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Cochereau And Reubke


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I'm wondering if anyone who has access to Francois and Yvette Carbou's archive knows if Cochereau ever recorded the Reubke sonata in concert.

 

Julius Reubke

+

Pierre Cochereau

+

Le Grande Orgue de Notre-Dame de Paris

 

...seems a match made in Heaven (Or Hell depending on how much you like the ending)

 

 

Thanks

 

JG

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I'm wondering if anyone who has access to Francois and Yvette Carbou's archive knows if Cochereau ever recorded the Reubke sonata in concert.

 

Julius Reubke

  +

Pierre Cochereau

  +

Le Grande Orgue de Notre-Dame de Paris

 

...seems a match made in Heaven (Or Hell depending on how much you like the ending)

Thanks

 

JG

 

Did he ever play it?

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Did he ever play it?

 

I think that this is an appalling thought.

 

His 'version', especially of the rhythm, of Dupre's Passion Symphony is bad enough, but Reubke with those chamades - it would be almost as great a travesty as the Brahm's G minor Prelude and Fugue, played a la Francaise by Philippe Lefebvre, at the re-opening recital!

 

Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiideous.

:P

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I think that this is an appalling thought.

 

His 'version', especially of the rhythm, of Dupre's Passion Symphony is bad enough, but Reubke with those chamades - it would be almost as great a travesty as the Brahm's G minor Prelude and Fugue, played a la Francaise by Philippe Lefebvre, at the re-opening recital!

 

Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiideous.

:huh:

 

You may not like Cochereau's interpretation of the symphonie passion, but you have to know that Dupré himself said to Cochereau that the rhytm he decided to adopt was fine to him....

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You may not like Cochereau's interpretation of the symphonie passion, but you have to know that Dupré himself said to Cochereau that the rhytm he decided to adopt was fine to him....

 

 

Well - what else could he say? Pity about the extra quaver in every bar?

 

Sounds rather like Messiaen's endorsements of countless performers interpretations of his music. It almost seems more exclusive not to have his endorsement.

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Well - what else could he say? Pity about the extra quaver in every bar?

 

Sounds rather like Messiaen's endorsements of countless performers interpretations of his music. It almost seems more exclusive not to have his endorsement.

 

I shall have to listen to my recording of PC playing Dupré's Symphonie-Passion, since I cannot presently recall how he plays it. However, with regard to the recording of Cochereau playing the Trois Préludes et Fugues (Op. 7) and the Variations sur un Vieux Noël, not only did Cochereau consider carefully how he should interpret these, but he also spent some time in discussion with Dupré - and received his unqualified blessing.

 

It is worthy of note that Dupré described Cochereau as "A legend in his own lifetime" or words of a similar nature; I am currently too tired to pin down the exact quote. Dupré was no fool - he was quite able to tell the difference between a phenomenally good musician with a superb technique and someone who could give a good impression of something - but not be terribly accurate.

 

Certainly I have a recording of Cochereau plaing the final movement from the suite Évocation (again by Dupré) and it is virtually flawless - and whilst it is quite fast, it is neither unclear nor messy.

 

Cochereau had a technique equal to that of a concert pianist. Whilst it is true that his interpretations were sometimes unusual - possibly even a little eccentric, I think that one would be hard pushed to argue that they were any more offensive than the recent recordings of the major works of Franck by Pierre Pincemaille - another Cochereau disciple.

 

I have attended a number of recitals in this country, by British performers, only to be left pondering afterwards what possessed them to play a certain work in the way they did. I have also heard some of them make mistakes, too - or quite obviously start too quickly and be unable to maintain the speed, flow or clarity. I have even heard one famous organist give a recital at Exeter Cathedral and fail to draw any stops on the clavier on which it was intended to play a solo melody. In case you are wondering, the recitalist did the only reasonable thing - and began the piece again. Even Bairstow once forgot where he had left a Tuba (opening recital, Southwell Minster?).

 

Cochereau was fond of the chamades - as far as I am concerned, with good reason. The Boisseau chamades added to N.-D. in about 1970 are fiery, bright and very exciting. However, downstairs in that vast Nave, they are not at all overwhelming. Rather they are actually necessary additions to the tutti, in order that the instrument should fill the great length of the building.

