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PF Baron

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  1. ...and, by the way, to be 100 % clear, this has absolutely nothing to do with any kind of considerations about the quality of Mr Tickell's new organ in Worcester. I was only speaking about conservation of older instruments. Respectfully, PF Baron
  2. Dear Mr Kemp, English humour not being in my chromosoms, I regret to have to admit that I did not particularly appreciate that you tried to ridicule what I just wrote above, without really factually, as far as conservation is concerned, answering the opinion I expressed. In some cases, there is place to put a new organ in without removing the old one (...and by leaving the old one in position, its dismantlig costs could even be saved, if its structure is safe enough not to cause safety hazards) This does not apply to any case, of course (e.g. in a french cathedrals and churches, of course, where organs are usually above the west end, so, there, we have to make up choices) Respectfully, PF Baron
  3. And what about building a new organ beside the old one, if people do not like it ? So taht the old one, seen as a document, can still be consulted by other people. Best regards to all, PF Baron
  4. Seen from my window : I am not ready to question Mr Roth's honesty.....! The organ itself has been very carefully and nicely restored (Renaud), sounds wonderful, and worked perfectly 5 or 6 years ago when I had the opportunity to approach it. There seemed to be no approximations there, only first class professionalism.
  5. We might be prepared to accept a donation.....!
  6. Please try this : http://catholique-belley-ars.cef.fr/spip.php?article141 The site has recently been "modernised", but we lost the disposition as well as the possibility to click the photos. There are one or two mistakes in the titles of the photos I will soon have a appointment with the webmaster to solve this. Kind regards PFB
  7. I think that it is purely a question of fashion. When I was a young lad, in the seventies, romantic organs were here considered as "heavy" (too much 8', too much 16'), and almost everybody was happy to somehow "lighten" them. If we speak about Nolay, it was approx. in 1972, a long time ago, and that is what happened. Nobody would do that again, nowadays. The must, in France, was what was called the "nordic organ", referring to a vague idea of what an organ built along Schnitger characteristics would be. But people were fascinated by this north-german school, and sometimes mixed its influences with french ones. When people had the occasion to really rebuilt nice organs, this gave, e.g. Paris / St Severin (Kern and Hartmann, 1964) or Paris / ND des Blancs Manteaux (Kern, 1968, I think) But in the 70's, romantic or symphonic organs were of no value here, excepted ACCs, which "had to be improved" by mixtures and electical actions. So, there was no crime in transforming a Mutin or a Ghys. This would be different now, 35 years later, although Mutin organs are generally lacking of the originality and flame of the ACCs (although there are exceptions). Ghys is still different, and rather original in comparison You cannot blame somebody without considering his epoch.... and furthemore, when there are also glorious instruments from the same workshop !!!!!! With best regards
  8. .......well enough, I hope............ !!!!!!!!
  9. ...eeeeasy.............! Philippe Hartmann is one of the key organ builders of the french XXst century. He also, with his former pupil Jean Deloye (now "Meilleur Ouvrier de France") as a partner, restored some very old organs, or rebuilt some other He is a living encyclopedy about organs, ans a lot of people went to his workshop to spend time with him, as e.g. Pascal Quoirin, but also Formentelli And almost everybody in the 70s, including nice english organ builders made some kind of "small jobs", including baroque stops in romantic organs.... And I think that we finally lost less romantic instruments in France during this period than in the UK....! Hartmann is also the guy who started Dole again, or, with Jean Deloye, wonderfully restored some old organs (e.g. Luxeuil, or Semur en Auxois), or even ACCs (e.g. Lisieux, Cathedral, a fanstastic organ indeed, at its best after retoration), or rebuilt some others I am personnaly in charge of playing the organ in Co-Cathedrale ND / Bourg-en-Bresse, reconstructed by Hartmann and Deloye in 1981, this organ was finally badly disposed with a slow pneumatic action after the last job by Michel Merklin et Kunh / Lyon, in 1927 The core of the 1981 job has been a complete re-sahpingt of the organ : restoration of the case, addition of a Positif de dos, new tracker action, new soundboards, new disposition, re-voicing, putting every old pipe to its best condiiton, and blending new stops with the existing ones. This organ includes some stops of 1682, approx 15 stops from Callinet 1835, some stops from Beaucourt, and from Didier Van Caster, plus some new stops. This 4-manual / 42 stop is absolutely fantastic, and finally incredibly versatile. The flutes are incredible, the reed chorus is really something, and finally the acoustic is incredible. It is even one of the nicest instruments I Know, having seen many organs and travelled a lot. I – Positif de Dos, 56 notes Bourdon 8 Montre 4 Doublette 2 Cymbale IV à V rangs Flûte à cheminées 4 Nasard 2 2/3 Tierce 1 3/5 Larigot 1 1/3 Cromorne 8 II – Grand Orgue, 56 Notes Montre 8 Flute harmonique 8 Prestant 4 Doublette 2 Fourniture VI Grand Cornet V Trompette 8 Clairon 4 III – Bombarde, 56 notes Bourdon 16 Bourdon 8 Flûte 4 Quarte 2 Sifflet 1 Bombarde 16 (bass full length) Trompette 8 (harmonic / F3) IV Recit expressif Flûte cônique 8 (conical from C1) Dulciane 8 (tuning slots) Unda Maris 8 (tuning slots) Flûte allemande 4 Principal 2 Fourniture IV (with tierce) Basson 16 Trompette 8 Voix humaine 8 Chalumeau 4 Pédale, 30 notes Flûte ouverte 32 Flûte 16 Flûte 8 Octave 4 Mixture V Bombarde 16 Trompette 8 Clairon 4 Accouplements I/II, III/II, IV/II, IV/III Tirasses I, II, III, IV Appels d’anches II, III, IV et Pédale Tremblant doux I Tremblant fort IV Before misjudging somebody, I think it is better to have a comprehensive knowledge of his work ! Best regards to you all, PF Baron
  10. PF Baron

