Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

Recommended Posts

  • 1 year later...

It is quite a good DVD.

 

My only reservation is that, personally, I would have preferred to have had more footage of Cochereau playing (particularly improvising) and less interviews of friends and colleagues indulging in navel-contemplation with regard to PC's career.

 

However, that said, I believe that it is good value for money and does include some of Cochereau playing - and teaching at N.-D.

 

If you do decide to order one, then I hope that you enjoy it - which I did!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was pleased that I had bought the Couchereau DVD - although the improvisations seemed rather unlike the more serious Tournemire ones, for my choice.

 

I have had vastly much more enjoymnet from the amateur video of Daniel Roth at St Sulpice at

 

http://www.stsulpice.com/Docs/video.html

 

choose

 

Improvisation (long) (WINDOWS MEDIA 3.7 MByte; 4 October 1998).

 

Great reach on to the fifth manual!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you had not previously heard the improvisations of Pierre Cochereau until you purchased the DVD, I encourage you to acquire some of the CD recordings - many of which are still available from Disques du Solstice.

 

I, too, have recordings of Daniel Roth improvising - but when I compare him to the many I have of Cochereau in full concert (or service) mode - for my ears, Roth cannot touch him.

 

I particularly recommend the improvisations on St. Matthew's Gospel, the last of which was recorded some thirty-six hours before he died. Many of the tracks I found quite moving. There is real bitterness, sadness and passion - as well as majesty, faith and hope.

 

Sorry - I will stop, before I get all emotional....

 

Oh, one more thing: there is also a good CD of Roth's immediate predecessor at S. Sulpice - Jean-Jacues Grunenwald - I heartily recommend this. The last eight tracks are improvisations - the best I have ever heard on this organ. Marcel Dupré was a genius - but I find his improvisations, whilst very clever, dry and somewhat academic, by comparison.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Oh, one more thing: there is also a good CD of Roth's immediate predecessor at S. Sulpice - Jean-Jacues Grunenwald - I heartily recommend this. The last eight tracks are improvisations - the best I have ever heard on this organ."

 

 

Thanks for tips.. Can you tell me what label the Grunenwald CD is on that you mention please?

 

And a question - why are people so interested in improvising on light weight themes (see the Christmas improvisiation thread?). An improvisation is ephemeral and so the listener only gets one chance to hear what it is about, so it helps if he already knows the tune, but are there any other reasons? I haven't heard all the Cochereau recordings you mention - but it was the light weight themes that put me off (inspite of the great skill).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Get the DVD - it's nice ...

 

I would also preferred more footage of Cochereau, but it gives a good impression. Certainly the summertour with the Hartmann-positiv and the improvisationclass in ND is good fun. Just see how the scherzo-symphonique on the flutes-harmoniques is tried by a young Maurice Clerc and then the great Pierre plays an example - if you ever wanted to get a minority complex it would have been that moment (one pities MC); absolutely stunningly brilliant (no sign of 'showing off' though).

Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for tips.. Can you tell me what label the Grunenwald CD is on that you mention please?

 

And a question - why are people so interested in improvising on light weight themes (see the Christmas improvisiation thread?). An improvisation is ephemeral and so the listener only gets one chance to hear what it is about, so it helps if he already knows the tune, but are there any other reasons? I haven't heard all the Cochereau recordings you mention - but it was the light weight themes that put me off (inspite of the great skill).

 

The CD is on the Motette label: Motette CD 10-521

 

Hommage à Jean-Jacques Grunenwald

 

http://shop.store.yahoo.com/ohscatalog/jegrtiatstpa.html

 

($14.98)

 

Serious themes for improvisations - I agree!

 

In my defence, I almost always improvise on serious themes - often plainsong, appropriate to the day, or in a conscious attempt at a particular style or period. The one occasion in the year when I allow a little levity, is playing th choir in to Matins on Christmas Day.

 

Most of the Cochereau CD recordings which I have, (together with those of many other performers improvising), are on serious or religious themes. I probably have around twenty Cochereau improvisation CDs - many are excellent. The three-disc set contain some stunning pieces.

 

I also recommend the CD Pierre Cochereau improvise sur des Noëls aux grandes orgues de N.-D. de Paris. (Solstice: SOCD 152.)

 

One track alone, the Prelude and Variations sur Venez Divin Messie, is staggering - a fantasy of almost twenty minutes' duration. The Briggs transcription and his own interpretation, recorded at Truro are excellent; however, you really must hear the Cochereau original - at N.-D. I found it breathtaking. Definitely not light-weight.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Lee Blick

Those videos at St. Sulpice were amazing. The French have had a long history in the art of improvisation. They seem to do it with great panache, sense of style and huge musical harmonic range. They really do beat British organists in this respect. I don't think I have really seen many organists display the art of improvisation here in the UK. It's a shame. It is a mark of true musicianship and high art. We have a lot to learn from France in that respect.

