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Organ Musique - Musik - Muziek 1530-1660
Aude Heurtematte Plays A New Organ Built for Very Early Keyboard Music
2 CDs for the Price of One!
*****Five-Star Review in Choir & Organ - [OAR-165]

2 CDs for the Price of One

*****Five-Star Review in Choir & Organ, December 2020! (see below)

Aude Heurtematte plays a 3m organ built in 2010 by Orgue Dominique Thomas of Stavelot, Belgium, to represent the style of organs built in France ca. 1630, expanded to 14 notes per octave and a 37-note pedal keyboard to widen the repertoire that can be played on its meantone temperament. The Continental program includes composers Eustache Du Caurroy, Pierre Attaingnant, Jean Titelouze, Louis Couperin, Hieronymus Praetorius, Hans Leo Hassler, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, Samuel Scheidt, and Franz Tunder. The organ is located in Champcueil, 35 miles south of Paris, at the Church of the Assumption.

CD 1
Eustache Du Caurroy
1549-1609: Quarante-deuxième (42nd) Fantasie, sur Je suis déshéritée (I am disinherited)

Pierre Attaingnant ca. 1494-1551/2:
Branle simple
Basse dance
Branle gay

Jean Titelouze ca. 1562/3–1633: Exultet coelum from Hymnes de l’Église pour toucher sur l’orgue 1623

Louis Couperin 1626-1661: Four pieces composed 1654-56
Prélude II faut jouer cecy d’un Mouvement fort lent, OL 46 1654
Fantaisie, OL 27 1654
Fantaisie sur la tierce du Grand Clavier avec le tremblant lent, OL 58 1655 or 1656
Fantaisie, OL 13 1656       

Hieronymus Praetorius 1560-1629: Magnificat primi toni

CD 2
Hans Leo Hassler 1564-1612:
Four pieces from Lustgarten Neuer Teutscher Gesäng, Balletti, Galliarden und Intraden mit 4. 5. 6. und 8. Stimmen (Pleasure Garden of New German Songs, Ballets, Galliards, and Entrances with 4, 5, 6, and 8 Voices)-1601, transcribed for keyboard 1640:
Mit deinen lieblichen Augen (With your lovely eyes)
Wer liebt aus trewen Hertzen (Who loves from a faithful heart)
Ach Schatz ich sing und lache (Oh darling, I sing and laugh)
Mein Herz das du mir hast gestollen (My heart, which you have stolen)

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck 1562-1621: Ricercar del nono duono (Ricercar on the ninth tone)

Samuel Scheidt 1587-1654: Five variations on the Latin Advent hymn Veni redemptor gentium (Come, redeemer of the people)

Franz Tunder (1614-1667): (Chorale Fantasia on) In dich hab ich gehoffet, Herr (In thee have I hoped, Lord)

Franz Tunder: Praeludium in g

An Organ for 16th- & 17th-Century Keyboard Music
When European composers of the 16th and 17th centuries wrote music for keyboard instruments, they worked in the musical language of their day, especially in regard to the ways the various musical modes or scales were accommodated by meantone temperament. When writing for the organ, they anticipated the availability of organ sounds of their time. The organ at Annunciation Church in Champcueil was built in 2008-2010 to sound in every way as though it had been created ca. 1630.

Eustache Du Caurroy (1549-1609) gained prominence in France as a late Renaissance composer of both sacred and secular music. His widely admired, prize-winning vocal compositions led to his appointment as official composer of the royal chamber and, eventually, at the royal chapel as well. In addition to chansons, psalm settings, motets, and masses (including his Missa pro defunctis, first performed for the funeral of King Henry IV in 1610 and subsequently sung for the funerals of French kings over the next several centuries), Du Caurroy also wrote instrumental music, including a collection of 42 contrapuntal fantaisies for three to six parts. These were intended for performance either by individual instruments, one to a part, or on the organ. Published posthumously in 1610, these works influenced the next generation of French keyboard composers, especially Jean Titelouze, the founder of the French organ school. The final fantasy in the collection heard here is based on the secular tune “I am disinherited” and demonstrates the composer’s mastery of the art of counterpoint in a noble, six-part setting with the cantus firmus sounding in long note values in the tenor.