    Sydney Town Hall

    I have been there in 2000, and have been extremely kindly welcomed by Mr Wagner, from Sydney. I had the occasion to play, and to spend the whole afternoon with him, rehearsing and making registrations for his next concert. As he knew the organ quite well, I heard many solutions for each piece, and it was fascinating. This organ is fan-tas-tic, as well as its interaction with the hall. The 64' reed actually emits true musical tones, and its effect is incredible under the half tutti (with the tutti, it blurs a little bit) The organ gathers many european flavours : England, of course, but also Germany, the Netherlands, and even France for certain reeds.... This is obviously one of the nicest organs in the world, in the very top of the basket, and should as a minimum be put on the UNESCO list....! Its is also very nicely restored and maintained, and fantastically tuned, depite of the big number of unisons. I could write a whole book about it !
  11. In fact, this organ is paid on public funds (and not by the church, or only for a small part), grouping the town of Evreux, the region, and the french state. Concerning what happened, the whole organ was ready for the opening concert, when a company in charge to install electrical devices (lights, I think) performed some drilling through the walls, generating a lot of abrasive dust ; everything had to be cleaned, including chasts and sliders. This also meant that everything had to be tuned again,n including the numerous ranks of Plein-Jeux. The companies involved in that problem as well as the french administration mitually agreed on certain parts of responsabilities, so as to raise money to have everything fixed? I do not know if everything has been done yet, but this souhld not be too long now. Best regards PFB
  12. One one hand, I am absolutely delighted about the very nice photos kindly posted by Mr Lucas. But on the other hand, I am personally quite sad that they are only now for forensic and memorial purposes.... Happily, the Viole d'Orchestre will survive....! I would personally be very interested in pictures of the diaphone 32', as well as other 32 ft stops. Mr Lucas, would you be so kind as posting some of them ? Thanking you in advance, With best regards, PF Baron
  13. The best would be to phone or write to the churches and ask for the possibility to contact the organist.
  14. PF Baron

