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Organistes Titulaires


timothyguntrip

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The other day I noticed that one of the organists at Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre also holds a post as titulaire in Lyon. Whilst taking into consideration that the post at SC is shared between three organists, it seems strange to me to hold two concurrent posts at such a distance apart (about 4 hours drive!). On further investigation, I've found other examples of organists holding multiple posts which are similarly spaced apart.

I have never heard of such an arrangement here in the UK. Could anyone here who is more au-fait with the French organ world than myself enlighten me?

VA

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Thomas Trotter is both Organist of St Margarets Westminster and Birmingham City Organist - not quite the same but a long distance between the two places of employment. And his predecessor George Thalben-Ball was also Birmingham City Organist and organist curator of the Royal Albert Hall, whilst his Sunday job was organist of the Temple Church in London. Any advance on that?

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In effect, it's not rare that some French organists are in the same time titular somewhere and co-titular elsewhere.

Examples:

Vincent Warnier: co-titulaire at Saint Etienne-du-Mont (together with Thierry Escaich) and titular at cathedral Notre Dame de Verdun

Gabriel Margheri: co-titular at Sacré coeur de Montmartre (together with Philippe Brandeis) and titular at sanctuaire saint Bonaventure in Lyon

Sophie-Véronique Cochefer-Choplin: deputy-titular at saint Sulpice and titular at Saint Jean Baptiste de la Sale (Paris 15ème).

 

The reason is that being titular is often not a sufficient charge and leaves enough time to run an other position.

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Thomas Trotter is both Organist of St Margarets Westminster and Birmingham City Organist - not quite the same but a long distance between the two places of employment. And his predecessor George Thalben-Ball was also Birmingham City Organist and organist curator of the Royal Albert Hall, whilst his Sunday job was organist of the Temple Church in London. Any advance on that?

 

Well, yes - but there are no regular Sunday services in Birmingham Town Hall. The case cited above is somewhat different.

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In effect, it's not rare that some French organists are in the same time titular somewhere and co-titular elsewhere.

Examples:

Vincent Warnier: co-titulaire at Saint Etienne-du-Mont (together with Thierry Escaich) and titular at cathedral Notre Dame de Verdun

Gabriel Margheri: co-titular at Sacré coeur de Montmartre (together with Philippe Brandeis) and titular at sanctuaire saint Bonaventure in Lyon

Sophie-Véronique Cochefer-Choplin: deputy-titular at saint Sulpice and titular at Saint Jean Baptiste de la Sale (Paris 15ème).

 

The reason is that being titular is often not a sufficient charge and leaves enough time to run an other position.

 

Is it also still correct that there are only two posts which attract a reasonable (full-time?) salary in Paris - that of Titulaire de l'Orgue-du-chœur, Nôtre-Dame (Cathédrale) and Organiste Titulaire des grandes orgues, Nôtre-Dame d'Auteuil?

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Many thanks for your interesting responses.

It would seem the case that many of the Parisian posts are rather poorly paid. Although I don't have many 'official' figures, from what I've gleaned in the past, there would be little left after travel expenses!

Perhaps such positions are sought after for their prestigious (rather than remunerative) benefits?

VA

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There is a collective agreement written in 1968 which sets up the rules between the clergy and the organists.

This agreement applies only in 4 districts: Paris, Nanterre, Saint Denis and Créteil in which the organists receive a salary.

Unfortunately, the wages are so modest that it is simply not possible for a huge majority of them to earn their live. Some rare exceptions exist in the biggest parishes where, due to the number of people, there are more than 3 services each week end and several weddings and obituaries which include a fee payment. In these cases, the organist may survive....

Thus, to earn their live, the French organists are also teachers either in the "Conservatoires de musique" (at city or regional levels) or in the national public sector (schools, colleges).

Of course for the more famous of them, the concerts fees represent a complementary budget quite or relatively important, even though the number of events in France is declining as well as the corresponding fees....

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  • 1 year later...

Not sure if this has been posted on the board (I thought it had, but can't see it- the news may have reached me via Facebook), but Notre Dame de Paris are recruiting a Titulaire:

 

http://www.notredamedeparis.fr/spip.php?article1975

 

I don't know if this is No.4 or if one of the existing three is stepping down (possibly Leguay who is now 75?).

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Not sure if this has been posted on the board (I thought it had, but can't see it- the news may have reached me via Facebook), but Notre Dame de Paris are recruiting a Titulaire:

 

http://www.notredamedeparis.fr/spip.php?article1975

 

I don't know if this is No.4 or if one of the existing three is stepping down (possibly Leguay who is now 75?).

Jean-Pierre Leguay is leaving...

Worth noticing that the recruitment process is dealt with by the same person in charge of the hiring one of Saint Eustache titulaires!!!

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