Aristide Cavaillé-Coll (1811-1899) was a pioneer organbuilder in France during the 1800’s

Fugue State Films, a British documentary company, will soon be bringing yet another great collectors item to the world. The project,  The Genius of Cavaillé-Coll, is a multimedia documentary on the famous French builder of the 19th Century, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. I’ve already pre-ordered a copy, anticipated to be released before this Christmas. From the looks of it, this is not something any lover of organ music should miss. Especially if you like French Romantic organ music!

Fugue State Films states that this project is to be-

The definitive documentary celebrating the 200th anniversary of the greatest organ builder of the nineteenth century and the music he inspired. A multi-disc boxed set with book, CDs and DVDs, featuring organists Gerard Brooks, Daniel Roth, Olivier Latry, Pierre Pincemaille and more. Features seventeen organs including St Sulpice, Notre Dame, St Ouen, Rouen, St Sernin, Toulouse. Currently in post-production, this project will be released in autumn 2012.

The project originally started with what I recall was to be a 1 DVD and 2 CD set, with a film on the life and works (organs) of Cavaillé-Coll, and then various recordings on as many historical instruments as possible accompanied by a small book. Totally worth the high price of the pre-order! But it has since evolved into much more!

Here’s what it looks like now: (the following was information provided by Fugue State films in an email update I recieved)

There will be three DVDs, two CDs and an 80 page booklet, all crammed with content. That’s almost eight hours of filmed material, plus almost three hours of CD recordings. There is almost no overlap between the music recorded for the CDs and DVDs, as you will see.
 
To discuss the booklet first, it will contain photos and detailed specifications of the organs, plus bios of the performers and full information about the contents of the CDs and DVDs.
 
The two CDs will contain performances from each of the sixteen Cavaillé-Coll organs we visited. The organs are arranged in chronological order and feature compositions from the same rough period as the organs, such as Boëly from St Denis, Franck from St Omer or St Louis D’Antin, and or music closely associated with the organ such as Vierne from Notre Dame. Therefore you will experience both the development of the sound of Cavaillé-Coll’s organs, as well as the development of the music that these organs inspired. Full repertoire is included at the end of this email.
 
The first DVD is absolutely the heart and soul of this project. It contains the three fifty minute films that make up the documentary mini-series, The Genius of Cavaillé-Coll. This is the first ever film about Cavaillé-Coll, and explains who Cavaillé-Coll was, how he created his great organs, how he inspired the music that was written for them, and also situates him in the history of nineteenth century France, a period of huge change, opportunity and upheaval. Gerard Brooks presents, and interview subjects include Kurt Lueders, Ronald Ebrecht, Carolyn Shuster-Fournier as well as Pierre Pincemaille, Thomas Monnet, Olivier Latry and Eric Lebrun.
 
The second DVD goes into considerable detail about the individual organs, with detailed demonstrations and at least one performance from the various locations. This allows you to chart Cavaillé-Coll’s development from organ to organ as he introduced his various innovations.
 
The third DVD shows that the influence of Cavaillé-Coll is still very much alive, and showcases contemporary improvisations and compositions. There are magnificent performances and improvisations by towering names of the contemporary French organ world: Daniel Roth, Olivier Latry, Pierre Pincemaille, Jean-Pierre Griveau and Michel Bouvard. What is especially nice is that these improvisations (by definition) and compositions have never been recorded before, so this DVD is absolutely unique. As if that isn’t enough, there are demonstrations of the organs, including long demonstrations of St Sulpice and Notre Dame by Daniel Roth and Olivier Latry that are filled with improvisations that capture every aspect of these crucially important instruments.
 
All material (films, booklet etc) will be presented in three languages, English, French and German. The second and third DVDs are in full surround sound, for maximum impact of the filmed performances.

Tell me that doesn’t look awesome… Well there was more detailed info:

DVD 1
The Genius of Cavaillé-Coll – 3 x 50 minute documentaries (150 minutes total)

Gerard Brooks presents this 3 episode documentary series about the life and work of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. Interview subjects include Kurt Lueders, Ronald Ebrecht, Carolyn Shuster Fournier as well as Pierre Pincemaille, Thomas Monnet, Olivier Latry and Eric Lebrun.

DVD 2
The Organs of Cavaille-Coll – Full 5.1 surround sound

Demonstrations of the organs at: Bedarieux, Orleans Cathedral (choir organ and grand orgue), St Omer, St Louis D’Antin, Becon, Long, Elbeuf, St Ouen, Selongey and St Antoine des Quinze-Vingts.