    Organs For The Bin

    Although Jeanne d'Arc has been dead for long, we still have the channel between us, and the tunnel can be easily sunk... ! (That's obviously a joke) I will not make unpleasant comments finding Harisson's reeds dull and opaque, or Father Willis' fluework e.G. in Salisbury somehow brutal or Westminster Cathedral "far too loud" (compared to what could be their french equivalents),.... Those organs just do mean something for a country, and are beautiful in their own style. So does and is also Notre Dame de Paris Sorry for being insistant PFB
  15. PF Baron

    Organs For The Bin

    Dear english friends, I find this sery of posts deeply shocking. Although I know some (very nice) organs in your country, I did not visit the ones you are speaking about. I do not really want to behave as a moralist, but think that at a time when we can buy english organs from redundant churches on ebay or others, it would really be time to defend and promote your instruments, instead of writing such things, which just divide people instead of uniting them..... There are many english styles, all of them very rich, please just defend them instead of speaking about bins, crap, or others. In any country, you would find instruments moreless successfull. But perhaps those ones also have something to say. I do not want to be offensive anyway, and english is not my mother language, please excuse anything you would feel rude. Best regards PF Baron
  16. Soory, somebody spoke specifically about that
  17. A quite comprehensive account abour John Compton and his most significant instruments can be found in Lawrence Elvin / Pipes and actions. I had the pleasure to approach two of thes organs, bith really splendid St Luke Chelsea, 1930 : a little bit dark, but not heavy at all. There are even some 16ft diaphones (disc valves, I think). In this one, the mixtures are not idependant, or at least not all of them, but are derived from 2ft ranks. When tuning, if you want pure quit in the mixture, you have to sacrify the coreponding 2ft (that had been the choice of the organist) which cannot be played for itself. This organ (with its original action) was a passionating witness of its time St Bride / Fleet Street / London, 1987, I think : extremely clear, and nice, a really wonderful organ ....!!! I would be pleased to visit some others, and specifically Downside Abbey....! In these organs the derivations are made in a quite sensible and interesting way, and they, by no ways, sound cheap !!!!
  18. Just some information from France : I never heard saying that M. Cochereau did play Reubke's Sonata. To my mind, there are no records anyway. Concerning Dupré / Cochereau : some posts here almost present M. Dupré as senile, from the 50s / 60s..... !!!!!!! Only his playing was slowed down by rhumatisms, but his mind stayed clear ! He clearly expressed sometimes that M. Cochereau was a one-off, this is not just a legend. Concerning Carbou's recordings in ND : as far as I know, the micros were at 15 maters approx. from the organ, but not on the organ loft. Concerning the Symphonie Passion : i personally recommend the 1956 version in ND. The organ is a little bit out of tune, but still has Cavaillé-Coll's action. The organ and the playing are fascinating, magic ! M. Dupré has obviously know this recording, which is now available at Solstice (on the web); it is a double CD, where there also are Ad Nos / Liszt at ND, and the Symphony extemporized on the Skinner in Boston, all that by a 32 year old guy ! Concerning M. Pincemmaille : I think he has never studied with M. Cochereau, but with Mme Falcinelli in the Conservatoire Suérieur / Paris, who took over from M. Dupré. Although the tradition is the same, M. Pincemaille, a wonderful concertist and improviser, can be easily distinguished, I think from M. Cochereau (I do not mean this being a criticism !!!!). Best regards, PF Baron / France
  19. I gave my photos to Mr Walcker, they actually date from 1995 On the chamade wind chest, the longest stop is the bombarde (C1 full length !!!!) I have no news about this organ, and do not think it is restored yet. I also wrote a letter in 1995, to try to get people in charge interested (at the time, the Palace was being totally renovated, and they certainly had other things to do...!) Best regards PF Baron