 

One must bear in mind that virtually all of the recordings of Pierre Cochereau at Nôtre-Dame were made (by François Carbou) with microphones positioned quite close to the case - partly because Carbou probably did not wish to hang out of the triforium over the full height of the Nave, in order to string wires across the building. Therefore, to judge the balance and effect of this organ thus, is to rely on a false sense of aural perspective.

 

As I have written in another post, many of those contemporaries of Cochereau (and others who have arisen since his death) forget (or fail to acknowledge) that, without Cochereau and his policy of tailoring his playing to suit the occasion and the space to be filled, would probably still be playing to empty pews. His playing captured the hearts of many of those who attended services and concerts regularly at N.-D. It was quite usual for many hundreds to stay seated quietly at the end of the Mass until PC had finished playing - and then often break into spontaneous applause. Stephane Grappelli himself used to attend Cochereau's recitals anonymously in the vast crowd - and was deeply moved and captivated by what he heard.

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I shall have to listen to my recording of PC playing Dupré's Symphonie-Passion, since I cannot presently recall how he plays it. However, with regard to the recording of Cochereau playing the Trois Préludes et Fugues (Op. 7) and the Variations sur un Vieux Noël, not only did Cochereau consider carefully how he should interpret these, but he also spent some time in discussion with Dupré - and received his unqualified blessing.

 

It is worthy of note that Dupré described Cochereau as "A legend in his own lifetime" or words of a similar nature; I am currently too tired to pin down the exact quote. Dupré was no fool - he was quite able to tell the difference between a phenomenally good musician with a superb technique and someone who could give a good impression of something - but not be terribly accurate.

 

Certainly I have a recording of Cochereau plaing the final movement from the suite Évocation (again by Dupré) and it is virtually flawless - and whilst it is quite fast, it is neither unclear nor messy.

 

Cochereau had a technique equal to that of a concert pianist. Whilst it is true that his interpretations were sometimes unusual - possibly even a little eccentric, I think that one would be hard pushed to argue that they were any more offensive than the recent recordings of the major works of Franck by Pierre Pincemaille - another Cochereau disciple.

 

I have attended a number of recitals in this country, by British performers, only to be left pondering afterwards what possessed them to play a certain work in the way they did. I have also heard some of them make mistakes, too - or quite obviously start too quickly and be unable to maintain the speed, flow or clarity. I have even heard one famous organist give a recital at Exeter Cathedral and fail to draw any stops on the clavier on which it was intended to play a solo melody. In case you are wondering, the recitalist did the only reasonable thing - and began the piece again. Even Bairstow once forgot where he had left a Tuba (opening recital, Southwell Minster?).

 

Cochereau was fond of the chamades - as far as I am concerned, with good reason. The Boisseau chamades added to N.-D. in about 1970 are fiery, bright and very exciting. However, downstairs in that vast Nave, they are not at all overwhelming. Rather they are actually necessary additions to the tutti, in order that the instrument should fill the great length of the building.

 

One must bear in mind that virtually all of the recordings of Pierre Cochereau at Nôtre-Dame were made (by François Carbou) with microphones positioned quite close to the case - partly because Carbou probably did not wish to hang out of the triforium over the full height of the Nave, in order to string wires across the building. Therefore, to judge the balance and effect of this organ thus, is to rely on a false sense of aural perspective.

 

As I have written in another post, many of those contemporaries of Cochereau (and others who have arisen since his death) forget (or fail to acknowledge) that, without Cochereau and his policy of tailoring his playing to suit the occasion and the space to be filled, would probably still be playing to empty pews. His playing captured the hearts of many of those who attended services and concerts regularly at N.-D. It was quite usual for many hundreds to stay seated quietly at the end of the Mass until PC had finished playing - and then often break into spontaneous applause. Stephane Grappelli himself used to attend Cochereau's recitals anonymously in the vast crowd - and was deeply moved and captivated by what he heard.

Cochereau ... organ lovers' Marmite.

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On the subject of the Reubke sonata, I'd appreciate recommendations for CDs of this work that are currently available.  I think I must have thrown out my old LP version and not replaced it.