Pierre Attaingnant (or Attaignant) (ca.1494- 1551/52) was an eminent music publisher in Paris, where he printed thousands of sacred and secular compositions by many composers, eventually acquiring royal privileges for his books of music. Ultimately, he was named imprimeur et libraire du Roy en musique (printer and bookseller of the King for music). Early in 1531, Attaingnant printed seven books of music for “Orgues Espinettes Manicordions et telz semblables instrumentz musicaulx” (“Organs, Harpsichords, Clavichords and Similar Such Musical Instruments”). The music in these volumes is not differentiated stylistically as to which is for organ and which is for stringed keyboard instruments; indeed, the title implies that the contents are to be played on any keyboard instrument. These are the first books of keyboard music printed in France and are among the most important documents for early keyboard music in general and for French Renaissance keyboard music in particular.

The dances heard on this disc appeared in other publications by Attaingnant, and it is unclear whether he himself or other composers made the arrangements of the tunes. The branle is a dance that exists in two musical types—the branle commun (or simple) in duple meter and the branle gay in triple meter. The tourdion, from the French verb tordre (to twist), is a lively dance in triple meter, similar to the galliard but more rapid and smooth. This one comes from a 1530 publication by Attaingnant. The basse dance (low dance) was a popular court dance in the 15th and early 16th centuries, especially at the Burgundian court. The word basse indicates the way the dancers slowly and quietly glide over the floor without leaving it. As such, it was a precursor of the pavane, a dignified processional dance. These terms may be used to indicate the dance or the music alone.

Jean (Jehan) Titelouze (ca. 1562/63–1633) is considered the founder of the French organ school, as his hymns and Magnificat settings are the earliest known published French music specifically for playing on the organ. His style, however, is firmly rooted in the Renaissance vocal tradition and, hence, is far removed from the novel French Baroque style of organ music that developed during the mid-17th century. In 1588, Titelouze became organist of the Rouen Cathedral, where in 1600, he invited the famous Franco-Flemish organbuilder Crespin Carlier to work on the cathedral organ. Contemporary critics praised the result of this collaboration as the best organ in France. It and Carlier’s later work in France defined the French classical (Baroque) organ.

Titelouze’s three versets on the plainchant hymn “Exsultet cœlum laudibus” appeared in 1623 in the first of his two published collections of organ music, Hymnes de l’Église pour toucher sur l’orgue (“Hymns of the Church to Play on the Organ”). The first verset features the hymn melody in long note values in the bass with the other three voices providing contrapuntal accompaniment. In the second verset, the hymn melody is found in the alto voice while the other three voices weave a delicate contrapuntal web above and below it, engaging in imitation and employing motives and contours derived from the hymn melody. The last verset, in three distinct sections, treats the individual phrases of the hymn melody imitatively throughout. The second section, here played on a bright registration characterized by a 4-foot flute, uniquely contains some fast passage-work.

Louis Couperin (1626-1661), uncle of the celebrated composer François Couperin (called le Grand), was the first important figure in the famous musical dynasty of Couperins. Starting with Louis, eight members of the family were organists of the Church of St. Gervais in Paris between 1656 and 1826. In spite of having a short life, Louis Couperin became a prominent Parisian musician with a fine reputation as a harpsichordist, organist, and violist. Although none of his music was published during his lifetime, manuscript copies of some 200 pieces survive, some of which were rediscovered only in the mid-20th century. Louis Couperin made contributions to the development of both the French organ school and French harpsichord school. His innovations included composing organ pieces for specific registrations and inventing the genre of the unmeasured prelude for harpsichord, for which he devised a special type of notation. His organ music, which influenced later 17th-century organist-composers, represents the transition from the strict counterpoint of Titelouze to the characterful Baroque organ style of Nicolas-Antoine Lebègue and Guillaume-Gabriel Nivers.

Couperin composed the four pieces heard here between 1654 and 1656. The Prélude bears the notation, “Il faut jouer cecy d’un mouvement fort lent.” (“You must play this with a very slow movement.”) With its measured tempo and many suspensions and dissonances, it looks back to the Renaissance polyphonic style of Titelouze and also resembles the slow-moving, expressive Italian form of keyboard work composed by Frescobaldi known as toccata di durezze e ligature. By contrast, the lively Fantaisie heard next is definitely forward looking. With its running and skipping bass solo, it is a perfect model of a Basse de Trompette and is appropriately registered and played as such even though the registration is not specified by the composer. The next Fantaisie is fugal, moving with deliberate dignity. For this, Couperin specified a colorful registration that features the Tierce 1’ and the throbbing Tremblant lent (slow Tremulant). The final Fantaisie is again fugal with a similar slow theme and meditative nature. It utilizes the plangent tone of the Voix humaine 8’ without Tremulant.

