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Le Grand Orgue Du Sacré-coeur

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I've just spent a rapturous 49.01 minutes listening to a just-delivered CD of Daniel Roth improvising at Sacré-Coeur. I had never previously heard this organ and struggled a bit to find a recording. This one, from 1985, is stunning. The improvisations are among the most musical I have heard and the instrument is simply beautiful.

 

Highlights? Track 2 - Récit de cornet and track 7 - Fantaisie sur Wachet Auf, ruft uns die Stimme, but really it is wrong to pick just 2 in isolation from such a disc.

 

I suppose many people on here are already familiar both with the organ and the disc but for those who are not - I think it's £13.50 well spent.

 

The disc is Motette CD 10751, bought from Allegro Music. Unusually, the accompanying notes give the resistrations used for each improvisation which helps those of us who are no longer active on the keyboard. There is one stop on the Solo Expressif with which I'm not at all familiar, Progression Harmonique V.......any takers?

 

Back off to play it again before Mrs T. comes home and to reflect on my attempts at improvisation in the school chapel - I was often bribed to play "Themes from the Magic Roundabout" without the Head noticing! Sometimes successfully........

 

Peter

 

PS Apologies for the missed capitalisation in the title but I was so chuffed to have found the acute accent on my PC I forget the shift key...

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Priory Records has a wonderful recording of the Sacré-Cœur in their Great European Organs series (No. 22, PRCD 327). Naji Hakim plays his own music (Memor and Hommage à Igor Stravinsky, which I found quite thrilling even they are not to all tastes) and Franck's Prière and Chorale in E Major. The reverberation is incredible; The big D Major chord at the end of the Hommage seems to roll on forever!

 

Back in 1996 I went with some friends to a recital in York, Pennsylvania given by M. Hakim and he autographed the CD. I'm still a bit embarrassed to have bothered him, but he seemed a pleasant fellow and more than happy to oblige.

 

As for that "Progression Harmonique", it appears in the liner notes from 1990:

 

Solo expressif (IV)

Bourdon 16

Diapason 8

Flûte harmonique 8

Octave 4

Flûte octaviante 4

Octavin 2

Progression Harmonique

Grand Cornet 8 rangs

Clarinette 16

Trompette 8

Cor Anglais 8

Solo Chamade (IV)

Tuba magna 16

Tuba mirabilis 8

Cor harmonique 4

 

Assuming this composition matches the 1985 specification given at this site, the "Progression Harmonique" corresponds to a "Fourniture II-IV". According to yet another site, JP Swiderski did some restoration work in 2000, so perhaps this mixture was renamed as part of that work. I don't know its composition, though. Any takers?

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Priory Records has a wonderful recording of the Sacré-Cœur in their Great European Organs series (No. 22, PRCD 327). Naji Hakim plays his own music (Memor and Hommage à Igor Stravinsky, which I found quite thrilling even they are not to all tastes) and Franck's Prière and Chorale in E Major. The reverberation is incredible; The big D Major chord at the end of the Hommage seems to roll on forever!

 

Back in 1996 I went with some friends to a recital in York, Pennsylvania given by M. Hakim and he autographed the CD. I'm still a bit embarrassed to have bothered him, but he seemed a pleasant fellow and more than happy to oblige.

 

As for that "Progression Harmonique", it appears in the liner notes from 1990:

 

Solo expressif (IV)

Bourdon 16

Diapason 8

Flûte harmonique 8

Octave 4

Flûte octaviante 4

Octavin 2

Progression Harmonique

Grand Cornet 8 rangs

Clarinette 16

Trompette 8

Cor Anglais 8

Solo Chamade (IV)

Tuba magna 16

Tuba mirabilis 8

Cor harmonique 4

 

Assuming this composition matches the 1985 specification given at this site, the "Progression Harmonique" corresponds to a "Fourniture II-IV". According to yet another site, JP Swiderski did some restoration work in 2000, so perhaps this mixture was renamed as part of that work. I don't know its composition, though. Any takers?

 

 

Thank you for the reply. I've just checked the Priory website and No. 22 has been deleted! I wonder if a request would elicit a reissue? I should love to hear that recording. M. Hakim's compositions really fire me - at least those I've so far heard on the "Canticum" CD from Saint Trinité - fabulous free-spirited music in the finest of the French tradition.

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Click on the "Deleted Titles" link on the Priory site and you should be able to order the CD if you wish. According to their site, the booklet may be photocopied but the CD will be identical. I very much hope you will enjoy it as much as I!

 

Looking through my bookshelf, I see another recording of the Sacré-Cœur instrument. If memory serves, the clarity of this recording suffers due to echo. I still pull it out every now and again, if only to sing along with the Kyrie from Vierne's Messe Solonnelle (when nobody else is home).