 

I enjoyed the David Biggs CD of Cochereau improvisations at Truro Cathedral. Originally I only bought it because I thought it was David Biggs on the front going to play a massive five manual but I glad I did. It was so inspiring to listen to. The organ sounded magnificent. I really do love Willis organs.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, they are good - he is arguably the finest improviser in the UK. (Yes, I know that he was playing his own transcriptions of Cochereau's improvisations on that CD!) DB has also released several of his own improvisations on CD. My personal favourite is the double CD of his improvised accompaniment to a showing of the silent film The King of kings. It is absolutely incredible.

 

This being said, I would still encourage you to hear Cochereau himself at N.-D. - the organ, from about 1968 - 1984 sounded incredible. It really does not sound quite like that, these days.

 

Incidentally, since another contributor mentioned seeing the footage of Cochereau with his travelling organ (on the DVD) - twelve of these improvisations have been released on CD (from the original reel-to-reel tapes). They are also on the Solstice label: Solstice SOCD 200/1: 12 improvisations inédites. One of them (Cantem toto la Gloria) was transcribed by DB and can be heard on the Truro recording. I have also performed this transcription a few times - it really is incredibly accurate. A brilliant piece, too.

 

Happy hunting.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Lee Blick
One of them (Cantem toto la Gloria) was transcribed by DB and can be heard on the Truro recording. I have also performed this transcription a few times - it really is incredibly accurate. A brilliant piece, too

 

Yeh I enjoyed that too. Are the scores of the transcriptions available?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, many are.

 

I have copies of most that were published by Editions Chantraine, in Belgium - now sadly defunct, I believe. Pierre will probably know.

 

However, I think that UMP took over the publishing rights. Certainly, last summer, Blackwell's (Oxford) had several copies for sale.

 

I have also transcribed one or two odd bits myself - as has a friend. However, they are rather time-consuming!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeh I enjoyed that too.  Are the scores of the transcriptions available?

 

Look foor them here

 

I like these thing for study, playing them is another thing - one is not Cochereau, the organ not NDdP in the 1970's.

But just imagine that this material 'simply' arose when the great Pierre sat down and drew some stops ....

Link to post
Share on other sites
Look foor them here

 

I like these thing for study, playing them is another thing - one is not Cochereau, the organ not NDdP in the 1970's.

But just imagine that this material 'simply' arose when the great Pierre sat down and drew some stops ....

 

 

Indeed - sadly, even N.-D. de Paris is now not like N.-D. de Paris.... Now it is too polite - it sounds more like King's - after a fashion.

 

One of the biggest mistakes made in 1992, as far as I am concerned, was to remove both chorus mixtures on the Récit-expressif. This (as well as many of the other changes) has had a big impact on the sound of the organ.

 

 

:D

Link to post
Share on other sites
I was pleased that I had bought the Couchereau DVD - although the improvisations seemed rather unlike the more serious Tournemire ones, for my choice.

 

I have had vastly much more enjoymnet from the amateur video of Daniel Roth at St Sulpice at

 

http://www.stsulpice.com/Docs/video.html

 

choose

 

Improvisation (long) (WINDOWS MEDIA 3.7 MByte; 4 October 1998).

 

Great reach on to the fifth manual!!

Woh! That is seriously amazing! :D

 

I've heard David Briggs, I've seen a video of Pierre Cochereau. I have massive respect for people who can do that.

 

Some organ, too.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Woh! That is seriously amazing! :

 

 

And its like that every week! - see the music list at

 

http://www.stsulpice.com/Docs/concerts.html

What can one say? Its just the greatest!

 

The organ hasn't been messed up by improvements either.

 

January 15th is the Festival of Saint Sulpice - Three cheers for that!! :o:o:D

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for that information - it looks fascinating.

 

I really love my job, but sometimes it would be nice to have a week-end off (in term-time), travel to Paris and just enjoy the wonderful music on offer.

 

I am enormously impressed by the organ of S. Sulpice - probably the only large C-C still virtually in its original state - save for the two pedal stops which Widor caused to be added.

 

The sound, the visual aspect, the atmosphere - God, sometimes England can be so boring!

 

:)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Lee Blick
The sound, the visual aspect, the atmosphere - God, sometimes England can be so boring!

 

Yes, I know what you mean. I wouldn't say boring, more, predictable. When something is so good, so well crafted to the highest standard, it can be rather sterile, and appear 'choreographed'.

 

I think the Roman Catholic Cathedrals on the continent do well in creating the awe and splendour and the atmosphere through the music.

 

I am not a catholic but I attended the Easter vigil at Westminster Cathedral a few years back and it was thrilling to hear the beginning of the Gloria of the Messe Sollennele by Vierne roll around the Cathedral. It is a far cry from the usual reserved nature of Anglican services. Not that I am knocking the English tradition but you get a real sense of majesty and excitement with the music in those buildings.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Cochereau is fantastic in all ways and I don't think there is too little of the master's footage, it was good to hear of his family and students.

Regarding pcnd5584 comment about "The sound, the visual aspect, the atmosphere - God, sometimes England can be so boring! - has he not heard of even played the organ oratory - a rare publicly organ indeed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...