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New console Notre Dame de Paris

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I saw this photo on facebook. I deduct that Carbou is wrong when asserting PC'bench has been thrown away! But where is now Vierne's bench?

 

Have just found this note referring to Louis Vierne's organ bench 'There's a choice of organ benches too - if the modern one is deemed too high, guests can opt for Louis Vierne's own bench, parked rather unceremoniously in the corner and stamped with a commemorative brass plaque.'

 

Another has noted that 'To this day, the bench on which he was seated is kept near the entrance to the organ loft nearly 100 feet above the nave. It bears a small plaque with his name.

Both bench and plaque can be seen in this link http://www.hectorsfr...com/2006-ND.htm

 

A short link (out of sync) to Louis Vierne sat on this bench

This is perhaps the only know film of him performing.

 

What a wonderful man he was !!!

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I agree with all the comments regarding the appearance of the new console. I fail to see how such a design and appearance can blend with everything else around it? Perhaps that's not important though, so I presume that it's 'functional' aspects are an improvement over the previous console? (which I quite liked).

 

I also do not understand the purpose, if any, of the 'new' Resonance division. I know most of the pipework is derived from the previous Petite Pedale, but what's with the new mutations Neuvieme and Onzieme? Having googled these, their use in other instruments appears to be very rare. There is a Neuvieme at St Eustache but still, can anyone provide a pointer for their use? Any ideas what they sound like? Is this a case of mutation madness?

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I also do not understand the purpose, if any, of the 'new' Resonance division. I know most of the pipework is derived from the previous Petite Pedale, but what's with the new mutations Neuvieme and Onzieme? Having googled these, their use in other instruments appears to be very rare. There is a Neuvieme at St Eustache but still, can anyone provide a pointer for their use? Any ideas what they sound like? Is this a case of mutation madness?

 

Yes, it is! Isn’t that wonderful? :-)

 

Seriously, the titulaires of Notre-Dame have come up with many interesting way to use their unusual wealth of mutations -- in improvisation. I have a fantastic CD of Leguay improvising, making use of many different mutation-generated colours.

 

Furthermore, on Fugue State Films’s Cavaillé-Coll set, there is (on DVD 3, Latry improvisation, at 2'49), a grand passage in Olivier Latry’s improvisation where he creates, aided by solid-state off-unison coupling, extremely colourful out-of-tune sounds on manual I that accompany, aided further by the sostenuto, a sombre Voix humaine duet on the Récit. It’s a dream, of a behind-the-looking-glass quality, to listen to -- apt to make ponder anyone who used to eschew the marriage of solid-state technology and traditional production of organ sounds.

 

Best,

Friedrich

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Yes, it is! Isn’t that wonderful? :-)

 

Seriously, the titulaires of Notre-Dame have come up with many interesting way to use their unusual wealth of mutations -- in improvisation. I have a fantastic CD of Leguay improvising, making use of many different mutation-generated colours.

 

Furthermore, on Fugue State Films’s Cavaillé-Coll set, there is (on DVD 3, Latry improvisation, at 2'49), a grand passage in Olivier Latry’s improvisation where he creates, aided by solid-state off-unison coupling, extremely colourful out-of-tune sounds on manual I that accompany, aided further by the sostenuto, a sombre Voix humaine duet on the Récit. It’s a dream, of a behind-the-looking-glass quality, to listen to -- apt to make ponder anyone who used to eschew the marriage of solid-state technology and traditional production of organ sounds.

 

Best,

Friedrich

 

I suppose it is wonderful, if you like mutations. In total there wil be twenty-one independent mutations on this organ, which is a staggering number, even for the size of this instrument. Still, it will be interesting to listen to the effects of an Onzieme 2 10/11.

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I agree with all the comments regarding the appearance of the new console. I fail to see how such a design and appearance can blend with everything else around it? Perhaps that's not important though, so I presume that it's 'functional' aspects are an improvement over the previous console? (which I quite liked).

 

I also do not understand the purpose, if any, of the 'new' Resonance division. I know most of the pipework is derived from the previous Petite Pedale, but what's with the new mutations Neuvieme and Onzieme? Having googled these, their use in other instruments appears to be very rare. There is a Neuvieme at St Eustache but still, can anyone provide a pointer for their use? Any ideas what they sound like? Is this a case of mutation madness?

