Johann Sebastian Bach
Listen all tracks :
|Johann Sebastian Bach|
|01. Prélude et fugue en mi mineur (13:47)||0.89|
|02. VIe Sonate (13:26)||0.89|
|03. Fantaisie et fugue sur “Ad Nos..” (27:59)||0.99|
|04. Pièce héroique (7:50)||0.79|
|Bach - Marcello|
|05. Adagio du concerto en ré mineur (4:06)||0.79|
Total Time 1:07:12
The little village of SAINT MAXIMIN, in the heart of Provence, was the center of early Christianity in France. Its large cathedral was built in 1293 on the legendary tomb of Mary Magdalene. Inside it holds a great organ, a masterpiece of one of the best-known organ builders in of the 18th century: Jean-Esprit Isnard, Dominican lay-brother from Tarascon, near Arles.
Isnard worked mainly in Provence, where he built several great organs, including those in Marseille, Arles, and Aix-en-Provence. St Maximin was his last and most prestigious work built with the assistance of his nephew Joseph Isnard (1772-75).
The organ escaped damage during the revolutionary upheaval thanks to the organist Fourcade, playing “La Marseillaise” in front of the revolutionary autho-rities. Later it became simply a parochial organ in a little country village which could ill afford to adapt the instrument to the new musical style of the 19th century. As a result, it remains one of the exceptional French great instruments whose complete original material made by Isnard is preserved in its entirety: 2700 pipes.
In 1963 a local association was founded at the initiative of Pierre Rochas, a young doctor in the neighborhood. The purpose was to protect the organ and to restore this historical monument through a cautious archaeological process, instead of subjecting the instrument to the official modernistic “neo-classical” conception, which had already led to the alteration, – or one might even argue, the destruction – of many historic organs.
At the same time a new generation of organists, who took a historically sharpened look at the classic organs and their music, arose. Each year in July, they found in St-Maximin one of the important centers of this new approach. While the Académie de l’Orgue Français was organizing master classes in which Michel Chapuis, Xavier Darasse, André Isoir, René Saorgin, and André Stricker taught interpretation, the Soirées de Musique Française offered many organ recitals and concerts (two hundred between 1963 and 1978) to an enthusiastic and substantial public. These music festivals were a great national and international success. Some organ recitals during 1971-72 were recorded for archival purposes. Thirty-five years later, a new listening reveals an surprising sound quality. It has become evident that they are exceptional historical documents,- for several reasons: One can listen to the organ after the first restoration stage when it had still an “equal temperament” from 1880 permitting to play symphonic works of Liszt and Franck. This is no longer possible in good conditions due to its subsequent return to the historical “unequal temperament” used in the eighteenth century. The acoustic conditions were ideal : a nave seating about a thousand people. Obviously, lsnard had harmonized the organ to be heard in a full church. (Most recordings are made in empty churches with too much echo). And mainly, it’s an impressive live testimony of two wonderful musicians at the height of their art who passed away too early: André Stricker and Xavier Darasse. Along with a perfect knowledge of the rich sound palette of this great ancient organ, they had a wonderful technical mastery, defying the miserable state of its mechanism at that time.