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Dijon, Cathedrale St Benigne


Clavecin
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Just returned from 3 weeks in France, mostly in Burgundy where we visited very many fine churches in the distinctive Burgunian Gothic syle and transitional Romanesque/Gothic. I know, tough - but hey, someone's got to do it!

 

Didn't get to hear many organs this year and only managed to play one small Choir Organ.

However, we attended a Mass at the Cathedral of St Benigne in Dijon and heard this.

It sounded absolutely stunning, played by a lady organist.

 

The case is huge, the largest pipes are probably 24ft (bottom F of the 32), although the nave is quite spacious the cathedral is relatively small by French standards. If you haven't seen this website before, it's worth spending some time on - plenty of good photos both of the instruments and the building they are in.

 

So, anybody else heard this organ, or played it?

 

DT

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[f good photos both of the instruments and the building they are in.

 

So, anybody else heard this organ, or played it?

 

DT

 

It must have been 8/10 years ago when we stayed overnight in Dijon en route to the Correze and went to Sunday morning Mass at the cathedral. At that time a small notice by a door stated that if you wanted to see the organ, turn up a quarter of an hour prior to Mass. We did, and the organist invited us to stay up in the organ loft for the Mass - the best part of two hours! (special Mass for an archbishop or someone whose last Sunday it was).

 

The organist was I think Yves Cuenot, who was very friendly and told me a lot about the organ and the work then recently done to it. And a brilliant player. Although the organ is primarily classical in concept the recit is more symphonic in style and sound. I remember the organ caused a lot of controversy in France at the time, as not everyone liked it, and besides it was rebuilt by Gerhard Schmid from Bavaria (not French - shock, horror!). I didn't have opportunity to play it - too many VIPs about and a buffet/party which started in the cathedral straight after Mass - but I thought the sound was absolutely stunning! I have a CD of it somewhere. Well worth a visit if you're within striking distance of Dijon, I'd agree. This organ really cuts the mustard (sorry!).

 

R

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Yes I spend almost evey week up there during the school holidays. The organ is a strange instrument, and appears to lack the sheer clout of the Beaune Reippe/Formitelli instrument. There is a real oddity on the Recit with an enormous Clairon 4 which tends to make the Recit sound like any 20th century modern German organ.

 

The console is fascinating with it's combination system hidden in a drawer behind a stoknob - with a credit card machine arrangement. The pedalboard also goes down to AAAA just to confound people.

 

Strangely enough the organ succeeds better at congregational accompaniment than as a solo instrument.

 

Hector

 

 

So, anybody else heard this organ, or played it?

 

DT

 

 

It must have been 8/10 years ago when we stayed overnight in Dijon en route to the Correze and went to Sunday morning Mass at the cathedral. At that time a small notice by a door stated that if you wanted to see the organ, turn up a quarter of an hour prior to Mass. We did, and the organist invited us to stay up in the organ loft for the Mass - the best part of two hours! (special Mass for an archbishop or someone whose last Sunday it was).

 

The organist was I think Yves Cuenot, who was very friendly and told me a lot about the organ and the work then recently done to it. And a brilliant player. Although the organ is primarily classical in concept the recit is more symphonic in style and sound. I remember the organ caused a lot of controversy in France at the time, as not everyone liked it, and besides it was rebuilt by Gerhard Schmid from Bavaria (not French - shock, horror!). I didn't have opportunity to play it - too many VIPs about and a buffet/party which started in the cathedral straight after Mass - but I thought the sound was absolutely stunning! I have a CD of it somewhere. Well worth a visit if you're within striking distance of Dijon, I'd agree. This organ really cuts the mustard (sorry!).

 

R

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At that time a small notice by a door stated that if you wanted to see the organ, turn up a quarter of an hour prior to Mass.

 

Hi Ron,

 

Yes, I read the little notice. Unfortunately we had a train to catch so I didn't want to accept an invitation into the organ loft then have to leave before the end of the service if it went on too long, also it would have been a real shame to have to decline any offer to play after the service had finished (not likely, but you never know!). Anyway, I really wanted to hear the organ from the floor.

 

Regards,

DT

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Just returned from 3 weeks in France, mostly in Burgundy where we visited very many fine churches in the distinctive Burgunian Gothic syle and transitional Romanesque/Gothic. I know, tough - but hey, someone's got to do it!

 

Didn't get to hear many organs this year and only managed to play one small Choir Organ.

However, we attended a Mass at the Cathedral of St Benigne in Dijon and heard this.

It sounded absolutely stunning, played by a lady organist.

 

The case is huge, the largest pipes are probably 24ft (bottom F of the 32), although the nave is quite spacious the cathedral is relatively small by French standards. If you haven't seen this website before, it's worth spending some time on - plenty of good photos both of the instruments and the building they are in.

 

So, anybody else heard this organ, or played it?

 

DT

This organ was played in april 2004 at the occasion of the 20th anniversery of Cochereau's death by Maurice Clerc titular organist (former Cochereau's pupil) and Pierre Pincemaille amongst others. To me this instrument is representative of the neo classical organs fit to play a broad variety of litterature.

You may listen to it on this site(bottom of the page): the improvisation by Cochereau has been of course recorded prior to the restauration (1996)

http://www.orguecathedraledijon.com/vente.html

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