 

I would agree entirely with this viewpoint. I further doubt that the new console has any functional (or ergonomic) advantage over the old console - which I also liked.

 

The new Resonnance division appears to me to be entirely a whim of the present titulaires. To me, this latest rebuild (and bear in mind that this instrument is scheduled for further extensive work next year) has taken this organ somewhat further from its Cavaillé-Coll roots than anything Pierre Cochereau did.

 

Oh to have this instrument returned to either its 1932 or its 1977 state - I am almost at the point where I do not care which of these two incarnations it resembles; I should view either as a vast improvement on this latest bizarre scheme.

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I would agree entirely with this viewpoint. I further doubt that the new console has any functional (or ergonomic) advantage over the old console - which I also liked.

The new Resonnance division appears to me to be entirely a whim of the present titulaires. To me, this latest rebuild (and bear in mind that this instrument is scheduled for further extensive work next year) has taken this organ somewhat further from its Cavaillé-Coll roots than anything Pierre Cochereau did. […]

A member of the German orgelforum.info just posted excerpts from Anthony Hammond’s book on Cochereau. It appears that, after C-C’s latest work, the organ never actually reached a state that could have been called finished, and that the Cochereau console was never more than a perpetuated interim solution. If there ever was a state that could claim to have some integrity, it was the state from 1991 on -- except for the blatant computer problems, the organ was fully functional and apparently musically sound, if only from impost level on up. If I compare recordings of before and after 1991, it is, to my ears, obvious that the rebuild (re-) introduced much of the C-C sonorities that the organ sadly lacked during the decades before. That being said, a reconstruction of the C-C incarnation of the organ would apparently be hypothetical, as the pipework and mechanism have undergone so may alterations.

 

I don’t know if I would go as far as to call the resonance a whim. I thought Cochereau’s small pedal division -- which is to form the core of the new resonance -- was much more whimsical than a full-fledged, expressive manual division, as it is planned now, would be. I also stand by my opinion that the current titulaires keep proving the usefulness of the mutations every single day. Let’s not forget that it was Cavaillé-Coll's idea in the first place that extensive use of mutations was the way to overcome the challenges of the extreme acoustics. Apparently he did not only think that they would work there, but that the organ could only be successful with the mutations, and would fail without them.

 

What I do not know as well is where they will put the box (or boxes) for that new expressive division. I also don’t get it why anyone could want a console that looks like a toy kitchen, with its light-brown stop handles against a background of identical colour. But I most certainly know that the current titulaires did prove that they do not act on whims, and that their musical judgement is sound (so to speak).

 

Best,

Friedrich

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A member of the German orgelforum.info just posted excerpts from Anthony Hammond’s book on Cochereau. It appears that, after C-C’s latest work, the organ never actually reached a state that could have been called finished, and that the Cochereau console was never more than a perpetuated interim solution. If there ever was a state that could claim to have some integrity, it was the state from 1991 on -- except for the blatant computer problems, the organ was fully functional and apparently musically sound, if only from impost level on up. If I compare recordings of before and after 1991, it is, to my ears, obvious that the rebuild (re-) introduced much of the C-C sonorities that the organ sadly lacked during the decades before. That being said, a reconstruction of the C-C incarnation of the organ would apparently be hypothetical, as the pipework and mechanism have undergone so may alterations.

 

I don’t know if I would go as far as to call the resonance a whim. I thought Cochereau’s small pedal division -- which is to form the core of the new resonance -- was much more whimsical than a full-fledged, expressive manual division, as it is planned now, would be. I also stand by my opinion that the current titulaires keep proving the usefulness of the mutations every single day. Let’s not forget that it was Cavaillé-Coll's idea in the first place that extensive use of mutations was the way to overcome the challenges of the extreme acoustics. Apparently he did not only think that they would work there, but that the organ could only be successful with the mutations, and would fail without them.

 

What I do not know as well is where they will put the box (or boxes) for that new expressive division. I also don’t get it why anyone could want a console that looks like a toy kitchen, with its light-brown stop handles against a background of identical colour. But I most certainly know that the current titulaires did prove that they do not act on whims, and that their musical judgement is sound (so to speak).

