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Am I right im my memory that at some point the manual order was changed at S. Sulpice?

 

AJJ

 

Yes, I think so. This was certainly done at Nôtre-Dame.

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Am I right im my memory that at some point the manual order was changed at S. Sulpice?

 

AJJ

I knew I had seen information about this somewhere! The Positive, Recit and Solo Bombarde were moved around in 1903 according to Daniel Roth in this video clip (about 3 minutes into it). According the Daniel Roth it was the development of the repertoire using the Recit in Widor and Vierne that brought about the change.

 

http://blip.tv/file/62592

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I knew I had seen information about this somewhere! The Positive, Recit and Solo Bombarde were moved around in 1903 according to Daniel Roth in this video clip (about 3 minutes into it). According the Daniel Roth it was the development of the repertoire using the Recit in Widor and Vierne that brought about the change.

 

This site has some interesting pictures of the instrument, but gives the wrong date for the manual change--It was Mutin in 1903 as you said. Although the instrument has always had five manuals, the order has changed more than once:

Clicquot (1781)
V. Echo

IV. Récit

III. Bombarde

II. Grand-Orgue

I. Positif (de Dos)

Cavaillé-Coll (1862)

V. Récit

IV. Positif

III. Bombarde

II. Grand-Orgue

I. Grand-Chœur

Mutin (1903)

V. Solo

IV. Récit

III. Positif

II. Grand-Orgue

I. Grand-Chœur

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If this were true, I should be very surprised. Daniel Roth has always maintained in public the need to preserve the instrument without making any alterations.

 

What is supposed to have happened to it?

 

 

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.

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The playing, as always with M. Roth is exemplary - although I am less happy with his improvisations. I do possess a copy of his improvisation CD which was also mentioned on the same thread; however, next to recordings by Cochereau, Pincemaille or even Grünenwald, for me, it is just not in the same league.

 

Dear pcnd,

 

If you are in doubt about Roth's position amongst Cochereau and Pincemaille etc., I must recommend you these two videos:

Large-scale Improvisation

 

Daniel Roth - Sortie (1999)

(4m16s is a real goosebumps moment)

 

Also, try to get your hands on the CD 'La Tradition de Saint-Sulpice' for a stunning improv on Kyrie 'Orbis Factor'.

I'm dying to get the Widor Mass CD where Roth improvises in various 19th Century styles, and the new Vierne Messe Solennelle CD where he and Eric Lebrun improvise in dialogue a la Widor and Faure.

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Dear pcnd,

 

If you are in doubt about Roth's position amongst Cochereau and Pincemaille etc., I must recommend you these two videos:

<a href="http://"http://blip.tv/file/62605"" target="_blank">Large-scale Improvisation</a>

 

Daniel Roth - Sortie (1999)

(4m16s is a real goosebumps moment)

 

Also, try to get your hands on the CD 'La Tradition de Saint-Sulpice' for a stunning improv on Kyrie 'Orbis Factor'.

I'm dying to get the Widor Mass CD where Roth improvises in various 19th Century styles, and the new Vierne Messe Solennelle CD where he and Eric Lebrun improvise in dialogue a la Widor and Faure.

Daniel Roth is certainly an excellent improviser like many others French organists (Blanc, Warnier, Cauchefer-Choplin, Lefebvre, Robilliard, Taddei...) but he however stays below my personal top 5 (including the dead) in which there are Tournemire, Dupré, Cochereau, Pincemaille, Guillou (ante 1975).

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I've never really enjoyed Guillou as an improviser.

Guillou's (loud) improvs all seem to build up to a frenzied climax, and then he just ceases playing without any sense of finality or anti-climax. It's probably some deliberate anti-establishment statement, so typical of Guillou; I just find it disappointing.

Also, Roth always seems to have harmonic and timbral colour as top priority, whilst Guillou is all about making statements.

To me, it's the difference between a poet and an orator.

 

Incidentally, my top 5 improvisers are:

(chronologically)

 

1. Tournemire

2. Dupré

3. Langlais

4. Cochereau

5. Roth

 

Not too dissimilar really...

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Dear pcnd,

 

If you are in doubt about Roth's position amongst Cochereau and Pincemaille etc., I must recommend you these two videos:

<a href="http://"http://blip.tv/file/62605"" target="_blank">Large-scale Improvisation</a>

 

Daniel Roth - Sortie (1999)

(4m16s is a real goosebumps moment)

 

Also, try to get your hands on the CD 'La Tradition de Saint-Sulpice' for a stunning improv on Kyrie 'Orbis Factor'.

I'm dying to get the Widor Mass CD where Roth improvises in various 19th Century styles, and the new Vierne Messe Solennelle CD where he and Eric Lebrun improvise in dialogue a la Widor and Faure.

 

I was referring specifically to the CD. However, I have watched and listened to a few of Daniel Roth's improvisations on YouTube.

 

I have also looked at the links. So far I have not changed my opinion. Thank you for the links, though. On the evidence which I have seen so far, Cochereau's harmonic language was somewhat richer that that of Roth.

 

Personally, I would put Cochereau above Dupré - Those improvisations of Dupré which I have heard, or have on CD, I have found to be rather dry and academic.

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"Personally, I would put Cochereau above Dupré"

(Quote)

 

As you say: a personal matter. Rather!

 

Pierre

 

It is interesting to note that Dupré described his pupil Cochereau as ‘an improviser without equal in the history of French twentieth century organ music’.