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Hmmm, this site lists a "Fourniture II-V rgs" in the Solo, so perhaps it does extend to five ranks after all (your original post called it a "Progression Harmonique V"). "Harmonique" was Cavaillé-Coll's name for mixtures without breaks which add lower ranks as they ascend, e.g. 12-15-19 > 8-12-15-19 > 5-8-12-15-19 > 1-5-8-12-15-19. There was some discussion a few years ago of the unusual Cymbale Harmonique at Notre-Dame, which added progressively higher pitches instead.

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justinf, thank you very much for the further replies, I'll get onto the Priory site within the next few minutes!

 

I imagine that the stop must have been renamed during the work you mention. The mutuations and mixtures sound exceptionally bright and "tinkly" (as my good lady describes them!) and are a real pleasure to hear. I didn't previously know about the workings of the C-C mixtures. I have learned more about pipe organs in the few weeks I have reading these fora than I probably did when playing them!

 

All good wishes

 

Peter

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The recording from Priory's deleted list recommended by justinf (thanks again) arrived this morning. I hadn't previously heard any of these pieces by Naji Hakim and found them just fantastic. The Danse and Final from the Hommage a Igor Stravinsky are particularly exciting - such energy and vitality - and perfectly expressed on the C-C in Sacre-Coeur. Now, I would just love to hear this piece at Symphony Hall one Monday...

 

I wonder if the appreciation of the pipe organ and its music is unique in that one buys a recording to hear a particular instrument and along the way is introduced to such new musical experiences as the Hakim pieces on this disc. Do, for example, fans of the cello buy a particular disc simply to hear an historic instrument? I shall now have to seek out more of M. Hakim's recordings. What a pleasant chore! :blink:

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I shall now have to seek out more of M. Hakim's recordings.

 

Try YouTube also - there are some good examples of him in action there. Try this one for a start - it's been on here before - no appologies though! Re Symphony Hall - one of Thomas Trotter's CDs from there has part of the Hommage a Igor Stravinsky on it - I think it is the one of the opening concert because there is a mixture of choral and organ music - can't remember it's title though - something like Pulling Out the Stops - on their own label.

 

AJJ

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Oh baby!

 

That is quite superb - doesn't half look difficult judging by the glimpses of the sheet music...What a marvellous acoustic in La Trinite and a super organ. Thank you Alastair for posting that. That's another CD on the (long and lengthening) list then.

 

I'm in Birmingham on Monday for the Town Hall concert and will wander up to the Symphony Hall shop and have a look through their stock. Maybe it'll appear on the playlist before too long.

 

Peter

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What state is this instrument in at the moment? In spite of having been rebuilt in the late 80's (I think) it was pretty poor when the IAO congress was over there in 2002. The organist wasn't prepared to play any pieces on it because faults were developing at an alarming rate. Instead he did a 45 minute improvisation, so that he could work around anything that went off or ciphered.

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What state is this instrument in at the moment? In spite of having been rebuilt in the late 80's (I think) it was pretty poor when the IAO congress was over there in 2002. The organist wasn't prepared to play any pieces on it because faults were developing at an alarming rate. Instead he did a 45 minute improvisation, so that he could work around anything that went off or ciphered.

 

We were there a year ago and this seemed to be the case then - it looked a bit dilapidated from downstairs at least.

 

AJJ

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I have a vinyl recorded in 1981 on this organ by Daniel Roth, with one side composed of stunning improvisations, in a Tournemire-like style. I think it has been put on CD by Motette.

I've been at the organ loft last november, the organ is not that bad, but is certainly far from it's initial glory.

I intend to go there soon, I'll tell you about it. If you have any special questions, I can try to ask either the organist I now, or the organ builder.

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I wonder if the appreciation of the pipe organ and its music is unique in that one buys a recording to hear a particular instrument and along the way is introduced to such new musical experiences as the Hakim pieces on this disc. Do, for example, fans of the cello buy a particular disc simply to hear an historic instrument?

I don't know about 'cellos, but violinist Salvatore Accardo did recordings of Paganini's music on the "Cannone" Guarneri, that had been played by Paganini and is now kept safe by the city of Genova. I think that counts. The recordings have sold well.

 

Every ardent violin geek of course knows that Michel Schwalbé, late concertmaster of Berlin Philharmonic, played the "King Maximilian" Stradivarius in Karajan's famous 1959 recording of Strauss's "Heldenleben". No better recording of the violin solo has ever been made.

 

With violins and 'cellos, the problem is that you have to trace them down. They are easily packed and carried away. One of the key differences if compared to organs, if you ask me. I stuck to gut, wood and horse hair.

 

Best,

Friedrich

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I've been at the organ loft last november, the organ is not that bad, but is certainly far from it's initial glory.

I've just been listening again to the Naji Hakim disc mentioned above. What an altogether lovely instrument this is. I suppose the fact that Sacré-Coeur is open 24/7 doesn't help the prospects of a restoration...?

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I've just been listening again to the Naji Hakim disc mentioned above. What an altogether lovely instrument this is. I suppose the fact that Sacré-Coeur is open 24/7 doesn't help the prospects of a restoration...?

 

Probably not. The only time it closes overnight is on Good Friday. It would be a very short restoration....

 

:o

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