 

Best,

Friedrich

 

I quite like the 'toy kitchen' analogy! Almost immediately the thoughts of 'IKEA' came to my mind, and that really sums up the appearance of this new console. A very cheap IKEA kitchen suite. On some of the close-ups of the woodword (in one of the videos posted) the quality of the finish is actually quite dreadful. In all seriousness my young daughter could do a better job at cabinetry in her woodwork class than the pile of balsawood shown here.

 

I do not agree on the 1991 work though. For me the integrity of the organ, as accomplished by Cochereau's tenure, was fundamentally altered by that work. The overall balance of the organ, even with the Boisseau chamades as originally set up, was much better pre-1991. For instance, the new chamade additions were unnecessary. With all the chamades used, everything gets obliterated, and the balance is to my ears, wrong.

 

I also have a nagging fear (and I hope I am wrong) that everything to do with the Cochereau era is being slowly, and deliberately, erased. It may be that the present Titulaires do not wish to be reminded of the Cochereau legacy? Perhaps this is a 'French' thing? All I will say is that I preferred the 'Cochereau' organ. The next instalment can only be a further migration away from that organ. I really do think that's a shame.

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I would agree entirely with this viewpoint. I further doubt that the new console has any functional (or ergonomic) advantage over the old console - which I also liked.

 

The new Resonnance division appears to me to be entirely a whim of the present titulaires. To me, this latest rebuild (and bear in mind that this instrument is scheduled for further extensive work next year) has taken this organ somewhat further from its Cavaillé-Coll roots than anything Pierre Cochereau did.

 

Oh to have this instrument returned to either its 1932 or its 1977 state - I am almost at the point where I do not care which of these two incarnations it resembles; I should view either as a vast improvement on this latest bizarre scheme.

 

Thank you. And yes, I agree!

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I quite like the 'toy kitchen' analogy! Almost immediately the thoughts of 'IKEA' came to my mind …

 

That’s the nasty four-letter word I did want to avoid, but now it’s out in the open … :rolleyes:

 

… I do not agree on the 1991 work though. For me the integrity of the organ, as accomplished by Cochereau's tenure, was fundamentally altered by that work. The overall balance of the organ, even with the Boisseau chamades as originally set up, was much better pre-1991. For instance, the new chamade additions were unnecessary. With all the chamades used, everything gets obliterated, and the balance is to my ears, wrong. I also have a nagging fear (and I hope I am wrong) that everything to do with the Cochereau era is being slowly, and deliberately, erased …

 

I’m not quite sure about this. I think the overall concept is not aiming at one, but at several ensembles. If all Chamades together upset the overall balance, well, it’s evident what not to do then, isn’t it? I do like the new ones copied from Saint-Sernin, they have a singing quality that the Boisseau Chamades lacked, in my ears. As to the mixtures, I was under the impression that the redistribution left the separate choruses basically intact, reinstating C-C’s exciting GO choruses and moving the neoclassical ones to other divisions. I once was lucky enough to have Olivier Latry sitting opposite of me in a Berlin Hotel, with an MD device on the table and him explaining the origin of the resources and how they are distributed over the organ since 1991. It was admirable how clearly he had mapped that monstrous, to the visitor even chaotic, organ in his mind.

 

As to the mutations once more, is there, in the background, maybe a possibility that liking or not liking them might have to do with national organbuilding traditions? The English tradition never really cherished single-rank mutations, except for composite stops and the chorus Twelfth. Flutey mutations came up with the neo-classical Positives that suddenly sprouted out of the gaps between high-pressure chests of Edwardian cathedral organs. What else could they be than whim, in that context? Who really needed them? It was Claribels against Cromornes, and it rarely worked out, or did it?

 

In the French tradition, as we all know, that was very much different. Mutations were, apart from the choruses, the bread-and-butter of French organ sound almost all the time. There were one or two decades in mid-to-late 19th century, when even Cavaillé-Coll abandoned mutations. He took them up for Notre-Dame again, and not out of a folly, but because he had done extensive research on them and was convinced that they were essentially instrumental in order to make the Notre-Dame organ work in that space. Later French builders saw, or re-discovered, the advantages of mutations as well.

 

Best,

Friedrich

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In all seriousness my young daughter could do a better job at cabinetry in her woodwork class than the pile of balsawood shown here.

 

 

You must have a very talented daughter!!!

 

Or, perhaps, you just feel very strongly about the new console, perhaps you have to find your way around it on a regular basis!

