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Maybe, having noted swalmsley's comments about the St. Ouen recitals, this would be an opportune time to ask when would be the best time to visit Paris?

 

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You could join The Organ Club! Members are going to Paris for eight days next February - 8 days because this includes two Sundays. We are to hear demonstrated and enjoy at first hand virtually all the famous Paris organs. The Club is good at several things, but almost top of this list is the thoroughness of the planning that goes into the annual tour. This ought to be a stress-free delight for those that simply join the party. Well, it'll be a jaunt of a lifetime for me!

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Maybe, having noted swalmsley's comments about the St. Ouen recitals, this would be an opportune time to ask when would be the best time to visit Paris? My wife and I have decided on a fortnight in Autumn 2009 but would appreciate some advice on the timing. We have sort of planned on 2 weeks self-catering (for the flexibility) in September/October and wonder if this is going to result in plenty of music being available? I think Rouen is about 60 minutes train journey from Paris and the chance to hear the organ there must not be missed. Thank you in advance for any advice.

 

Sorry to hijack the thread, but to return to it - St.Sulpice and St. Ouen equal first - but this is based only on recordings!

 

P

 

Yes, I too would be very interested in when to visit and hear the organ at St. Ouen.

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You could join The Organ Club! Members are going to Paris for eight days next February - 8 days because this includes two Sundays. We are to hear demonstrated and enjoy at first hand virtually all the famous Paris organs. The Club is good at several things, but almost top of this list is the thoroughness of the planning that goes into the annual tour. This ought to be a stress-free delight for those that simply join the party. Well, it'll be a jaunt of a lifetime for me!

 

Mrs AJJ & small AJJs permitting - I'll be there!!

 

AJJ

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Just to be controversial, I rather like the ACC of St. François de Sales at Lyon. It isn't spectacular like St. Ouen or St. Sulpice, but I find it very much more the kind of organ I could live with. Small, but perfectly formed, as the saying goes. :)

JC

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Anyone who appreciates fine organs has to make the pilgrimage to Rouen at least once in their lifetime. We are incredibly lucky that CC had the opportunity, at the end of his illustrious career, to work with such a fabulous acoustic, perfect middle-height west end positioning, and such a goldmine of historic pipework, and that he used his skill, genius, and money to such spectacular advantage. We're also incredibly lucky that a century of vigilance has resisted modernisation, electrification and other "improvements". On the other hand, it's unfortunate that, unlike St, Sulpice, it can only be heard at a handful of autumn recitals each year, which are, shockingly, attended by just a handful of people!

 

Indeed, three times I've attended these autumn concerts (they were always in September) and all were poorly attended. And all were stunning recitals! On the third visit we were lucky to be given an encore, Vierne's Final of Symphonie No1, at which point a very large group of tourists entered the Abbey and were dumbstruck at the sound they were listening to. From their faces you could tell that they were entering into an experience beyond there wildest imaginings. The applause at the end went on for 5 minutes.

 

You could join The Organ Club! Members are going to Paris for eight days next February - 8 days because this includes two Sundays. We are to hear demonstrated and enjoy at first hand virtually all the famous Paris organs. The Club is good at several things, but almost top of this list is the thoroughness of the planning that goes into the annual tour. This ought to be a stress-free delight for those that simply join the party. Well, it'll be a jaunt of a lifetime for me!

 

I'm definitely interested in this one, count me in!!

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The tutti at St. Sulpice is like an good St. Emilion, ripe with velvet chocolate and depth, with layers of complexity which gradually reveal themselves to the listener.

 

What a lovely analogy! Since I really like the merlot of St Emilion, I am really struggling to come up with a similar analogy for St Ouen! Er, the temptation to choose one of the First Growths is tempting, if one can afford it!

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Just a brief warning if contributors have picked up on the Organ Club tour to Paris, it's proving to be very popular with existing members as one would expect and I undertand that it is already likely to be oversubscribed, so if you're interested join the Club quickly and get your name down!

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I heard St. Sernin about 4 years ago, someone rather good was practicing so we sat and walked around the Basilica for about an hour. The player used mostly quiet to mezzo combinations, up to full Recit and most of the Grande, but not the big Pedale or Grande reeds.

 

The thing that impressed me the most was the pervasive nature of the sound, quiet combinations and single stops just filled the whole church regardless of where you were stood. The Grande Flute Harmonique was so solid it felt like you could reach out and touch the sound.

 

You don't get that at St. Sulpice, even less so at Notre Dame, you do however get it at Chartres!

 

We've visited St. Ouen but didn't have any opportunity to hear the organ - the Abbey is absolutely vast! We will definitely be returning to hear it some time.

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The thing that impressed me the most was the pervasive nature of the sound, quiet combinations and single stops just filled the whole church regardless of where you were stood. The Grande Flute Harmonique was so solid it felt like you could reach out and touch the sound.

 

You don't get that at St. Sulpice, even less so at Notre Dame, you do however get it at Chartres!

 

Concerning St Sulpice and St Sernin, I agree with you, but don't forget the size of the building and the organ position make a big difference.

 

St Sernin is smaller in volume and in terms of width compared to St Sulpice. I don't think you can really make a like with like comaprison - both are magical in their own way. Also no one has recently mentioned that the dates of the organs at St Sernin and at St Sulpice are 30 years or so apart - you wouldn't expect that Cavaille Coll's ideas to have remained unchanged over such a period.

 

(the new organ at Chartres (which I don't like the sound of) is not at the west end, but on the south wall as far as I remember)

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Maybe, having noted swalmsley's comments about the St. Ouen recitals, this would be an opportune time to ask when would be the best time to visit Paris? My wife and I have decided on a fortnight in Autumn 2009 but would appreciate some advice on the timing. We have sort of planned on 2 weeks self-catering (for the flexibility) in September/October and wonder if this is going to result in plenty of music being available? I think Rouen is about 60 minutes train journey from Paris and the chance to hear the organ there must not be missed. Thank you in advance for any advice.

and St. Ouen equal first - but this is based only on recordings!

 

P

 

I would also like to hear St Ouen - but can't find any information - has anyone got any internet links please?

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I would also like to hear St Ouen - but can't find any information - has anyone got any internet links please?

 

The Jeremy Filsell Vierne CDs give a good impression.

 

AJJ

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Thanks for suggestions - but I would really like to go and hear it live if I can find a suitable recital.

 

Always best - we'll get there one day - my only Rouen experiences up to now are going through on the way south by car.

 

AJJ

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Thanks for suggestions - but I would really like to go and hear it live if I can find a suitable recital.

 

Yes, absolutely, and it's well worth it. I have to say that the one recital we went to we stumbled on by accident one year in September I think - as I recall it was a wet Sunday afternoon! I can't find a current list of recitals anywhere. We've stayed in the city quite a few times usually on the way back from somewhere else, but got to like Rouen, especially the old part. R.

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