Important organs in the life of Felix Alexandre Guilmant


Organs in Paris    

The house organ in Villa Guilmant in Meudon
Photo: Wizard of the Organ, 1993
Reproduction by Agnes Armstrong

During his second American tour in 1898 Guilmant had a concert hall build next to his house, Villa Guilmant in Meudon. In 1899 Aristide Cavaillé-Coll build an organ in this hall. It has been completed by Charles Mutin after the death of Cavaillé-Coll. The organ case is build by mr. Buisine of Lille (Rijsel).
After Guilmants death in 1911 the house containing the organ was sold, and the organ stayed here until 1926. Then the new owners moved to another place, and the organ had to be removed. Marcel Dupré bought the organ. He gave a last concert in the house of Guilmant in February 1926. Dupré lived in the same street, at the opposite. In March 1926 he inaugurated the organ in his own house. It had not been changed so far.
Six years later, in 1932, Joseph Beuchet enlarged en modified the organ. It got a new console, electric traction and a new fourth manual. The manuals were enlarged to c'''', on the chests to c''''' (73 tones). The rebuild was finished in 1934 and on April 27, 1934, Dupré gave the first concert. Dupré died in 1971, but the organ is still on it's place (as has been told to me!).
Here is the disposition that Guilmant designed in 1898:
Grand-Orgue: Bourdon 16', Montre 8', Flûte Harmonique 8', Salicional 8' and Prestant 4'.
Positief Expressif: Cor de Nuit 8', Flûte Creuse 8', Gambe 8', Flûte Douce 4', Nasard 2 2/3', Quarte de Nasard 2', Tierce 1 3/5' and Cromorne 8'.
Récit Expressif: Diapason 8', Flûte Traversière 8', Dulciane 8', Voix Céleste 8', Flûte Octaviante 4', Doublette 2', Plein-Jeu 3 rangs, Trompette Harmonique 8', Basson-Hautbois 8' and Trémolo.
Pédale: Contrebasse 16', Soubasse 16', Flûte 8', Bourdon 8', Violoncelle 8' and Bombarde 16'.
Couples: Accouplement du Positif au Grand-Orgue, Récit au Grand-Orgue, Récit au Positif, Octaves Graves Récit au Grand-Orgue, Octaves Aigués Grand-Orgue and Grand-Orgue sur Machine. Tirasse Grand-Orgue, Positif en Récit.
Features:Appel d'Anches (Pédale en Récit), Jeux de Fonds, Jeux de Combinaisons, Piano Grand-Orgue, Forte Grand-Orgue, Prolongement (Récit).

 

   

Sainte-Trinité
Photo: Piet Bron

The organ of the Église Sainte-Trinité in Paris, build in 1868. In 1870 Guilmant succeeded Alexis Chauvet as organist of this organ. He stayed organist until 1900. Guilmant was succeeded by Charles Quef. The organ has been modified after Guilmant left. Another famous organist of this church was Olivier Messiaen.
At the moment the disposition of this organ is:
Grand-Orgue: Montre 16', Bourdon 16', Montre 8', Bourdon 8', Gambe 8', Flûte Harmonique 8', Prestant 4', Flûte Octaviante 4', Nasard 2 2/3', Doublette 2', Plein-Jeu 4 rangs, Cymbale 2-4 rangs, Cornet 5 rangs, Bombarde 16', Trompette 8' and Clairon 4'.
Positif Expressif: Quintaton 16', Principal 8', Salicional 8', Flûte Harmonique 8', Unda Maris 8', Cor de Nuit 8' (unenclosed), Prestant 4', Flûte Douce 4' (unenclosed), Nasard 2 2/3' (unenclosed), Doublette 2', Flageolet 2' (unenclosed), Tierce 1 3/5' (unenclosed), Piccolo 1' (unenclosed), Cornet 2-5 rangs, Fourniture 4 rangs, Basson 16', Trompette 8', Clarinette 8' (unenclosed) and Clairon 4'.
Récit Expressif: Bourdon 16', Bourdon 8' (1965), Flûte Traversière 8', Gambe 8', Voix Céleste 8', Flûte Octaviante 4' (1965), Nasard 2 2/3' (1965), Octavin 2' (1965), Tierce 1 3/5' (1965), Cymbale 3 rangs (1965), Basson-Hautbois 8', Voix Humaine 8', Bombarde 16', Trompette 8', Clairon 4' and Trémolo.
Pédale: Soubasse 32', Contrebasse 16', Soubasse 16', Flûte 8', Violoncelle 8', Bourdon 8', Octave 4', Plein-Jeu 4 rangs (1965), Bombarde 16', Trompette 8' and Clairon 4'.
Couples: All possible manual couplers on 16', 8' en 4'. Pedal couples on 8' and 4'. Features: Crescendo Général and Combinaisons Ajustables.

