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Paris Philharmonie


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  • 1 year later...

The publicity over the opening of the Paris Philharmonie made me wonder about the pipework display - it's a large new instrument by Rieger.....







Inaugural Organ Recital, featuring Bernard Foccroulle, Philippe Lefébvre, Olivier Latry and Wayne Marshall, was held yesterday on the new Rieger organ in the Philharmonie de Paris. There is a video of the event available for viewing until August: http://live.philharmoniedeparis.fr/concert/1046894/grandes-orgues-olivier-latry-philippe-lefebvre-bernard.html

The whole thing lasted almost 3 hours, but one should take the time to listen to all four performers – it's worth it!



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It must be a nightmare, attempting to balance all sorts of considerations, when devising a programme for such an event. However, what struck me was the absence of any music from the French ‘Golden Age’- or that of Messiaen (!).


I have, so far, skimmed the whole programme, listening in to a few items – but will definitely return. Foccroulle’s Buxtehude and Bach were, as usual, stylish and exemplary. Lefebvre gave an interesting Franck and (with a couple of side-drummers), a Khatchatourian with élan. Latry displayed (and played with) his astonishingly casual panache (playing a series of transcriptions, as he does, from memory) and merveilleux Marshall closed the whole with Widor and an impro on the Cancan - beginning with a toccata of which Latry would have been proud. In the process, I'm sure he made most UK organists feel similar.


The organ doesn’t really look like one (more like a jewellery department in a glitzy store); sounds good, if slightly recessed (it is), though strangely ‘unfizzy’ for a big Rieger when at ffff - and its console could have been ‘lifted’ from the set of the forthcoming Star Trek movie.

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Thank you for drawing our attention to this. A most enjoyable experience.


The sound quality was pretty good though I wondered whether I was missing some of the extreme bass. I was listening on audiophile headphones and would certainly have heard it if it had arrived at my computer.


And might we have had a lady performer in the mix perhaps ... ?



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Wow. Looks like some organ. And a three hour opening recital too boot. Have bookmarked the link and will listen to it at some point. Colin is right, it would be nice to have a lady organist for the occasion. Although I can't think of any high profile French female organists active today. There must be some, with the rich heritage from the likes of Alain, Demessieux, Duruflé-Chevalier, et al.

I once had the privilege of playing the Rieger in St Giles in Edinburgh during an RCO event and I was hugely impressed by the quality of the instrument. This looks a very different beast, but I am sure to the same high standards.

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