Hieronymus Praetorius (1560-1629) was, like Louis Couperin, a member of a musical family that served a prominent city church as organist for multiple generations. Born in Hamburg, Hieronymus studied organ with his father, Jacob Praetorius (the elder), who was organist of the major St. Jacobi Kirche. Upon his father’s death in 1586, Hieronymus became principal organist, and his son Jacob Praetorius (the younger) followed him in the post in 1629. Hieronymus wrote numerous sacred choral works, most of which are in the innovative Venetian polychoral style employing numerous groups of voices placed in different locations in the church. These compositions were the first in the Venetian style to be written in north Germany. He was also the first composer to compile a collection of four-part German chorales with organ accompaniment, a form that became the standard “hymn sound“ in Protestant churches for centuries thereafter.

Among Praetorius’ surviving organ compositions are eight settings of the Magnificat, one based on each of the eight Psalm tones, found in a collection dating from 1611. Each Magnificat consists of three or four organ-only versets to be played in alternation with the other sung versets. The Magnificat primi toni (Magnificat on the First Tone) heard here consists of the typical three versets with the following characteristics: verset 1 – cantus firmus in the tenor; verset 2 – c.f. in the soprano; verset 3 – c.f. in the bass. This commanding contrapuntal music reveals, in its impressive grandeur, the hand of a northern master emulating the modern Venetian style.

Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612) was the first great German composer to study music in Italy, where new musical trends were emerging that were later to define what came to be known as Baroque style. Along with Hieronymus Praetorius, Hassler and, soon after, others such as Heinrich Schütz, brought the Italian concertato style, the polychoral idiom, and the emotional expression of the Venetians into German music, creating the first and most important Baroque music developments outside of Italy. Though Hassler wrote much sacred music for use in both Roman Catholic and Lutheran churches, his greatest success in combining German and Italian compositional styles was in his Lieder (songs).

The pieces heard here are keyboard arrangements of four German songs that appeared in 1601 in a collection titled Lustgarten Neuer Teutscher Gesäng, Balletti, Galliarden und Intraden mit 4. 5. 6. und 8. Stimmen (“Pleasure Garden of New German Songs, Ballets, Galliards, and Entrances with 4, 5, 6, and 8 Voices”). This collection contains 39 vocal and 11 instrumental pieces and is Hassler’s most renowned. It was so popular that, around 1640, about four decades after it had first become known and three decades after Hassler‘s death, it was arranged in its entirety for playing on keyboard instruments. The four love songs played here are “With your lovely eyes,” “Who loves from a faithful heart (dance),” “Oh darling, I sing and laugh,” and “My heart, which you have stolen.”

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621) was the most important composer of the Netherlands’ musically rich “Golden Era” and, indeed, among the first major keyboard composers of all of Europe. He became known in Germany as der Organistenmacher (the maker of organists) because a good number of the famous German composers of the time, such as Jacob Praetorius II, Scheidemann, Seifert, Schildt, and Samuel Scheidt, traveled to study with him in Amsterdam. In this way, he helped establish the German organ school.

The imitative, contrapuntal ricercar, a precursor of the fugue, is a form that develops one or more themes by melodic imitation and variation. Sweelinck’s expansive Ricercar del nono duono (“Ricercar on the ninth tone”) is an impressive work based on one principal theme or subject throughout. This subject appears in imitation, in augmentation, in variously decorated forms, in inventive rhythmic forms, and with all manner of countersubjects and surrounding figurations. The mood of the piece gradually shifts from introspective to highly exuberant. Prodigious keyboard virtuosity is required by the performer toward the end.

Samuel Scheidt (1587-1654), a pupil of Sweelinck for three years, gained a distinguished reputation as a composer, organist, and teacher in his native Halle. He was the first internationally significant German composer for the organ. His many organ compositions include all the popular forms of the time—fantasies, fugues, echoes, dances, canons, song variations, chorale settings, and Latin hymns. He published his organ works in two collections that became quite influential: Tabulatura nova (1624) and Tabulatur-Buch hundert geistlicher Lieder und Psalmen, 1650.

