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contraviolone

St Omer Cathedral Organ, France

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I have in fact heard this organ played and crawled all around it. It is well worth a visit even if it takes you out of your way. It is an earlier Cavaillé-Coll work (and a rebuild of course) and retains much of the earlier instrument. To my ears it has a remarkably classical feel to it quite unlike Cavaillé-Coll's later work and I found it simply thrilling and in a wonderful acoustic of course. The casework is amongst the finest I have seen anywhere and of the highest cabinet making quality.

 

I have never really understood why this organ is not more famous than it is. It is close to our shores and no real detour on a motoring trip back to the UK via Calais. I would be interested to know if other people feel the same way about this fine instrument that I do.

 

John Pike Mander

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I heard this organ played by Ben Van Oosten some years ago. It is a beautiful instrument, unmodified since the ACC 1853-55 rebuilt. As was often the case, Cavaillé-Coll retained the old mixtures and Cornets.

Interesting to note is the fact he placed the "Fourniture", 5r and the "Cymbale", 4r, on the Bombarde division, while placing the "Grand Cornet", 5r, on the great. (We should have imagined the reverse).

 

The only all-ACC division is the Récit. This organ is well worth a visit, but I do know nothing about the recitals scheme.

 

Best wishes,

pierre Lauwers.

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I have no trace of the Récit's Bombarde to be "8-16". According to Claude Noisette de Crauzat ("Cavaillé-Coll"), it is a plain 16'.

 

This Récit has only three 8' flue stops, and indeed the fourth would probably be something like a "Diapason". But of course, these had nothing in common with english Diapasons! They were slotted flue stops of moderated scale, intended to reinforce and thicken the "ensemble des fonds", nothing else. There were never true "Diapason choruses" in ACC's Récits; the 4' and 2' were fast ever overblowing flutes (Flûte octaviante 4' and Octavin 2'). Whenever a mixture was provided in ACC's Récits, it was intended to work with the reed chorus -like in England-.

 

Such three 8'flue stops Récits were not uncommon up to about 1860. Later, only small instruments were so designed. Another point to note is the Flûte harmonique. Normally, this stop goes on the great organ, while the Récit gets a somewhat softer Flûte traversière. Here the great has a 8' "Flûte", which probably comes from the earlier disposition.

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

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I have no trace of the Récit's Bombarde to be "8-16". According to Claude Noisette de Crauzat ("Cavaillé-Coll"), it is a plain 16'.

 

Eschbach puts it as a 8'/16'.

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