 

I think that, like with so many things, the French seem to have a habit of putting, what we often see as, extreme architecture or extreme style next to something or part of something that is completely 'traditional'. For those of us who have lived in France (and will again soon!!) this is quite common and the style and design of the new 'Notre Dame' console surprises me not one little bit.

 

Having said that I'm not sure I like it but, of my four very talented children, not one of them could 'knock up' something as good as that!!

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My main concern is not the cosmetic side of a console but the actual connection of player to instrument. Touch and action are of paramount importance. What it is clothed in doesn't interest me in the slightest, nor would it have done to somebody such as Langlais, I suggest.

Players today seem to rely constantly upon pistons and steppers. Hand registration seems not possible on large instruments these days (from what I have seen) so the actual comglomeration of rows and rows of stops almost seem superluous. I view some American instruments (for an immediate instance), that a fleeting pull of one necessary stop, is like plucking a sapling from a forest. Has modern technology allowed the instrument to become an un-manageable beast without endless aids to control it?

N.

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I quite like the 'toy kitchen' analogy! Almost immediately the thoughts of 'IKEA' came to my mind, and that really sums up the appearance of this new console. A very cheap IKEA kitchen suite. On some of the close-ups of the woodword (in one of the videos posted) the quality of the finish is actually quite dreadful. In all seriousness my young daughter could do a better job at cabinetry in her woodwork class than the pile of balsawood shown here.

 

I do not agree on the 1991 work though. For me the integrity of the organ, as accomplished by Cochereau's tenure, was fundamentally altered by that work. The overall balance of the organ, even with the Boisseau chamades as originally set up, was much better pre-1991. For instance, the new chamade additions were unnecessary. With all the chamades used, everything gets obliterated, and the balance is to my ears, wrong.

 

I also have a nagging fear (and I hope I am wrong) that everything to do with the Cochereau era is being slowly, and deliberately, erased. It may be that the present Titulaires do not wish to be reminded of the Cochereau legacy? Perhaps this is a 'French' thing? All I will say is that I preferred the 'Cochereau' organ. The next instalment can only be a further migration away from that organ. I really do think that's a shame.

 

Absolutely - I agree entirely with this viewpoint.

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My main concern is not the cosmetic side of a console but the actual connection of player to instrument. Touch and action are of paramount importance. What it is clothed in doesn't interest me in the slightest, nor would it have done to somebody such as Langlais, I suggest.

Players today seem to rely constantly upon pistons and steppers. Hand registration seems not possible on large instruments these days (from what I have seen) so the actual comglomeration of rows and rows of stops almost seem superluous. I view some American instruments (for an immediate instance), that a fleeting pull of one necessary stop, is like plucking a sapling from a forest. Has modern technology allowed the instrument to become an un-manageable beast without endless aids to control it?

N.

 

This is an interesting and important point - although I would also suggest that for those of us fortunate enough to have our sight intact, an ergonomically designed console, which is also pleasing to the eye is a psychological advantage when playing an organ. This said, Pierre Pincemaille manages stunning feats of control (apparently effortlessly - well, almost), on the original console at S. Denis.

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A member of the German orgelforum.info just posted excerpts from Anthony Hammond’s book on Cochereau. It appears that, after C-C’s latest work, the organ never actually reached a state that could have been called finished, and that the Cochereau console was never more than a perpetuated interim solution. If there ever was a state that could claim to have some integrity, it was the state from 1991 on -- except for the blatant computer problems, the organ was fully functional and apparently musically sound, if only from impost level on up. If I compare recordings of before and after 1991, it is, to my ears, obvious that the rebuild (re-) introduced much of the C-C sonorities that the organ sadly lacked during the decades before. That being said, a reconstruction of the C-C incarnation of the organ would apparently be hypothetical, as the pipework and mechanism have undergone so may alterations.

 

I don’t know if I would go as far as to call the resonance a whim. I thought Cochereau’s small pedal division -- which is to form the core of the new resonance -- was much more whimsical than a full-fledged, expressive manual division, as it is planned now, would be. I also stand by my opinion that the current titulaires keep proving the usefulness of the mutations every single day. Let’s not forget that it was Cavaillé-Coll's idea in the first place that extensive use of mutations was the way to overcome the challenges of the extreme acoustics. Apparently he did not only think that they would work there, but that the organ could only be successful with the mutations, and would fail without them.