Plus the following filmed performances:

Basilique Cathédrale de Saint-Denis (1840)
Boëly: Judex Credaris
Gerard Brooks

Saint-Louis, Bedarieux (1840)
Benoit: 2 further pieces
Gerard Brooks

Cathédrale Sainte-Croix d’Orleans, Choir Organ (1846)
Franck: 2 further pieces from L’Organiste
Jean-Pierre Griveau

Cathédrale Notre Dame de Saint-Omer (1855)
Franck: Final
David Noël-Hudson

St Louis D’Antin, Paris (1858)
Franck: Prière
David Noël-Hudson

St Sulpice, Paris (1862)
Widor: Marcia from Symphony 3
Daniel Roth

Saint-Maurice de Becon, Courbevoie (1865)
Liszt: Fantasia and Fugue on “Ad Nos, Ad Salutarem Undam”
Thomas Monnet

Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris (1868)
Vierne: Impromptu
Olivier Latry

St Jean Baptiste, Long (1877)
Guilmant: Fugue alla Handel
Kurt Lueders

Cathédrale Sainte-Croix d’Orleans, Grand Orgue (1880)
Duruflé: Variations on Veni Creator
Jean-Pierre Griveau

St Etienne, Elbeuf (1882)
Boëllmann: 3 further pieces from Vingt-six Versets Posthumes
Kurt Lueders

St Ouen, Rouen (1890)
Widor: Toccata from Symphony 5
Gerard Brooks

St Remy, Selongey (1893)
Widor: Andante Sostenuto from Symphony 9
Carolyn Shuster Fournier

St Antoine des Quinze Vingts, Paris (1894)
Franck: Cantabile
David Noël-Hudson

DVD 3
Après Cavaille-Coll – Full 5.1 Surround Sound

Demonstrations of the organs at St Sernin, St Denis, St Sulpice and Notre Dame.

Performances:

Basilique Cathédrale de Saint-Denis (1840)
Seven improvisations by Pierre Pincemaille

St Sulpice, Paris (1862)
Improvisation by Daniel Roth

Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris (1868)
Improvisation by Olivier Latry

Cathédrale Sainte-Croix d’Orleans, Grand Orgue (1880)
Griveau: Variations on the name Cavaillé-Coll
Jean-Pierre Griveau

Basilique St Sernin, Toulouse (1889)
Jean Bouvard: Variations sur un Vieux Noël Français
Jean Bouvard: Variations sur un Noël “Jaon Handiak”
Jean Bouvard: Variations sur un Noël Provençal
Michel Bouvard

CD 1
Basilique Cathédrale de Saint-Denis (1840)
Boëly: Fantasie and Fugue in B flat major
Gerard Brooks

Saint-Louis, Bedarieux (1840)
Benoit: 3 Pieces
Fessy: Offertoire
Gerard Brooks

Cathédrale Sainte-Croix d’Orleans, Choir Organ (1846)
Franck: 3 Pieces from L’Organiste
Tournaillon: Introduction et Marche
Jean-Pierre Griveau

Cathédrale Notre Dame de Saint-Omer (1855)
Franck: Fantasie in C major
David Noël-Hudson

St Louis D’Antin, Paris (1858)
Franck: Prèlude, Fugue et Variation
David Noël-Hudson

St Sulpice, Paris (1862)
Saint-Saens: Prelude and Fugue in B major
Daniel Roth

Saint-Maurice de Becon, Courbevoie (1865)
Lefébure-Wély: Scène Pastorale
Thomas Monnet

CD 2
Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris (1868)
Vierne: Carillon de Westminster
Olivier Latry

St Jean Baptiste, Long (1877)
Guilmant: Fugue alla Handel
Kurt Lueders

Cathédrale Sainte-Croix d’Orleans, Grand Orgue (1880)
Widor: Intermezzo from Symphony 6
Gerard Brooks

St Etienne, Elbeuf (1882)
Boëllmann: 4 Pieces from Vingt-six Versets Posthumes
Kurt Lueders

Basilique St Sernin, Toulouse (1889)
Lemmens: Prèlude à 5 parties
Guilmant: Finale from Sonata 3
Vierne: Stèle pour en Enfant Défunt
Michel Bouvard

St Ouen, Rouen (1890)
Widor: Theme and Variations from Symphony 5
Gerard Brooks

St Remy, Selongey (1893)
Chauvet: Prelude
Chauvet: Andantino
Salomé: Piece en forme de canon
Carolyn Shuster Fournier

St Antoine des Quinze Vingts, Paris (1894)
Franck: Fantasie in A major
David Noël-Hudson

In closing Fugue State Films had this to say:

We think that this release is going to be a landmark in the presentation of organ music, and in fact in the presentation of classical music. Nothing quite like it has ever been done before. We hope it will inspire music lovers of all ages around the world to discover the magnificent history and repertoire of French romantic organ music. Our purpose is to present the organ and its music in such a compelling way that more people will become interested in playing and learning about the instrument. Please support us in our work.

So there it is! If you have NOT yet ordered this documentary I urge you to go to Fugue State Films website and check it out, or order from the Organ Historical Society’s store here. This is truly a remarkable project and I cannot wait to see (and hear) the results!

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