Le Tombeau de Titelouze from St Eustache Part 1

Jean-Paul Imbert plays Le Tombeau de Titelouze, op. 38 (1942) by Marcel Dupré on the van den Heuvel organ in St Eustache Paris. The piece is a collection of 16 chorals based on liturgical hymns. Two chorals in particular are well known, the gentle 'Iste Confessor' and the firey toccata on 'Placare Christe Servulis'. Imbert plays it all beautifully exploring every ounce of colour in this unique organ. Taken from a Studio SM CD 121806 from 1990, it also includes the Symphonie Passion op. 23 and 4 versets from Vepres de la Vierge op. 18. Sadly the CD is no longer available, but you might find it second hand.

Jean-Paul Imbert was born in 1942 and began playing the organ at 15 years old at the organ of St Jeanne d'Arc, later studying the organ with Jean Guillou and Pierre Cochereau. he became the assistant organist at St Eustache in 1971, during which the organ was silent from 1977 until the new organ was built in 1989! In 1993 he was nominated titulaire of Notre Dame des Neiges d'Alpe d'Huez, with the famous Guillou designed organ in the shape of a hand. He has also been titulaire of Notre-Dame du Perpétuel Secours á Paris from 1997-2006. He is a professor at the Schola Cantorum in Paris and regularly works with l'Ensemble Instrumental de Paris. He was awarded the Chevalier des Artes et lettres in 2004.

Jehan (or Jean) Titelouze (1663-1633) French composer and organist, was considered the first composer of the French Organ school. He became a priest in 1585 and served as organist of St Omer, then moved to Rouen andbecame organist of Rouen Cathedral, where he was heavily involved in organ consultation. He invited Crespin Carlier to work on the cathedral organ, the result was highly praised and was pivotal in defining the French Classical organ. His surviving lirtugical music is comprised of two collections of hymns from 1624-6 totalling 19 settings of chants. Its from these pieces that Dupre drew his inspiration for his great organ work.

The current organ of St Eustache contains a few ranks from the previous instrument, notably the 8' Cor de Basset (Made by Henry Willis III for Joseph Bonnet) and the 32' Contre Basson on the Recit which was the old 32' Bombarde. It was dedicated in 1989 and the specification follows some Guillou's ideas, but Guillou apparently had reservations about the finished product. Whilst this organ an extraordinary array of sonorities, and capably of some truly bizarre effects, I am not a big fan of the organ. To me it lacks the dignified brilliance and grandeur of other well known Parisian neighbours, the mixtures are strident and the the reeds seem to be uniformally loud and coarse. The strings, flutes and soft reeds are nice, but the organ has been designed to have that soloistic quality that Guillou prefers, and dont blend as an ensemble as most french organs do. The Tutti while exhilarating, is nowhere near as beautiful as Cavaillé-Coll's masterpieces, which is a shame as the builders use many of his methods, like multiple pressures for flue and reed ranks (the Solo chamades have 6 different pressures!) and barker levers etc. Having heard many Van den Heuvel organs, they all seem to share the same characteristics, and I don't like them. There are many great organs in Paris, but this not one of them. I shall get off my soapbox now.

Although I dislike the organ, there are very few complete recordings of this work, and hadn't seen the whole thing on YouTube and is rarely played complete. Watch out for the toccata, the final chord might well damage your hearing!

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Автор Dénes Harmath ( назад)
1. Creator alme siderum (pour les Dimanches de l'Avent) 0:00
2. Jesu, Redemptor omnium (pour les Vêpres de Noël) 0:52
3. A solis ortus cardine (pour les Laudes de Noël) 2:04
4. Audi, benigne conditor (pour le Carême) 3:19
5. Te lucis ante terminum (pour les Complies, chaque soir) 5:17
6. Cœlestis urbs Jerusalem (Dédicace) 6:51
7. Ad regias agni dapes (pour les Dimanches après Pâques) 8:19

Автор Richard Harrold ( назад)
@tjugofyra - that organ suffers from a number of problems. It comes over as
brash rather than merely powerful, and the foundation tone is weak. It also
suffers from a hideous case, dictated by the church (also hideous, and with
a huge dome wrecking the acoustic). When the church burned in 1990, it
should have been completely demolished and a new church built, but, alas,
the opportunity was missed, and the organ is as flawed as its home.

Автор tjugofyra ( назад)
JFSnail, have you ever heard the VdH organ in Katarina church?

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