-Île-en-Mer), but I am not aware of anything specific.

    Anyway, the most obscene aspect may not have been the sheer magnificience of these organs in private ownership, but rather the very short time periods for which he actually kept them. Like a child getting a shiny blinking toy for Christmas, and losing all interest in it well before Easter. Also reminds me of the castles of Bavarian king Ludwig II.
    Ah - this will teach me to re-read my CD sleeve notes more often. According to the Naxos CDs of the complete Durufle organ/choral works and two Alain discs, Eric Lebrun is playing the Cavaillé-Coll Organ of the Church of Saint-Antoine des Quinze-Vingts in Paris, and they also had the following to say:

    The Aristide Cavaillé-Coll Organ of the Church of Saint-Antoine des Quinze-Vingts in Paris.

    When the building of the Church of Saint-Antoine des Quinze-Vingts that had started in 1903 was coming to an end, thought was given to the donation of an organ. A parishioner, Count Christian de Berthier de Sauvigny, bought, or received as a gift, the organ from the private concert rooms of Baron de l'Espée on the Champs-Elysées and offered it to the parish. The Merklin company moved the organ and installed it in the church in 1909, without making any major change. The instrument had 44 stops (23 of them expressifs, corresponding to the positif and récit manuals), with three manuals and a pedal-board. The casing was built by Merklin and the organ now has 47 stops.

    In 1894 the Baron, a very rich man and a music-lover, wanted to play at home the music of his idol, Richard Wagner. He had an auditorium built and commissioned an organ with 2800 pipes from the famous organ-builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll.
    <so that would be No.1 at Saint-Antoine >

    He did not stop there, but ordered from Cavaillé-Coll an enormous organ for his château at Biarritz. This instrument is none other than the organ now in the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur in Montmartre.
    <No.2>

    In the catalogue of instruments built by Cavaillé-Coll there is also listed an organ for Baron de l'Espée for the Island of Oléron <No.3> and another for his property at Belle Ile, <No.4> with even a fifth instrument.
    I knew I'd read it somewhere - but are there any records that confirm the building of instruments 4 and 5 I wonder?
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soubasse View Post
    Ah - this will teach me to re-read my CD sleeve notes more often. According to the Naxos CDs of the complete Durufle organ/choral works and two Alain discs, Eric Lebrun is playing the Cavaillé-Coll Organ of the Church of Saint-Antoine des Quinze-Vingts in Paris, and they also had the following to say:

    In the catalogue of instruments built by Cavaillé-Coll there is also listed an organ for Baron de l'Espée for the Island of Oléron <No.3> and another for his property at Belle Ile, <No.4> with even a fifth instrument.
    I knew I'd read it somewhere - but are there any records that confirm the building of instruments 4 and 5 I wonder?
    Eschbach lists a CC organ at both locations, but they can't have been de l'Espée's instruments: they are way too small.

    I guess I'll have to re-read Luraschi's biography of the Baron to find out more...

  12. #12
    Captain of Water Music JONESEY's Avatar
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    Found this list of known C-C organs ...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristid...ill%C3%A9-Coll

    Also the article made for fascinating reading.

  13. #13
    Captain of Water Music pcnd5584's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corno Dolce View Post
    The *Orgelbewegung* movement in Europe adulterated and bastardised many a beautiful Cavaille-Coll Organ. The Cavaille-Coll organs in St. Etienne in Caen, St. Francois de Sales in Lyon, Notre-Dame d'Auteuil, and in Orleans Cathedral are the first to come to mind. There are others, most of which are *choir organs*.
    I take this to mean that the four instruments you mention above are still largely in their original conditions. This is certainly true of the magnificent organ at S. Etienne, Caen, which I have played on a number of occasions. In fact, the compound stop which Dupré somewhat inexplicably had added to the Récit-expressif was removed in the last restoration.

    There is also his first large organ in the Abbey of S. Denis, Paris. This was restored some years ago, under the watchful eye of its Titulaire, Pierre Pincemaille. However, the form of unequal temperament tuning (evidence for which the builders claimed they had found) was restored to equal temperament after the restoration.

    Not to forget his instruments at the cathedrals of Bayeux and Perpignan and the church of
    Nôtre-Dame, Metz, to name but a few others. The latter instrument can be seen here:

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