  20. The 32 reed is actually half length, made of wood. Concerning the pedal, P. Quoirin prefered to design a relatively compact one, in order to avoid to have the rear of the case too crammed. So, the idea of full length 32ft has been given up quite rapidly during the design phase. The pedal chests are "perpendicular" to the façade, almost at floor level, in the rear half of the cylinder. This means that the manual divisions can use the concave inner surface of the cylinder as a reflector (this could not have been possible with a bigger pedal), which, together with the "doors" at front pipe level, makes an incredibly efficient organ case, as far as the sound is concerned. Concerning the 32 ft. Jeu de Tierce (Quint 10 2/3 + Tierce 6 2/5), it is really extremely efficient, and quickly consolates you from a full length 32ft flue stop. Concerning the manuals, the whole organ is vertical : Positif de Dos, GO just behind the feet of the main façade, Bombarde one level above, and the recit still one level above, and slightly behind. The two "covers" you can see on the photos on the two cases act as reflectors. And the result (only partial at the time of my visit, as voicing (mainly on site, as very often in our country) was under process), but everything which was already made was very much alive and impressive. Best regards to all of you PF Baron
  21. Well, some of you spoke about Evreux / France. So, some impressions from the field : First, I think it is very easy to criticise an organ without having been on site. This is just unfair to its builder, whoever it is. Now, concerning the console : it is true that the photo published on the website of Evreux does not make any kind of justice to the reality. The reality is that all what is black (or looks like mirrors) on the photo is actually black lacquered, like a nice concert piano. Just above the console, there is a marvelous panel, black laquered too with shapes of triangles drawns with various shades of gold. And the result is really superb (at least to me), and really incitates and inspires you to play. Concerning the case : The adequation with the cathedral itself is incredibly impressive. It is nice and tall, very elegant. The various shapes and paintings are truely splendid (doors to close the organ). Concerning the specification : please do not think that it will be a neo-baroque organ. The first sounds are not baroque, but truly modern, very quick, and elegant. Everything speaks promptly, and very naturally, and you can hear every tiny details. It is really something. I am personnaly quite sure that this organ will be something exceptional, with a very strong personality, and allowing for an extremely wide repertoire. That is my personal opinion, at least. And I invite anybody to come on site to make up his own mind, rather that judging an instrument from a computer keyboard ! Best regards, Pierre-F. Baron / France
  22. Dear MM, I think that neither M. Lauwers, neither me defines the A. Harrison sound as THE english sound !!! Cavaillé's reeds are not ferocious, they are only ... french ! Concerning Shulze and F. Willis, I have been to Doncaster (not to Arlmey...yet !), to Salisbury, to Islington chapel, and to Blenheim Palace. These organs are superb, and are the reflect of their country (even Schulz, who brought a german touch just when it was fashionable), and I like them this way, and try to understand whty people built them like that. Kind regards PF Baron PS : I did not personally experience lightening, and prefer it like that. It seems that you have been a lucky man !
  23. Well, .... back to the two mp3's provided by P. Lauwers I personally find them magnificient, and the organ seems really splendid : very clear, you can hear everything, always extremely elegant, with fantastic colours, and with some kind of "depth" of sound which makes it quite special. It now seems we are almost attending its funeral, and it is really sad to me that it will probably not be prevented from being scrapped instead of restored From what we can hear on these files, it seems to be one of the really nice organs of the UK, and a valuable witness of its time. It is for me a very important thing that any country takes care of its history and traditions. It seems that this will not happen in Worcester. The question is not to know if the action or the sound is up to date, the question is about saving instruments which have something to say. And it seems that the organ in Worcester still has something to say. It only needs some englishmen to help him to do it. Please just do help it to do so !(personnally, I am juste a b.... french guy, and cannot do it for you !!!!) Best regards PF Baron
  24. Dear MM, I do not think I know a single french organ souding like an amplified harmonium !!!!!! And I played some Cavaillés, but never got struck by lightening !!!! I do think there are worse manners to die than playing Cavaillés ! Kind regards PF Baron
  25. In case of Cavaillé-Coll organs, the Soubasse 16' was only an expedient for small organs. In many organs, the pedal do not have any other 16' stop than a Flute 16', or a Contrebasse 16' These open stops, rather soft and transparent in the french organ are much clearer than a Soubasse. One of their characteristics is that the more stop you put with them, the louder the 16' stop sounds. This makes a quite clear an definite bass, which is never opaque. The question of the Soubasse 32' is of course different, and has been chosen where room and/or funds were lacking Best regards PF Baron
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