 

What I do not know as well is where they will put the box (or boxes) for that new expressive division. I also don’t get it why anyone could want a console that looks like a toy kitchen, with its light-brown stop handles against a background of identical colour. But I most certainly know that the current titulaires did prove that they do not act on whims, and that their musical judgement is sound (so to speak).

 

Best,

Friedrich

 

But in fact the Nôtre-Dame organ was already well-supplied with solo (and chorus) mutations. I would be interested to see the reference to your statement that Cavaillé-Coll used mutations extensively at Nôtre-Dame, in order to overcome the particular acoustic environment of this large edifice. In any case - they failed to achieve this end - which was precisely why Cochereau had the first chamades added by Robert Boisseau (I think we agreed somewhere around 1969). It was only once these stops had been added (and, to be fair, the further re-arrangement of the plenum) that this instrument actually filled the sonic space of this vast Nave.

 

I would also question whether the 're-constituted' Cavaillé-Coll chorus on the G.O. is actually that exciting. Both from the tribune and from downstairs, I found that it was only with the addition of the surviving Boisseau/Cochereau choruses on the Solo and Grand-Chœur that the instrument came alive. (At least as far as the flue-work was concerned.) The re-constructed compound stops on the G.O. as progressions harmoniques were only used by Cavaillé-Coll for about eleven or twelve years. After this time, he was encouraged (largely by Guilmant) to return to including more classical choruses (with mutations) in his instruments. Personally, I find the chorus work of the present G.O. and Récit-Expressif inferior to that of the instrument prior to 1990. In particular, removing both chorus mixtures of the Récit-Expressif was, I believe strongly, a grave error of judgement. If one does not wish to use them, simply do not draw them - nor set them on any of the multiple combination devices available on this instrument.

 

With regard to whether or not the present titulaires acted simply on whims - this may or may not be the case. But in the matter of the hideously ugly new console, I think that I know the answer to this question.

 

Perhaps Olivier Latry drives a Citroën 2CV....

 

Incidentally, the organ builders (Quoirin) seem uncertain as to the spelling of 'Resonance'. On their website, in giving the current specification of the instrument, they spell it in two different ways: 'Resonnance' and 'Résonance'. On the new console, (on the divisional name-plate) it is spelled 'Resonnance' *. Surely the correct spelling is 'Résonance' ?

 

 

 

* See here: http://api.dmcloud.n...4c?wmode=direct at 1'.40".

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I quite like the 'toy kitchen' analogy! Almost immediately the thoughts of 'IKEA' came to my mind, and that really sums up the appearance of this new console. A very cheap IKEA kitchen suite. On some of the close-ups of the woodword (in one of the videos posted) the quality of the finish is actually quite dreadful. In all seriousness my young daughter could do a better job at cabinetry in her woodwork class than the pile of balsawood shown here. ...

 

On closer inspection, the stop-jambs look suspiciously like varnished plywood.

 

Are they SURE that the previous console was of inferior workmanship to this bizarre creation?

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Perhaps Olivier Latry drives a Citroën 2CV....

.

 

 

Actually he has several, of different periods!

 

I'll be seeing him shortly, so I';ll ask him what is the raison d'être behind the design for the console.

 

DW

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Perhaps Olivier Latry drives a Citroën 2CV....

 

 

 

Sensible man - they last forever! You find them up and down France in farmyards where the farmer has taken his ducks to market, every Thursday, since Noah was a lad!!!

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Sensible man - they last forever! You find them up and down France in farmyards where the farmer has taken his ducks to market, every Thursday, since Noah was a lad!!!

 

Not so sure about this. A relative had one and it was rubbish. Thin bodywork, very basic (I know that it was originally intended for use around a farm or similar), mechanically unreliable and so, so ugly.

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Actually he has several, of different periods!

 

I'll be seeing him shortly, so I';ll ask him what is the raison d'être behind the design for the console.

 

DW

 

I shall be interested to hear your report.

 

However, for my money, there is nothing which he could possibly say that would convince me that this new console is an improvement on the previous console - nor that it was even necessary to replace the former console.

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Fascinating video! At around 3'17" in the background is a wonderful old console.......which one is it?

It’s the original Cavaillé-Coll console of 1868, the one that took Vierne’s last pedal point in 1937.

 

Best,

Friedrich

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