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1877 A. Cavaillé-Coll, Mainz, Germany [Back to Library]

Producer: OrganArt Media
Manuals: 2
Pedalboard: Yes
Audio Ouput: Stereo
Date Built: 1877


"To this day, the name "Cavaillé-Coll" continues to electrify the organ world that celebrated the 100th anniversary of his death in 1999. His works represent a highly romantic sound ideal aiming at rich orchestral colors, a good tonal blend and opulent sonority combined with tonal flexibility. Rich, saturated colors instead of lighter tonal qualities are preferred.

Aristide Cavaillé-Coll (1811-1899) is considered the creator of the so-called symphonic organ; his influence on the development of English and German organ building cannot be exaggerated. He created a synthesis combining the classic French organ with the characteristic overblowing flutes (Flûte harmonique), the Swell Organ and (Spanish) horizontal trumpets (Trompettes en chamade) as well as (South German) strings.

In the masterworks of this acoustical engineer and researcher, we find high-quality workmanship and fine materials coupled with brilliant sound designs of individual and elegant intonation.
To numerous French composers in the second half of the 19th century, his organs provided inspiration and the inherent possibility to realize a new symphonic compositional style. The greatest organ composers in France - like Franck, Widor, Vierne to Messiaen - were deeply impressed and motivated by the rich sonority of his instruments.

The A. Cavaillé-Coll organ at St. Bernhard, the very first in Germany, has an eventful history that could be reconstructed through information by the family of the former owner, architect Patrice Comte, Paris, as well as by research of the organ builders Berger and Swiderski: the origins of the instrument go back to the seventies of the 19th century. lt was built in 1876/77 for St. Ferdinand et Thérèse de l'enfant de Jésu, a small Paris church located on the corner of Rue St. Ferdinand and d'Armaillé, not far from the Place de l'Etoile. Unexpectedly, the congregation found the means to purchase a larger organ. Cavaillé-Coll took advantage of the opportunity, built a larger instrument for St. Ferdinand and put up the smaller organ in his workshop for testing of new techniques and as a show and demonstration instrument. The lavish design as well as the complicated mechanism of the organ show a level of organ building that Cavaillé-Coll applied at St. Ouen in Rouen (1890), so that the experts assume a date no later than the beginning of the nineties (1890-92) for the completion of the work. The organ has remained unchanged since that time.

The church room has a medium-wet acoustics with about 3 seconds of reverberation.

Recording Technique

The organ was recorded in January 2004 with 44 kHz, 16 bit, multi-channel for Hauptwerk 1

# of uploads with organ:5
# of users uploaded using organ:2
Popular Uploads: Carillon, Op. 31, No. 21 (Popup Player)



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