 

JC

 

Roger Fisher recorded this at Chester Cathedral in 2004 on his CD "The Romantic Organ" - see http://amphion-recordings.com/cathedral.html. I like this recording very much, although I think the ending is slightly spoiled by a huge rallentando.

 

And keep an eye on ebay - the 1984 Simon Preston/Westminster Abbey CD still appears from time to time, but it does tend to attract very high bids - as at least one contributor to this board can testify :lol:

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On the subject of the Reubke sonata, I'd appreciate recommendations for CDs of this work that are currently available.  I think I must have thrown out my old LP version and not replaced it.

 

Wolfgang Rübsam in Dudelange (Luxemburg) on IFO.

 

(My absolute favourite is Yves Castagnet at the Madeleine (Paris), but that's on a label called MKI and is looooong OOP.)

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But then: how do we know that?

1) This is in the leaflet in the PC's interpretation of some Dupré'works (edited by fy solstice in 1975)

2) I have been lucky enough to meet PC at his loft at that time and this question araised in the discussion with people I don't remember, but I'm sure that Dupré told Cochereau he was free to adopt faster rythm..

3) Dupré admired a lot his disciple Cochereau as it is well described above by "pcnd"...Don't forget that Dupré was a great virtuoso himself before being reached by osteoarthritis in the 50's . If he had had the chance to play younger the NDP organ modified according PC's wishes, he would have taken up an other way of playing his own works...

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No - actually.

 

Off teaching now - will reply later.

 

Carefull - looks like a pitfall: Either you love PC or you (absolutely) don't.

 

I don't mind an adoption to the SP score (though I don't know it that good) - the Dupré disc is and has been the standard for the pieces for me.

To Cochereau dislikers I would only advise them to buy the Philips recording with the improvised 4-part symphony in NDdP - shuts everyone up :lol:

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1) This is in the leaflet in the PC's interpretation of some Dupré'works (edited by fy solstice in 1975)

2) I have been lucky enough to meet PC at his loft at that time and this question araised in the discussion with people I don't remember, but I'm sure that Dupré told Cochereau he was free to adopt faster rythm..

3) Dupré admired a lot his disciple Cochereau as it is well described above by "pcnd"...Don't forget that Dupré was a great virtuoso himself before being reached by osteoarthritis in the 50's . If he had had the chance to play younger the NDP organ modified according PC's wishes, he would have taken up an other way of playing his own works...

 

1) and 2): exactly my point; we know it from Cochereau, not from Dupré himself. And, above all, we don't know anything about the circumstances of that conversation. Were they alone, or were other people present? Dupré was an old man, maybe he didn't feel like picking a fight over the issue. "Maybe not", you might say, but that's the point: we don't know.

 

And frankly, I don't need to know: I like Cochereau's version of the work (just as I like his 1955 version, each for its own merits), but I don't think such anecdotal "evidence" to be of any value, either way. It makes nice conversation over tea, but that's it.

 

3) "another way" than what? Remember, Dupré did have the opportunity to play large electrical-action instruments since the 1920s, notably during his American tours, and many works, notably the Symphonie-Passion, were already inspired by such instruments.

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Guest Roffensis
Wolfgang Rübsam in Dudelange (Luxemburg) on IFO.

 

(My absolute favourite is Yves Castagnet at the Madeleine (Paris), but that's on a label called MKI and is looooong OOP.)

 

I can't imagine Rubsam playing the Sonata, with all that rubato...yuk. Fisher's old 1971 Chester recording is better than the newer one mentioned methinks, also on Amphion, and worth seeking out on CD. Dearnley did a good one at St Pauls Abbey, on record though, and not reissued. Ditto Peter le Huray at Salisbury Minster, another good version. Preston I like, both the old and new versions, both from the Abbey. I wonder if it has ever been done at Christchurch Chapelette, Oxford? :lol:

R

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Just some information from France :

 

I never heard saying that M. Cochereau did play Reubke's Sonata. To my mind, there are no records anyway.

 

Concerning Dupré / Cochereau : some posts here almost present M. Dupré as senile, from the 50s / 60s..... !!!!!!! Only his playing was slowed down by rhumatisms, but his mind stayed clear ! He clearly expressed sometimes that M. Cochereau was a one-off, this is not just a legend.