Scheidt’s five variations on the Latin Advent hymn Veni redemptor gentium (“Come, redeemer of the people”) is a four-part composition that appears in Part III of the Tabulatura nova. The first versus is a motet-like setting that utilizes each phrase of the hymn in turn in imitative counterpoint. The following four variations feature the cantus firmus sounding in long notes within a florid contrapuntal texture, as follows: versus 2 – c.f. in the soprano; versus 3 – c.f. in the alto; versus 4 – c.f. in the tenor; versus 5 – c.f. in the bass.

Franz Tunder (1614-1667) was born in the old Hanseatic City of Lübeck in northern Germany. His studies included a period of time in Florence as a student of Frescobaldi, following which he served for nine years as organist at the court of Gottorf in the city of Schleswig. In 1641, he was appointed to the post of principal organist at Lübeck’s main church, the Marienkirche, where he remained until his death. (His successor was the great Dieterich Buxtehude, who followed a common custom among successor organists in 17th-century Germany by marrying Tunder’s daughter, Anna Margarethe, in 1668.) In 1646, Tunder began the tradition of Abendmusiken, a series of free concerts of vocal, organ, and other instrumental music in the Marienkirche during Advent. Though few of his organ works are preserved, his chorale fantasias, chorale variations, and preludes are of the highest order.

In his chorale fantasia on the Lutheran hymn In dich hab ich gehoffet, Herr (“In thee have I hoped, Lord”), Tunder employs the practice of lavishly ornamenting each chorale phrase, either the complete line or only a fragment of it, in the soprano and then stating the plain version of the phrase in the bass. He also uses short motifs, sometimes in imitation and sometimes in echo repetitions. The result is an intricate fabric woven from threads of many different kinds and colors that demonstrates mastery of invention. Likewise, the Praeludium in g displays considerable ingenuity in a three-part form consisting of a grand toccata merging into a fugal section and then dissolving into a brief toccata-like conclusion. The opening flourish of sixteenth notes leading to the majestic first chord is a favorite device of Tunder and other German organ composers of the time, as it commanded the listeners’ attention with a sudden rush of excitement. The ambiguity of the mode of the piece, with its alternating G-major and C-minor chords throughout the toccata, sets up a tension that is not truly resolved until the sturdy fugue subject firmly confirms the key of G minor.
—Bruce B. Stevens, University of Richmond, Virginia

*****Five-Star Review in Choir & Organ, December 2020!
Writes David Ponsford: This is a most exciting modern organ, built in 1630s style . . . It is refreshing to hear this varied programme in which the most modern composers are Louis Couperin and Franz Tunder. Aude Heurtematte also includes wors by Caurroy, Attaignant, Titelouze, praetorius, Hassler, Sweelinck and Scheidt, all beautifully played with a wonderfully varied tonal palette, including a Rossignol, all for the price of one CD.

Aude Heurtematte is titulaire (holder of the post of organist) of the Church of Saint-Gervais in Paris where eight generations of the Couperin family preceded her as titulaire and played all or parts of the same organ she plays. The organ is essentially intact as completed with five manuals in 1768 by François-Henri Clicquot. It contains tonal material dating to the two-manual organ built in 1601 by Matthijs Langhedul, the 1628 enlargement of it to three manuals by Pierre Pescheur, and the further enlargement of 1676-1714 by Alexandre and François Thierry. Her recording of François Couperin’s Masses for the Convents and for the Parishes on this organ (Raven OAR-153), composed ca. 1690 while he was titulaire of Saint-Gervais, receives superlative reviews from all who hear it as well as the music press.

She is also titulaire of the Lutheran Church of les Billettes in Paris.

Aude Heurtematte has served as professor of organ at the Conservatoire of Lille, and subsequently in Strasbourg at the Académie Supérieure de Musique and the Conservatoire Régional. She has taught generations of students of many nationalities.

Aude Heurtematte successively studied with Gaston Litaize, Jean Boyer, and Odile Bailleux, and then continued study of French music of the 17th and 18th centuries with Jean Saint-Arroman and Michel Chapuis. She concentrated on stylistic refinement with intense study, using instruments representative of specific European periods and places.