 

In addition, I have read an eyewitness account of Thalben-Ball reproducing an improvisation of Dupré rather well. This took place the day after Dupré had given a recital in England. Thalben-Ball had provided the theme for the improvisation, which he had made quite purposely diatonic - in order to see what Dupré could do with it. Paul Murray (a former pupil of Thalben-Ball) said:

 

'[Dupré] played a very nice four-part fugue, and did a reasonably good toccata, but there were none of he brilliant fireworks one usually associates with Dupré, because there were no chromatics or rapid passagework'. the next day Murray discussed this with Thalben-Ball, and 'GTB played a good deal of what Dupré had done the night before.' *

 

 

 

* p. 129. George Thalben-Ball. Jonathan Rennert. David & Charles, Newton Abbot, London, North Pomfret (Vt). 1979.

 

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I too put Cochereau above Dupre.

 

Tournemire too.

 

My favourite Dupre improv is the Symphonie in D-minor from Cologne Cathedral (1957).

The fantastic fourth movement toccata has the closest I've heard of Dupre displaying 'reckless abandon' thanks in part to the splendidly simple theme.

 

Incidentally, does anyone know the publisher of 'Zephyrs' a Dupre improv reconstructed by Rollin Smith from an organ-roll?

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I too put Cochereau above Dupre.

 

Tournemire too.

 

My favourite Dupre improv is the Symphonie in D-minor from Cologne Cathedral (1957).

The fantastic fourth movement toccata has the closest I've heard of Dupre displaying 'reckless abandon' thanks in part to the splendidly simple theme.

 

I shall listen to this again today. I do remember that the first movement was well constructed - but did sound a little four-square.

 

Apparently, Tournemire almost invariably ended the sortie after Mass quietly. He would also stand on the pedals at moments of great tension or exaltation during an improvisation.

 

Weird.

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My favourite Dupre improv is the Symphonie in D-minor from Cologne Cathedral (1957).

The fantastic fourth movement toccata has the closest I've heard of Dupre displaying 'reckless abandon' thanks in part to the splendidly simple theme.

 

I have just listened to the first and fourth movements again. I note that the toccata ends with the inevitable French march....

 

Now compare this to just one example of a similar type by Cochereau. For example, the Sortie (Messe de 11h30) 1er décembre 1968. Taken from the second disc of the three-disc set Pierre Cochereau l'organiste de Notre-Dame. FY Solstice: SOCD94-96.

 

The harmonic language is considerably richer, there is more excitement - with a well graded climax - and another march.... It is also somewhat more technically complex.

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Apparently, Tournemire almost invariably ended the sortie after Mass quietly. He would also stand on the pedals at moments of great tension or exaltation during an improvisation.

 

Weird.

 

I've seen Virgil Fox do the same thing for the final note of BWV 532!

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I have just listened to the first and fourth movements again. I note that the toccata ends with the inevitable French march....

 

Now compare this to just one example of a similar type by Cochereau. For example, the Sortie (Messe de 11h30) 1er décembre 1968. Taken from the second disc of the three-disc set Pierre Cochereau l'organiste de Notre-Dame. FY Solstice: SOCD14-96.

 

The harmonic language is considerably richer, there is more excitement - with a well graded climax - and another march.... It is also somewaht more technically complex.

 

Yes, I noticed the French march was a trait Cochereau inherited from his teacher. There's the splendid conclusion to the Sortie on 'Adeste Fideles', the amusing Finale to the Variations on 'O Filii et Filiae' from the 3-CD set. (I can't pick the tune, but there's a hint of Battle Hymn of the Republic!) and above all the Prelude, Chorale & Variations on 'Marche des Rois' (from Improvise sur des Noels); IMHO the greatest Cochereau improvisation I've yet heard.

 

I agree with every observation you make, and I'll just say that I believe Cochereau surpassed his maitre in all improvisational genres except Fugue. However, I do think that in the D-minor Finale, Dupre's toccata figuration is far more coherent than the typical Cochereau toccata. This is why I think the less frenzied of Cochereau's toccatas are more succesful, eg. the Adeste Fideles sortie.

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I agree with every observation you make, and I'll just say that I believe Cochereau surpassed his maitre in all improvisational genres except Fugue. However, I do think that in the D-minor Finale, Dupre's toccata figuration is far more coherent than the typical Cochereau toccata. This is why I think the less frenzied of Cochereau's toccatas are more succesful, eg. the Adeste Fideles sortie.

 

I would also agree with you, here.

 

I suspect that few would surpass Dupré in the art of counterpoint. However, neither have I heard a scherzo symphonique to rival those of Cochereau - not even from Pincemaille.

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I too put Cochereau above Dupre.

 

Tournemire too.

 

My favourite Dupre improv is the Symphonie in D-minor from Cologne Cathedral (1957).

The fantastic fourth movement toccata has the closest I've heard of Dupre displaying 'reckless abandon' thanks in part to the splendidly simple theme.

 

Incidentally, does anyone know the publisher of 'Zephyrs' a Dupre improv reconstructed by Rollin Smith from an organ-roll?

 

H.W. Gray Publications

A division of Belwin-Mills Publishing Corp.

Melville, NY. 11746

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I have just listened to the first and fourth movements again. I note that the toccata ends with the inevitable French march....

 

Now compare this to just one example of a similar type by Cochereau. For example, the Sortie (Messe de 11h30) 1er décembre 1968. Taken from the second disc of the three-disc set Pierre Cochereau l'organiste de Notre-Dame. FY Solstice: SOCD94-96.

 

The harmonic language is considerably richer, there is more excitement - with a well graded climax - and another march.... It is also somewhat more technically complex.

 

Oh yes - quite an expensive piece too when driving on the motorway (flashed again ...)

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... and above all the Prelude, Chorale & Variations on 'Marche des Rois' (from Improvise sur des Noels); IMHO the greatest Cochereau improvisation I've yet heard.

 

This is certainly good - but for my money, the Prélude et Variations sur 'Venez Divin Messie' towers head and shoulders over virtually all the others.

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