The organs of Paris
ORGANS OF PARIS 2.0 © 2021 Vincent Hildebrandt ALL ORGANS

Opéra Garnier

Place de l'opéra, 75009 Paris

1875 - Cavaillé-Coll

1925 - Convers

II/18 (14) - mechanical traction - stoplist

(Silent)

This building was designed by Charles Garnier for Emperor Napoleon III. It is the most important specimen of the nineteenth century Second Empire Baroque style. Its construction started in 1862 and was completed in 1875.
Many are unaware that the Opera Garnier has an instrument built by Cavaillé-Coll in 1874. The latter is totally invisible to the general public since it is located on the court side at the front stage with pipes at 12 meters in height. The inauguration took place on January 8, 1875 with the representation of the "Jewish" of Fromental Halévy. From that moment on, the organ was used on a regular basis with performances of works requiring its use. However, the instrument suffered quickly from the dust caused by the settings on the stage as well as very large temperature differences. A first warning call issued in 1893 by Cavaillé-Coll himself who noticed that his instrument had never been dusted. Subsequently, the condition of the organ deteriorated further, some stops suffered from a loss of quality of their timbre. Cavaillé considered the organ "in a state of disrepair" in 1894. In 1925, following a leak in the water supply of the fire department, the organ was flooded and decommissioned. Following this incident, Cavaillé-Coll / Convers was called to carry out a restoration of the instrument with some modifications, the most important being the installation of an electric fan, installed in a separate room located under the organ. This instrument was last used on March 23, 1959 to celebrate the centenary of the creation of "Faust" by Charles Gounod, played by the André Marchal, who returned to play it occasionally until 1964. Since 1974, the organ has become unplayable and undergoes visible malfeasance, especially on the console. However, the original piping remains intact. This organ is kept in its original location desired by its manufacturer, which is unique in its genre. Information supplied by Timothy Tikker (on facebook): it was on 8" and 10" wind pressure, and I believe had no pneumatic lever for the (mechanical) key action. The high pressures were mainly because the organ was placed far backstage -- cinema organs placed in chambers and having as few ranks relative to the size of the hall used these same pressures. The console was located with the pipes, Cavaillé-Coll remarking that the organ was designed for the pleasure of the audience, not of the organist! The player could see the conductor via a series of carefully-placed mirrors. Attemps to save this organ are ongoing.
A recording Although this organ has become unplayable since 1974, a handful of recordings keep the sound trail. The most famous of these is the Faust recorded in 1953 under the baton of André Cluytens (Emi): the organ resonates at the beginning of Act IV (at 1:42:30) and radiates in majesty for the final apotheosis ("Christ is risen!")! Organist: Henriette Puig-Roget Source: Xavier Lebrun (facebook)/www.diapasonmag.fr/histoire/le-vrai- fantome-de-l-opera-32600
Organs of Paris

Opéra Garnier

Place de l'opéra, 75009 Paris

1875 - Cavaillé-Coll

1925 - Convers

II/18 (14) - mechanical traction - stoplist

(Silent)

ORGANS OF PARIS © 2021 Vincent Hildebrandt ALL ORGANS
Many are unaware that the Opera Garnier has an instrument built by Cavaillé-Coll in 1874. The latter is totally invisible to the general public since it is located on the court side at the front stage with pipes at 12 meters in height. The inauguration took place on January 8, 1875 with the representation of the "Jewish" of Fromental Halévy. From that moment on, the organ was used on a regular basis with performances of works requiring its use. However, the instrument suffered quickly from the dust caused by the settings on the stage as well as very large temperature differences. A first warning call issued in 1893 by Cavaillé-Coll himself who noticed that his instrument had never been dusted. Subsequently, the condition of the organ deteriorated further, some stops suffered from a loss of quality of their timbre. Cavaillé considered the organ "in a state of disrepair" in 1894. In 1925, following a leak in the water supply of the fire department, the organ was flooded and decommissioned. Following this incident, Cavaillé- Coll / Convers was called to carry out a restoration of the instrument with some modifications, the most important being the installation of an electric fan, installed in a separate room located under the organ. This instrument was last used on March 23, 1959 to celebrate the centenary of the creation of "Faust" by Charles Gounod, played by the André Marchal, who returned to play it occasionally until 1964. Since 1974, the organ has become unplayable and undergoes visible malfeasance, especially on the console. However, the original piping remains intact. This organ is kept in its original location desired by its manufacturer, which is unique in its genre. Information supplied by Timothy Tikker (on facebook): it was on 8" and 10" wind pressure, and I believe had no pneumatic lever for the (mechanical) key action. The high pressures were mainly because the organ was placed far backstage -- cinema organs placed in chambers and having as few ranks relative to the size of the hall used these same pressures. The console was located with the pipes, Cavaillé-Coll remarking that the organ was designed for the pleasure of the audience, not of the organist! The player could see the conductor via a series of carefully-placed mirrors. Attemps to save this organ are ongoing.
A recording Although this organ has become unplayable since 1974, a handful of recordings keep the sound trail. The most famous of these is the Faust recorded in 1953 under the baton of André Cluytens (Emi): the organ resonates at the beginning of Act IV (at 1:42:30) and radiates in majesty for the final apotheosis ("Christ is risen!")! Organist: Henriette Puig-Roget Source: Xavier Lebrun (facebook)/www.diapasonmag.fr/histoire/le-vrai- fantome-de-l-opera-32600