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Vertus Aubertin


Malcolm Farr
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When my daughter came home earlier this year from student exchange at Vertus, near Épernay in the Champagne district, she mentioned that the church has a pipe organ - something along the lines of, "It's got a pipe organ there, the sort of thing you might like, dad." (Her tastes fall more towards bands like Panic at the Disco and Fall Out Boy - heaven forfend!) I've found out that it's an Aubertin, and am wondering if anyone here has played or at least heard it.

 

We should be going through Vertus early next year, and I'm wondering if the organ is worth a visit.

 

Rgds

MJF

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Any Aubertin is worth a visit, in my opinion.

 

DW

Well that's good to hear, for a start. Where I live these days (Perth, WA) is, I expect, a very long way from any Aubertin instrument. So, for the moment at least, Aubertin can only be a "mere name" for me; but I expect that will change ...

 

Rgds

MJF

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Thanks for that - looks Very Interesting (at least on paper) even before the III manual arrives.

 

Unfortunatey, my French isn't particularly good these days - alright, it never was - but am I right in thinking the prepared III "pectoral" manual would be a brustwerk of sorts?

 

Rgds

MJF

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At least three CDs have been made on the Aubertin organ at Vertus.

 

1. Olivier Vernet recorded several works there as part of his complete survey of JSB's complete organ music. There are two ways of buying the Vertus recordings: either a 15 CD set (Ligia Digital 0104081-99) of the complete works, or as a 3 CD set (Ligia Digital 0104046/48-97).

 

2. Nigel Allcoat knows the organ well and Cantoris have issued two CDs:

CRCD6041, entitled "Improvisations II," is performed on the Aubertin organs at St Martin, Vertus and St Catherine, Bitche

CRCD6040, entitled "Barock Orgel," is recorded at Vertus and includes works by Sweelinck, Buxtehude, Böhm and JSB

I only know this instrument from recordings but can highly recommend all three CDs.

 

Regards

 

Oscar

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I have not played Vertus but have had extended chunks of time (largely through the generous offices and large circle of contacts of Nigel Allcoat) on Aubertin's instruments in Paris and Vichy and explored the main St John's Oxford machine with others. All are superb but can not be 'taken in' all at once. One has almost to abandon all pre - conceived ideas and play the music the way the instrument dictates - they are all decidedly mind blowing in fact!

 

Whatever one's inclination (and I realise that they might not be every one's glass of champagne) one should at least try an Aubertin.... but try and get a good long 'go'. Certainly also, all the resident musicians are immensely proud of their instruments and anxious to let others know how lucky they are. It was with some trepidation that I added my name to the list of the great and good who had played there - in the visitors book at Vichy.

 

A

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It is a remarkable instrument, indeed. Although originally designed as a 3 manual it is a most complete 2 nevertheless, and one never misses anything. The casework is stunning and in perfect proportion with the reasonably large medieval church of St Martin. It was the first instrument that people from Aberdeen University and St John's College, Oxford played first when I took them on a three-day tour of differing Aubertins and I believe I am sure I would be correct in saying that the choice to engage Bernard Aubertin to build for them happened after visiting. All the others (Virming, Sarralbe, Saesolssheim, Bitche etc) only reinforced their decision. Do visit and also any one of the 120 champagne family houses that make up the town of Vertus! Some pilgrimage.

Best wishes,

N

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Are any details available of a substantial 3 man. Aubertin apparently heading for Denmark?

 

A

 

There will be sounds this very week and a delegation visits Courtefontaine as well. I believe it will be installed around May next year. It is quite like Saint-Louis in Paris but with Oberwerk and not Unterwerk. The church is magnificent and for Denmark, extremely tall. The acoustic is glorious and the final result is without a doubt, going to be a sensation. However, it will not look like the usual Aubertin casework as there are considerable stringent rules that are laid down by the country's church architects for the 'outer-wear' of the instrument.

N

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Thanks, Nigel, it sounds fantastic.

 

I've been amazed recently to find out how many wonderful (and not so wonderful) recordings/videos one can find both on Facebook and YouTube. Having joined Facebook myself only about ten days ago (and being technologically somewhat inept) I've been surprised and slightly disappointed that I haven't been able to find any group which appears to be an offshoot of this Board or anything similar apart from "Organists" which I've just joined.

 

Malcolm

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Thanks, Nigel, it sounds fantastic.

 

I've been amazed recently to find out how many wonderful (and not so wonderful) recordings/videos one can find both on Facebook and YouTube. Having joined Facebook myself only about ten days ago (and being technologically somewhat inept) I've been surprised and slightly disappointed that I haven't been able to find any group which appears to be an offshoot of this Board or anything similar apart from "Organists" which I've just joined.

 

Malcolm

 

Most kind of you to say. But if you trawl through my site on Face Book there are 47 videos of things - mostly organs. Likewise on Les Amis Aubertins group there are videos too as well as loads of photographs (as also found in my numerous albums). With rain and snow approaching in Winter, Face Book and You Tube are saviours!

 

Best wishes,

N

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