 

   

The organ at the Scola Cantorum
Photo: Kurt Lueders

The organ at the Scola Cantorum, Paris, has been build by the firm Cavaillé-Coll-Mutin (in fact Charles Mutin) in 1901. The actual disposition is not the same as the original one. The organ-manufacturer Beuchet-Debièrre modified the organ in 1967. Here is the actual disposition:
Grand-Orgue: Bourdon 16', Montre 8', Flûte Harmonique 8', Bourdon 8', Prestant 4', Flûte 4', Doublette 2' and Plein-Jeu 4 rangs.
Positif Expressif: Cor de Nuit 8', Flûte Creuse 8', Principal 4', Flûte Douce 4', Nasard 2 2/3', Quarte de Nasard 2', Tierce 1 3/5' and Cromorne 8'.
Récit Expressif: Gambe 8', Voix Céleste 8', Flûte 8', Flûte 4', Flagéolet 2', Plein-Jeu 4 rangs, Trompette 8', Basson-Hautbois 8' and Clairon 4'.
Pédale: Contrebasse 16', Soubasse 16', Bourdon 8', Flûte 8', Flûte 4' and Trompette 8'.
Couples: Accouplement du Positif au Grand-Orgue, Accouplement du Récit au Grand-Orgue, Accouplement du Récit au Positif, Accouplement du Récit au Grand-Orgue en 16', Tirasse Grand-Orgue, Tirasse Positif and Tirasse Récit. Features: 3 Combinations, Appel anches Récit and Appel Trompette de Pédale.

 

   

The organ in the Trocadero Palace
Photo: Karen Klevanosky

In the great hall (Salle des Fêtes) of the Trocadero Palace in 1878 Cavaillé-Coll build a large organ with four manuals. Guilmant played many concerts on this organ for large audiences. A part of the repertoire played here has been published by Guilmant in four volumes 'Répertoire des Concerts du Trocadéro'.
The organ was not designed for this location. Cavaillé-Coll build the organ for the church of Notre-Dame in Auteuil. He enlarged the organ front with two pedal towers containing 32'-pipes and the organ got a new fourth manual. On August 7, 1878 the organ has been inaugurated. The organ stayed in the hall until 1937, when the old building was demolished and replaces by the Palais Chaillot, which still exists. In the new building the organ is rebuild by the firm of Gonzalèz. The old organ case and front didn't return: the instrument got a new case of steel on a platform with wheels, so that it could easily be removed. Gonzalèz made a new electric traction and modified the disposition. It never became as famous as it was in the earlier days and stould almost ununsed in the hall.
In 1977 the organ is bought by the city of Lyon. George Danion moved it to the Auditorium Maurice Ravel. Again modifications were made. With concerts by Pierre Cochereau the organ has been inaugurated in Lyon on October 27 and 28, 1977.
The original disposition of 1878 was:
Grand-Orgue: Montre 16', Bourdon 16', Montre 8', Violoncelle 8', Flûte Harmonique 8', Bourdon 8', Prestant 4', Flûte Douce 4', Doublette 2', Dessus de Cornet 5 rangs, Plein-Jeu 5 rangs, Bombarde 16', Trompette 8' and Clairon 4'.
Positif Expressif: Bourdon 16', Principal 8', Flûte Harmonique, Salicional 8', Unda Maris 8', Flûte Octaviante 4', Quinte 2 2/3', Doublette 2', Plein-Jeu Harmonique 3 à 4 rangs, Basson 16', Trompette 8', Cromorne 8' and Trémolo.
Récit Expressif: Quintaton 16', Flûte Harmonique 8', Viole de Gambe 8', Cor de Nuit 8', Voix Céleste 8', Flûte Octaviante 4', Octavin 2', Cornet 5 rangs, Carillon 1 à 3 rangs, Basson 16', Trompette 8', Basson-Hautbois 8', Voix Humaine 8', Clairon Harmonique 4' and Trémolo.
Solo: Bourdon 16', Diapason 8', Flûte Harmonique 8', Violoncelle 8', Flûte Octaviante 4', Octavin 2', Tuba Magna 16', Trompette Harmonique 8', Clarinette 8' and Clairon Harmonique 4'.
Pédale: Principal Basse 32', Contrebasse 16', Sous-basse 16', Grosse Flûte 16', Violon Basse 16', Grosse Flûte 8', Basse 8', Bourdon 8', Violoncelle 8', Contre-Bombarde 32', Bombarde 16', Basson 16', Trompette 8', Basson 8', Clairon 4' and Baryton 4'.
Couples: Accouplement du Positif au Grand-Orgue, Accouplement du Récit au Grand-Orgue, Accouplement du Solo au Grand-Orgue, Accouplement du Récit au Positif, Tirasse Grand-Orgue, Tirasse Positif, Tirasse Récit.
Features: Effêt d'Orage, Appel des Anches, Octaves Graves (for each manual).

 

   

The organ in the Festival Hall at the World's Fair in Saint Louis, USA
Photo: Official Photographic Co., taken from the "World's Fair Bulletin", september 1904

The large organ that was build for the Festival Hall at the World's Fair in Saint Louis. Guilmant played the organ during his last tour to the United States in 1904.

 

 

Powered by Website Baker