 

Concerning Carbou's recordings in ND : as far as I know, the micros were at 15 maters approx. from the organ, but not on the organ loft.

 

Concerning the Symphonie Passion : i personally recommend the 1956 version in ND. The organ is a little bit out of tune, but still has Cavaillé-Coll's action. The organ and the playing are fascinating, magic ! M. Dupré has obviously know this recording, which is now available at Solstice (on the web); it is a double CD, where there also are Ad Nos / Liszt at ND, and the Symphony extemporized on the Skinner in Boston, all that by a 32 year old guy !

 

Concerning M. Pincemmaille : I think he has never studied with M. Cochereau, but with Mme Falcinelli in the Conservatoire Suérieur / Paris, who took over from M. Dupré. Although the tradition is the same, M. Pincemaille, a wonderful concertist and improviser, can be easily distinguished, I think from M. Cochereau (I do not mean this being a criticism !!!!).

 

Best regards,

 

PF Baron / France

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Just some information from France :

 

I never heard saying that M. Cochereau did play Reubke's Sonata. To my mind, there are no records anyway.

 

Concerning Dupré / Cochereau : some posts here almost present M. Dupré as senile, from the 50s / 60s..... !!!!!!! Only his playing was slowed down by rhumatisms, but his mind stayed clear ! He clearly expressed sometimes that M. Cochereau was a one-off, this is not just a legend.

Concerning Carbou's recordings in ND : as far as I know, the micros were at 15 maters approx. from the organ, but not on the organ loft.

 

Concerning the Symphonie Passion : i personally recommend the 1956 version in ND. The organ is a little bit out of tune, but still has Cavaillé-Coll's action. The organ and the playing are fascinating, magic ! M. Dupré has obviously know this recording, which is now available at Solstice (on the web); it is a double CD, where there also are Ad Nos / Liszt at ND, and the Symphony extemporized on the Skinner in Boston, all that by a 32 year old guy !

 

Concerning M. Pincemmaille : I think he has never studied with M. Cochereau, but with Mme Falcinelli in the Conservatoire Suérieur / Paris, who took over from M. Dupré. Although the tradition is the same, M. Pincemaille, a wonderful concertist and improviser, can be easily distinguished, I think from M. Cochereau (I do not mean this being a criticism !!!!).

 

Best regards,

 

PF Baron / France

 

I've never said that Dupré was senile. Since I have had the opportunity ,when I was a young student, to discuss with him and to see him play(1967-1968), I just confirm he was not able to play as fast as he did when he was younger because of fingers deformed by this desease. It's audible in the recording of his NDP recital in october 1969!

As far as Pincemaille is concerned, this is true to say that he has never been Cochereau's pupill. But as he describes it very well in a book organised by Y Carbou as a tribute to PC, he has been seeing him play in ND so often that he has become imbued with PC's style of improvisation, himself directly inspired by Dupré'style like (variations sur un vieux noel)...There is there an obvious filiation!

Edited by flûte harmonique
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Guest Roffensis
Where? (Citation, please.)

Cochereau is over hyped, with all that rolling around on the pedals for his improvisations and thoroughly distasteful registration, not least in his Dupre with cheezy bits at the end of the Symphonie Passion Nativite. Even worse when people even try to emulate that style :D WHY!!! , and there are several contenders for that. I think his "version" of the Vierne Berceuse is actually almost good, but he did too little all in the same style much for too long, and it's sad to think that the current Organist of ND is not revered as much. It's like Mozart, kick the bucket and you're an icon.

 

R

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Cochereau is over hyped, with all that rolling around on the pedals for his improvisations and thoroughly distasteful registration, not least in his Dupre with cheezy bits at the end of the Symphonie Passion Nativite. Even worse when people even try to emulate that style :D WHY!!!  , and there are several contenders for that. I think his "version" of the Vierne Berceuse is actually almost good, but he did too little all in the same style much for too long, and it's sad to think that the current Organist of ND is not revered as much. It's like Mozart, kick the bucket and you're an icon.

 

R

 

for once, I couldn't agree more

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