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Thread: Friedrich Ladegast and Cavaille-Coll...

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    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Moscow, Russia

    Friedrich Ladegast and Cavaille-Coll...

    In a previous posting I spoke of my becoming acquainted with an organ built by Ladegast in the Cathedral of Schwerin and that I now consider his craft to be equal, if not surpassing that of Cavaille-Coll.

    With further research into this titan of German organ building, I find that Albert Schweitzer has spoken most approvingly of Ladegast. Friedrich Ladegast had visited Cavaille-Coll in Paris and they both became very enamored with each other's work and tonal philosophy.
    Schweitzer knew Ladegast and Cavaille-Coll personally and by their Opus Magnum at St. Sulpice and Schwerin. Schweitzer knew Widor personally and thus became "intimately acquainted" with the wonder-machine in St. Sulpice.

    Because of Schweitzer having insight into the tonal philosophies of Ladegast and Cavaille-Coll, he could contrast the tonal architectures of those organ builders and what it would mean for musical performance.
    Now then, why did Schweitzer in a letter to Hans Wauer who was organist in Merseburg Cathedral, speak so resolutely about Ladegast's organs as having greater tonal quality than Cavaille-Coll? Maybe its a personal preference on the part of Schweitzer. I will hazard a guess that Ladegast's foundation stops were even more "symphonically" developed than A.C.C. Of course, most organists love the elan of A.C.C.'s reeds. Yes, the Schwerin instrument doesn't have the amount of reeds that the St. Ouen instrument has, but when carefully listening to the Schwerin wonder-machine one cannot be not surprised by how Ladegast grasped fully the symphonic style of tonal architecture in organ building.

    In closing, I note that Schweitzer pushed the Organ Reform Movement that was to become the bane of symphonic organ tonal architecture.

    I submit two quotations from Schweitzer(in German):

    „Der grosse französische Orgelbauer Aristide Cavaillé-Coll hat ihn [F. Ladegast] als den besten unter den zeitgenössischen Orgelbauern der zweiten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts geschätzt. Ich habe Cavaillé-Coll noch gekannt und kann bestätigen, daß er von Ladegast mit Bewunderung sprach.“

    „Ich halte Friedrich Ladegast für den bedeutendsten Orgelbauer nach Silbermann, dessen Tradition er fortsetzt. Sowohl in technischer wie auch in klanglicher Hinsicht sind seine Schöpfungen in gewisser Hinsicht einzigartig. Ich selber war ergriffen von der Spielart und der Tonschönheit der Ladegast-Orgeln, die ich unter die Finger bekam und habe Organisten, die ihre Ladegast-Orgeln umbauen und modernisieren wollten, zu Beginn unseres Jahrhunderts, von dieser Sünde abgeraten. In Tonqualität stelle ich Ladegast-Orgeln sogar über die von Cavaillé-Coll.“



    Last edited by Krummhorn; Apr-28-2014 at 07:22. Reason: altered Deutsch into readable font colour
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