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A Grigny Organ In Belgium


Pierre Lauwers
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One of our promising young organists, Serge Schoonbroodt, just recorded

the Messe of Nicolas de Grigny on one of our best baroque organs in Belgium.

 

This gives me the occasion to write here a little about a big name among our belgian

dynasties of organ-buiders: the LE PICARD family of Liège.

 

Philippe II Le Picard was born in a family of organ-builders in Noyon, France.

Between 1698 and 1701, he went to Liège, where there was no organ-builders

at that time (this was quite the reverse by the Renaissance and early baroque period,

when Liège knew famous builders).

 

At this point, we have a situation akin to Father Schmidt -euh, Smith...- in England: Le Picard

had learnt to build french organs after the late 17th century style......And found himself isolated

from the evolution which will happen in France in the 18th Century. Dom Bédos, Isnard, Clicquot,

etc, develloped the Balbastre and d'Aquin's organ; during that time, Le Picard's sons and pupils

(like Robustelly/ Robostel, among others) will continue to build late-17th century french organs.

 

And guess who composed his Mass and Hymns just at that period ?

Grigny, of course...

 

Philippe II Le Picard built his first noteworthy organ in Liège in 1702.

From him we still have one organ, in Gronsveld, between Maastricht and Liège.

Philippe II Le Picard died 1729, and two of his sons continued the work.

 

One of them, Jean-Baptiste, built 1750-3 the organ of Tongeren Cathedral.

This organ has been restored to its original state by our organ-builder Dominique Thomas.

 

Here is a page with extracts from Mr Schoonbroodt's CD, to be released 2008, on the Le Picard organ:

 

http://rivagesandins.lalibreblogs.be/

 

Particularly noteworthy is the fact, and this you can hear in the "Plein-jeu", that this organ is more

polyphonic than late 18th century french ones, which are already heavier, fatter.

 

Here follows the specification of the organ:

 

GRAND ORGUE (50 notes)

 

Bourdon 16'

Montre 8'

Bourdon 8'

Prestant 4'

Flûte 4'

Grosse Tierce 3 1/5'

Nazard 2 2/3'

Doublette 2'

Quarte de Nazard 2'

Tierce 1 3/5'

Sesquialter 2r (after Principal scales, this tipical belgian stop was not continued in France after at least 1700...)

Cornet 6r

Fourniture 5r

Cymbale 4r

Trompette 8'

Voix humaine 8'

Clairon 4'

 

POSITIF (first manual) (50 notes)

 

Bourdon 8'

Prestant 4'

Flûte 4'

Nazard 2 2/3'

Doublette 2'

Tierce 1 3/5'

Larigot 1 1/3'

Sexquialtera 2r (note the different writing)

Cornet 4r

Mixture 4r

Trompette 8'

Cromhorne 8' (the "h" is no typo)

 

RECIT (27 notes)

 

Montre 8'

Bourdon 8'

Cornet 4r

Trompette 8'

 

ECHO (27 notes)

 

Bourdon 8'

Prestant 4'

Doublette 2'

Cornet 2r (as a Sesquialtera also, but flutey)

Cymbale 2r

Cromhorne 8'

 

PEDAL

 

Basse ouverte 16' (not original)

Bourdon 16' (not original)

Octave 8'

Bourdon 8'

Octave 4'

Fourniture 4r (not original)

Bombarde 16' (not original)

Trompette 8'

Clairon 4'

 

The tuning is 404 Hz at 18° Celsius, also 3/4 tone below 440, while the temperament is after d'Alembert-Rousseau.

 

Pierre

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This looks very interesting - I did my degree dissertation on De Grigny and could do with a decent recording of the Mass.

 

AJJ

 

Then besides Serge's CD, which comes next year, there is also this one:

 

http://www.abeillemusique.com/produit.php?cle=8439

 

Mme Chapelin-Dubar must be in the "top three" Grigny players of today; she

combines historical accuracy with deep emotion -indeed, Grigny's music is the

kind of which that throw you into another world.

 

But the organ of Sens Cathedral, beautiful as it may be, is already a bit late in style.

Tongeren, stylistically more to the point, is less heavy, and conveys each note with

more transparency.

One french baroque organ is not the other, there were many periods, local schools,

experimentations etc.

 

Pierre

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Then besides Serge's CD, which comes next year, there is also this one:

 

http://www.abeillemusique.com/produit.php?cle=8439

 

Mme Chapelin-Dubar must be in the "top three" Grigny players of today; she

combines historical accuracy with deep emotion -indeed, Grigny's music is the

kind of which that throw you into another world.

 

But the organ of Sens Cathedral, beautiful as it may be, is already a bit late in style.

Tongeren, stylistically more to the point, is less heavy, and conveys each note with

more transparency.

One french baroque organ is not the other, there were many periods, local schools,

experimentations etc.

 

Pierre

 

Thanks for this Pierre

 

A

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