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Bourges Cathedral


MAB

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I will be visiting the eastern side of the Loire this year and very much want to visit Bourges Cathedral. It is one of the few 'premier league' French cathedrals that I have not visited, and from looking at photographs on the web it looks magnificent.

 

Does anyone know anything of the organ ? I have a vague memory of an acquaintance playing there some years ago, which suggests it is a fine instrument. I have also found a CD on the internet which suggests that the instrument is Classical rather than modern.

 

If possible, can anyone suggest how I might approach to ask if I could play the instrument ? French cathedrals and their organists always seem a mystery to me ; there never seems to be an organist or other appropriate contact named on the website and, obviously, nothing like the 7 days a week music programme that we have at cathedrals in this country.

 

On the other hand, my experience in France has generally been that if you make a courteous enquiry, you are welcomed warmly.

 

Hope someone can help.

 

Kind regards,

M

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I will be visiting the eastern side of the Loire this year and very much want to visit Bourges Cathedral. It is one of the few 'premier league' French cathedrals that I have not visited, and from looking at photographs on the web it looks magnificent.

 

Does anyone know anything of the organ ? I have a vague memory of an acquaintance playing there some years ago, which suggests it is a fine instrument. I have also found a CD on the internet which suggests that the instrument is Classical rather than modern.

 

If possible, can anyone suggest how I might approach to ask if I could play the instrument ? French cathedrals and their organists always seem a mystery to me ; there never seems to be an organist or other appropriate contact named on the website and, obviously, nothing like the 7 days a week music programme that we have at cathedrals in this country.

 

On the other hand, my experience in France has generally been that if you make a courteous enquiry, you are welcomed warmly.

 

Hope someone can help.

 

Kind regards,

M

 

 

Greetings Mark,

 

Stepping into Bourges Cathedral is a truly 'jaw-dropping' experience, very much like Amiens in terms of sheer verticality. I visited here en-route back from the South of France a few years ago. I too have visited all the 'premiership' French Cathedrals and many 'lesser league' ones too, Bourges is one of the very best in my opinion.

 

Here is the spec of the organ, I didn't hear it when I was there.

 

Personally I have always found French organists very accommodating in terms of letting you play. Last year I approached the organist after the main Sunday Mass at Sens and was allowed half an hour on the organ.

 

To make prior arrangements to play I suggest you make contact through Les Amis, the site give a contact email address and the name of the Titulaire.

 

Good luck,

Regards,

David

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We were down that way at Easter - someone was playing when I went in but I could not make contact. There used to be a series of recitals - a couple of years back when we went there was an exhibition with photos of previous players including a few from the UK. I agree with David Thornton about contact and indeed French organists - most are happy to allow one to play when one has made one's self know. The Cathedral in Blois (not that far from Bourges) has recitals and a nice (Merklin 'plus') 3 manual and the organ at Tours Cathedral is not that long restored. The French organist's association The FFAO can also be a good starting point for contacts.

 

A

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Dear David and AJJ

 

Many thanks for these most helpful replies.

 

I am already drooling in anticipation !

 

I will let you know how I get on.

 

thanks again,

M

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just to let readers know that I have now got in touch with the organist at Bourges and received a most warm reply inviting me to play the organ on my visit.

 

An excellent example, if I may say, of the collegiate warmth of this board, and of the welcome we receive from our brothers overseas.

 

M

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