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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Cavaillé-Coll Organ
1868 Cavaillé-Coll organ at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France

Nol a la Française

The world is filled with joyful music at Christmas time, and nowhere is the music more exuberant than in the organ lofts of France. Beginning already in the 1600s, the tradition of holiday organ concerts grew to be so popular that in some places the French clergy outlawed them-their ‘dulci jubilo’ having swung a bit to far into the jubilo end of things. But why not? Even the angelic hosts would smile at the joyous works of Jean Guillou, Pierre Cochereau, Jean-Francois Dandrieu and the others, whose genius enlivens the vaults of Notre Dame Cathedral and other churches in Marseilles, Thiérache and Rouen and whose music brightens every corner during this remarkable season. Philippe Gueit, Andre Isoir, and Rene Oberson also play their part in this Pipedreams pageant.

Audio Complete Show

Program Broadcast dates:

  • December 13, 1999

Music played in the program

EUGÈNE GIGOUT: Rhapsodie sur des Noëls –Philippe Gueit (1868 Cavaillé-Coll/Église Saint-Joseph, Marseille, France) Sonpact CD-90225

JEAN LANGLAIS: Noël bretonRené Oberson (1992 Ayer-Morel/St. Laurence Collegiate Church, Estavayer-le-lac, Switzerland) Gallo CD-700

MARCEL DUPRÉ: Variations on Adeste fidelisJohn Scott Whiteley (1890 Cavaillé-Coll/Église Saint-Ouen, Rouen, France) Priory PRCD619

JEAN GUILLOU: Rondo-Improvisation on The First Noël; Divertimento-Improvisation on Joy to the WorldJean Guillou (1988 Kleuker-Steinmeyer/Tonhalle, Zürich, Switzerland) Dorian DOR 90119

JEAN-FRANÇOIS DANDRIEU: Noël Variations. SEBASTIEN de BROSSARD: Kyrie, from Missa pro Tempore Nativitatis Domini –Ensemble Parlement de Musique; Martin Gester (1714 Boizard/Abbey Church, Saint Michel en Thiérache, France) Temperaments CD-316005

JEAN HURÉ: Pour la communion d’une messe de minuit a NoëlAndré Isoir (1967 Kern/Église Saint-Brice d’Ay, France) Calliope CD-9933

PIERRE COCHEREAU: Variations sur un noël, homage to Marcel Dupré –Pierre Cochereau (1868 Cavaillé-Coll/Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France) Solstice CD-152