Jump to content
Mander Organ Builders Forum

Cavaillé-colls In Britain.


James Goldrick
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest Geoff McMahon

Farnborough Abbey has of course what is believed to be a C-C organ, although there are suggestions that it might actually be a Mutin. IN any event, it is undoubtedly the least altered of its type in the UK, but not very large of course. Remarkably versatile though and very interesting.

 

John Pike Mander

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it is a Mutin, it would be interesting to know its date; Mutin beginned using ACC's stocks, so that the first organs had the same quality. A blatant example of that is the Sacré-Coeur, Montmartre. (originally built for the Baron de l'Espée) Later, the quality suffered because Charles Mutin was more of a Manager than an artist. Claude Noisette de Crauzat does not list it among ACC's organs. In 1984, he wrote the best conserved ACC organ in Britain was the one in Warrigton, formerly built for a Mr Hopwood in Ketton-Hall.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre Lauwers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

According to NPOR, it certainly does appear to be in a good state, however there is one passage which I cannot quite decipher:

 

"the stops of the Grande Orgue are all available, by turning the stopknob through 90 degrees on a free combination by pedal"

 

Can anyone please offer a more explanatory translation of this mechanism?

 

Much appreciated

James Goldrick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Geoff McMahon

Absolutely correct.

 

I believe this to be an early Mutin which is why it is so often attributed to C-C. It is in the apse behind the altar in an excellent acoustic. The only thing which seems to mitigate it against being a C-C is the fact that the front pipes are of zinc. I worked on this organ many years ago.

 

John Pike Mander

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Geoff McMahon

That is the point. It is the Montre 8ft which is of zinc at Farnborough. I apologise for not making that clear in my earlier post.

 

John Pike Mander

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...
Guest Roffensis
Where in Britain is the Cavaillé-Coll sound best preserved?

I have seen some images of the case at Parr Hall, Warrington and that seems to be in some state of tonal originality.

I am particularly interested in the state of the Manchester Town Hall organ.

 

Thanks

James Goldrick

 

I have given many recitals on Parr Hall, and yes it is apparently Cavaille Coll. I have also been told that there is some Conacher pipework in it, which I dont knowwhether to be true or not, but the organ certainly comes over as the most French in the UK. The console is a nightmare, the ventils are not secure, and slip off easily, and the pedals have a terribly light springy touch, with a incredibly low bench that helps nothing, and there is not adjustable bench as an alternative. Bad! When last asked to play there I declined, it was just too stressful!! Its well worth hearing or playing, and is a gem, make no mistake. There are several CC reeds in All Hallows Allerton, Liverpool. Manchester Town Hall also is mostly CC, but badly needs a proper sympathetic restoration to reverse all done to it, and remove all the later additions. Then that really would be something!!!! Blackburn melted theirs down, something that could never happen now......it was deemed unrestorable. Yeah right!!......actually maybe it could happen now.

Notre Dame in London has some CC in it, but is really a Shepherd mix of other builders and his own work, which actually sounds pretty interesting but incredibly loud. So Warrington and Farnborough (actually Mutin) remain the two key jobs here. There are a few gern argans here too, some very fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would agree about N.-D. de France, Leicester Square - I went to a recital there, some years ago, and was nearly blown out of the church (as it were). I like loud organ music, when appropriate, but this organ sounds neither French or particularly musical (to my ears) when driven hard.

 

I was sorry to hear about the Parr Hall, Warrington, However, I do wonder why it is in such a parlous state - having played S. Etienne, Caen on several occasions (C-C, 1895) with its original console - everything worked perfectly. Ventils stayed on (or off!) and the key and pedal actions were responsive and not over-heavy (neither were they particularly noisy when playing quietly). And, what a glorious sound! The reeds are not harsh or particularly uneven in timbre, or over-powering. The tutti was, in fact, the very antithesis of the Leicester Square C-C/Walker/Shepherd organ.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Notre Dame in London has some CC in it, but is really a Shepherd mix of other builders and his own work, which actually sounds pretty interesting but incredibly loud. So Warrington and Farnborough (actually Mutin) remain the two key jobs here. There are a few gern argans here too, some very fine.

I have got this organ on tape and it does state that CC did some work there. However, the NPOR (National Pipe Organ Register) gives the history of the organ of N.D-de-F as being:

 

1868: August Gern

2 manuals, 24 stops

 

1938: JW Walker

3 manuals, 34 stops, 2131 pipes

 

1940: Church bombed, organ largely undammaged.

 

1955: Organ built using only seven stops from 1868 organ with much of the pipework being second hand.

 

1987: BC Shepherd & Son

3 manuals, 61 stops, 3533 pipes

 

No mention of CC.

 

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Roffensis
I have got this organ on tape and it does state that CC did some work there. However, the NPOR (National Pipe Organ Register) gives the history of the organ of N.D-de-F as being:

 

1868: August Gern

2 manuals, 24 stops

 

1938: JW Walker

3 manuals, 34 stops, 2131 pipes

 

1940: Church bombed, organ largely undammaged.

 

1955: Organ built using only seven stops from 1868 organ with much of the pipework being second hand.

 

1987: BC Shepherd & Son

3 manuals, 61 stops, 3533 pipes

 

No mention of CC.

 

Dave

 

 

I think they used a lot of second hand CC pipework in reality. Cavaille Coll had not built an organ for this church.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can anyone enlighten me on the pipe inscriptionsnumbers of the various ranks at Farnborough (ie what is engraved into the botom C of any/each rank)?

 

I have tried at least one obvious source to no avail!

 

Many thanks,

 

Chris

 

The Cavaille Coll organ at Farnborough now has a web site

 

http://www.cavaille-coll.co.uk/

 

As previously pointed out, this organ is musically far more effective than instruments twice the size.

 

Well worth hearing - and seeing the Abbey

 

Imagine you are in France....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This organ is actually Mutin however.

 

That is certainly true, and this organ definitely looks like a Mutin, from the very first years of the XXst century.

 

At this period, and for a short while, Mutin still used the name-plate "A. Cavaillé-Coll, à Paris", but with a wood substrate of ligther colour, as it is the case there (under Aristide, the substrate was dark, the name of this wood is "palissandre", in french, but I cannot find my english dictionnary back...)

 

The shape of the stop-knobs and the stop labels (with a coloured ring aroud them) are also typically Mutin.

 

On the photos, it can be seen that the organ has been fitted with tuning slides, which of course are not original.

 

Although I do not know this organ, this can have a big impact, as instruments similar to this one are generally meant to be tuned at approx A3 = 435 Hz.

 

When they are tuned higher (which can easily be the case with tuning slides), the tuning slots generally come out of proportion, and the sound generally becomes quite round and rather confused.

 

When making a general tuning on such instruments, if you are not sure of the pitch, the best is really to look for the best pitch and sound on the first stop, and to only continue once you are sure of the pitch (the reeds, if at their original length, are generally able to give good indications)

 

But on such organs, with tuning slots ("pavillons", as Cavaillé called them), please never move away from the original pitch. On the sound , the effects are desastrous

 

Best regards to all of you

 

PF Baron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...