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Cavaillé-Coll: a new multimedia pack


davidh
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Fugue State Films have done it again - another multi-media pack fully up to the standards of everything that they have done before.

 

The set includes:-

DVD1: The Genius of Cavaillé-Coll. It follows his life through 3 periods, 1811-1840, 1840-1862, and 1862-1869, in 157 minutes of video, where the history of his life is very much the history of the organs that he built and the composers that he nurtured.

 

DVD2: The Organs of Cavaillé-Coll. 202 minutes covering 15 of his instruments.

 

DVD3: Apres Cavaillé-Coll. 140 minutes of composed music and improvisations inspired by his instruments.

 

CD1 and CD2. More than 70 minutes each, presenting performances on each of the instruments which appeared on DVD2.

 

A 80-page A5 booklet with specifications of each of the instruments.

 

The set costs £64.50 for UK buyers - see http://www.fuguestatefilms.co.uk/ for more details and a video trailer, or try youtube cavaille-coll. The company needed £80,000 to fund the making of the set, and many people subscribed in advance to make it possible. It was an excellent investment!

 

Last year "Tempo Primo" lamented the prospect of Farnborough Abbey being included in the project. Unless I have missed something, his fears have not been realised.

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I thought this collection provided an excellent background to understanding how 19th century French organ music should sound. But I must say I have been surprised that no one wanted to chat about this sooner on these pages.

 

David - if you look carefully you will notice that some of the descriptive commmentary is provided with the speaker seated in Farnborough Abbey (I imagine that these were extra bits needed to complete parts of the discussion not adequately covered in the original on site filming), and as a backgorund to some discussion on Napoleon 3 there is also a short shot of Napoleon 3rd's tomb in Farnborough Abbey.

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By coincidence, I was watching DVD1 from this set only last night. I found it thoroughly engaging and fascinating, and am pleased to have acquired a good understanding of the development of 19th century French organ building and its place in the social and cultural milieu. The disc also proved to be a visual and aural delight. Unless I have missed it though, my only regret is that there isn't a list of the pieces heard on DVD1. Gerard Brook's commentary scenes with the organ behind the High Altar immediately made me think, "Farnborough Abbey, surely!" I am glad that Douglas has confirmed my suspicion.

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Fugue State Films have done it again - another multi-media pack fully up to the standards of everything that they have done before.

 

The set includes:-

DVD1: The Genius of Cavaillé-Coll. It follows his life through 3 periods, 1811-1840, 1840-1862, and 1862-1869, in 157 minutes of video, where the history of his life is very much the history of the organs that he built and the composers that he nurtured.

 

DVD2: The Organs of Cavaillé-Coll. 202 minutes covering 15 of his instruments.

 

DVD3: Apres Cavaillé-Coll. 140 minutes of composed music and improvisations inspired by his instruments.

 

CD1 and CD2. More than 70 minutes each, presenting performances on each of the instruments which appeared on DVD2.

 

A 80-page A5 booklet with specifications of each of the instruments.

 

The set costs £64.50 for UK buyers - see http://www.fuguestatefilms.co.uk/ for more details and a video trailer, or try youtube cavaille-coll. The company needed £80,000 to fund the making of the set, and many people subscribed in advance to make it possible. It was an excellent investment!

 

Last year "Tempo Primo" lamented the prospect of Farnborough Abbey being included in the project. Unless I have missed something, his fears have not been realised.

 

Davidh, I hope you don't mind if I clarify the situation David, my interest in the Fugue State Films Cavaille-Coll project, (which coincided with the Bi-Centenary of the Birth of Aristide Cavaille-Coll) was from the point of view that here in Warrington we have an 1870 C-C Organ which is in need of restoration. Thanks to David Wells and his team, it was in recital condition when we celebrated the Bi-Centenary 17 June, 2011.

 

My reservation about this organ NOT being included in the DVDs was simply that this instrument could have benefited from the International publicity it would have received. Maybe it could have been compared with the St Sulpice organ and been considered for Heritage status.

 

When I contacted Will Fraser of Fugue State Fims, he suggested that perhaps we would like the film to be shown in Warrington.

Why do we need to see the film when we have our own C-C Organ !!!

 

The future of this organ has been in the organ discussion arena on several web-sites since February 2006. I was more than disappointed that we weren't even considered for the project, but that's 'water under the bridge now'.

Maybe it was deemed to be too much of a 'hot potato'.

Never-the-less, while I still have breath, I will try to promote this C-C Organ which is presently in the Parr Hall, and still waiting for its future to be decided.

In my opinion, the appointment of a Borough Organist is long overdue.

 

I apologise for being so outspoken, but someone has to say it.

Tempo Primo (Mrs)

PS. Don't get me wrong, I am full of admiration for the C-C DVD project.

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....When I contacted Will Fraser of Fugue State Fims, he suggested that perhaps we would like the film to be shown in Warrington.

Why do we need to see the film when we have our own C-C Organ !!!...

 

 

I would image that showing the C-C film in Warrington might help to educate people so that they could understand the value of the Parr Hall C-C organ. This was indeed a constructive suggestion.

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I would image that showing the C-C film in Warrington might help to educate people so that they could understand the value of the Parr Hall C-C organ. This was indeed a constructive suggestion.

 

Thanks Douglas. I agree, it was indeed a constructive suggestion. A showing of the film has also been suggested to me recently by two Professional organists who have both been great supporters of the Warrington organ for many years.

