Organ pilgrimage Cavaillé-Coll to Paris 27th  April to 1st. May 2011

On the 200th anniversary of the birth of  Aristide Cavaillé-Coll: 5 days round and about in Paris in the footsteps of the great organ-master builder. Around 100 participants experienced a diverse, varied and substantial study programme including 15 organ viewings, recitals, lectures and an  organ class with Christophe Mantoux. The interaction between instrument and music, between  organ-building and organ music, music by Alexandre Guilmant (100th anniversary of death), Jehan Alain (100th anniversary of birth) and Marcel Dupré (40th anniversary of death) made up the main features of  the study trip to Paris under the direction of the organ specialist Dr. Kurt Lueders and Miriam Jedele and Michael Grüber from ORGANpromotion.

The contents of the study programme were spread over 5 days, ranging from the welcome recital on the  Cavaillé-Coll-Gonzales organ in the tradition-filled  „André Marchal“ Hall in the Institut de Jeunes Aveugles (INJA), via the re-dedication of the newly-renovated Cavaillé-Coll organ of St. Jean de Montmartre, a visit to the Musem of Arts and Crafts, up to the crowning finale  in Saint Sulpice with Daniel Roth. Other highlights included the viewings of the modernised, electrified and remodelled instruments in La Madeleine, Notre-Dame d´Auteuil and in St. Vincent de Paul, lectures by Kurt Lueders, a meeting with Madame Aurélie Decourt, the niece of Jehan Alain, an organ course on the complete works of Jehan Alain under the direction of Christophe Mantoux and a city walk round Paris „In the footsteps of  Aristide Cavaillé-Coll“ taking in his former workshop, the cemetery at Montparnasse and a „Happy Birthday Champagne Toast“ on Cavaillé-Coll Square.

As well as the organ viewings there were four great evening and afternoon recitals: in St. Antoine with Thomas Monnet, in Notre-Dame d´Auteuil with Frédéric Blanc, in St. Louis d´Antin with David Noel-Hudson, in the Institut National des Jeunes Aveugles with Dominique Levacque and in Notre-Dame-des-Champs with Yannik Merlin and Béatrice Piertot.
A special highpoint was the visit and reception in the Marcel Dupré Auditorium in Meudon.


Michel Desroches, CH-Frauenfeld