Perhaps the present custodians of the instrument, as well as the local townsfolk, could be made aware of the importance of this organ by the showing of the C-C film.

If we were fortunate enough to appoint a Borough Organist, we would certainly be in a much better position than we are at present regarding promoting the organ to the public.

 

I was recently informed that as far back as 1978, a candidate for this position did indeed offer his services , gratis, to the Warrington Borough Council after his recital on the C-C Organ had been broadcasted by the BBC. This person was then a comparatively young organist who had a lot to offer. He has, since then, become a renowned and well regarded organist.

 

Sadly, for whatever reason, he received NO reply. Had he done so, perhaps things could have been a lot different between then and now.

We were indeed the losers on that occasion.

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  • 4 weeks later...

An interesting spin off from getting hold of the C-C pack for me at least has been from the point of view of 'new' music to play. For example, the sets L'Organiste by César Franck contain some lovely small scale pieces that can work well in concerts or as voluntaries. These are on IMSLP or e-partitions as free downloads and contain many of the elements of his large scale pieces but in miniature. Likewise the Vingt-Six Versets Posthumes by Leon Boellmann which can by bought at a very reasonable rate from the Dr Butz publishing house. Also included are a rather lush Prelude á 5 by Lemmens and a decidedly manic Fugue á la Handel by Guilmant both of which they are getting this Sunday at my place. Although marked 'orgue ou harmonium' this music can work neatly on the sort of instruments I play on regularly yet can also transfer well to something larger. They are also not too technically demanding and there is a superb recording available, albeit on a German 'French' organ by Hans-Eberhard Roß in his César Franck Complete Organ Works Vol. III. Does anyone else here use this repertoire?

 

A

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An interesting spin off from getting hold of the C-C pack for me at least has been from the point of view of 'new' music to play. For example, the sets L'Organiste by César Franck contain some lovely small scale pieces that can work well in concerts or as voluntaries. These are on IMSLP or e-partitions as free downloads and contain many of the elements of his large scale pieces but in miniature. Likewise the Vingt-Six Versets Posthumes by Leon Boellmann which can by bought at a very reasonable rate from the Dr Butz publishing house. Also included are a rather lush Prelude á 5 by Lemmens and a decidedly manic Fugue á la Handel by Guilmant both of which they are getting this Sunday at my place. Although marked 'orgue ou harmonium' this music can work neatly on the sort of instruments I play on regularly yet can also transfer well to something larger. They are also not too technically demanding and there is a superb recording available, albeit on a German 'French' organ by Hans-Eberhard Roß in his César Franck Complete Organ Works Vol. III. Does anyone else here use this repertoire?

 

A

 

Yes, frequently. Probably too frequently. The (dis)advantage I have found with my new Hauptwerk home practice organ is that one minute I can be listening to something new on Organlive that I think, "that's quaint", the next thing, I'm sitting at my console and searching for it on imslp, then I'll bring up whichever organ sample set best corresponds to the piece and I'll have a sightread through. Disadvantage since it means I'm accumulating vast amounts of wonderful and off-the-beaten-track music I had never before experienced, with an ever-increasing list of pieces on my "currently learning" list. I started a post on this very subject only recently with a few of my recent favourites:

 

http://mander-organs-forum.invisionzone.com/index.php?/topic/3613-hidden-gems-and-stocking-fillers/

 

As this forum discourages discussion of electronic organs, let me also say that the opportunity to use my smartphone to download music in church that is new to me and that I particularly like during the service on occasions hasn't passed me by either! The joys of modern technology....

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I have been known to trot out bits of L'organiste as pre-service or communion voluntaries from time to time. They are attractive pieces and well worth while, but I do find a little goes a long way. The problem with the offertoires is that they really only make formal sense when played alongside the other 6 pieces in their set.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Now that my birthday has come and gone I have been able to play the DVDs. The CDs are next...

 

The whole production is superlatively good and cannot be recommened enough to any waverers. My favourite, at the moment, are Pierre Pincemaille's sections; his improvisations and handling of the organ in Saint-Denis are wonderful to behold. I loved his comments at the end of the music section! The pieces on St Sulpice and St Ouen (my favourites instruments overall) have also been watched more than once.

 

I learned a great deal about all the instruments featured, not least that in ND de P, and now have more sympathy with those who have modernised that one since Cavaillé-Coll did his work on it.

 

Mrs Handsoff isn't quite so keen, especially as I have bought a CD switching unit enabling the sound from the DVD player to be fed into my main hi-fi and KEF speakers, and I suspect that it will be more difficult to cajole her into buying me similar presents in the near future. I do see from the leaflet enclosed with the discs that St Ouen is one of the next productions to be released so we'll see. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

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...................especially as I have bought a CD switching unit enabling the sound from the DVD player to be fed into my main hi-fi and KEF speakers, and I suspect that it will be more difficult to cajole her into buying me similar presents in the near future................... :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

 

Last summer I was persuaded (the old ones broke and we were en route to France for two weeks) to take posession of some rather expensive Bose earphones on the suggestion of a nice gent in a proper sound equipment shop in deepest Chelmsford. Very comfortable and almost permenantly lodged with my iPod but with some tweaking of the controls they make the C-C DVDs etc. sound quite amazing (and quite private) on my laptop.

 

A

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Yes , but it's not nearly as much fun! :P I do sometimes wear headphones when Mrs H is watching something on TV which I don't like but find that I do develop a thick head (not much of a journey, I'll admit) if I set the amp controls too loud and can't be a****d to get up and change it!

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