She continues an international career as concert performer, faculty of numerous academies devoted in particular to French Baroque music, and as a jurist of international competitions. Her recordings are acclaimed, especially those of the Couperin Masses on the Raven label, works of Sweelinck on the Multiwave label, and of Boyvin on the Tempéraments label.

The Organ and Town
Versatility in performing early keyboard music, and especially music composed in France during the late 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, inspired the design of the organ built 2008-2010 in Champcueil, 25 miles south of Paris, by the Belgian organbuilding firm Manufacture d’Orgues Thomas.

The Champcueil organ incorporates characteristics of organs built in and near Rouen under the influence of Jean Titelouze (1562/63–1633), who became organist of the Rouen cathedral in 1588. Titelouze was Flemish and had become well versed in organ building and music during his youth in Saint Omer (at the time within the Spanish-governed Netherlands), where he became a priest in 1585 and organist of the cathedral there. He arrived in Rouen with ideas for organ music that would require changes in the typical 16th-century French organ’s capabilities. Among the changes would be adding Flemish characteristics. He recruited his organbuilding acquaintances, especially Crespin Carlier (ca. 1560-1636), who relocated to Rouen in 1600, to modify the cathedral organ with the new ideas of Titelouze. The results, recognized as a great success, and Titelouze’s musicianship led to his consultation on many organ projects involving Carlier and, later, organbuilder Matthijs Langhedul (?-ca. 1636). Their work influenced other builders and led to the creation of the distinctly differentiated French Baroque organ (or classical French organ) in most of France after the Rouen organs led to calls for organ projects in Paris in the early 17th century.

Characteristics of the early French Baroque organ include a specific deployment of tonal resources among the divisions of the organ. Usually the manuals had 48 notes beginning at 8’ C with a full octave instead of a “short” octave in the bass (though often omitting low C-sharp). Often, there were at least two octaves of Pedal keys beginning at low C but omitting low C-sharp. Because there were rarely any 16' stops in the Pedal until later, some organs included a ravalement of a few pipes playing pitches below the Pedal’s low C. These pipes, often reeds only, were played by extra Pedal keys located below low C and/or by an otherwise unused low C-sharp key. Many of these characteristics evolved from the earlier, ubiquitous and universal style of organ built throughout the 1500s in Italian, Germanic, French, etc., regions. The temperament was meantone and the common organ pitch ca. 1600 was A= 399—411Hz (nearly a full-step below the common pitch today of A=440Hz).

For Champcueil, the new organ adds two extra notes in each octave by incorporating split sharp keys for d-sharp and e-flat, and for g-sharp and a-flat, so that a wider range of music can be played in the meantone temperament. This means the manual compass has 61 notes in 4 octaves, C-f, 14 notes per full octave, omitting low C-sharp. The Pedal compass is 37 notes including two split keys in each octave as in the manuals (the first Pedal octave has one, not two, split keys), and four Pedal keys playing notes in the contra-octave below low C (F, G, A, B-flat) Only the two Pedal reeds play on these four keys, which do not couple. The organ is tuned to A= 415Hz, a modern standard representing low Baroque pitch. The organ has two 8’ Trompettes in the G.O., the louder one beginning at middle C and the other of full compass.

The Positif case incorporates the frame of a long-lost painting. The frame, now the organ Positif, remains atop a 17th-century reredos which was moved to the back of the church in the 19th century and adapted with doors into the narthex.

Founded in 1965 by André Thomas in his hometown, Ster-Francorchamps, Belgium, the Thomas firm relocated to Stavelot in 2017. The son of André, Dominique Thomas, has operated the firm since 2000; his son, Jean-Sébastien, joined management in 2016. By 2020, the firm had built more than 140 new organs and completed some 125 restorations.

Champcueil is located about 35 miles south of Paris and occupies 6.3 square miles with a population of about 2,800. Assumption Church (Eglise Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption-de-la-Très- Sainte-Vierge) in its present form dates from the 12th century with major changes in the 13th century, and restorations in the late-15th and 16th centuries. The bell tower was shortened in the 19th century and contains nine bells, the earliest cast in 1566 (two more early bells existed), and eight added 1988-2017. Vestiges of pre-Roman masonry exist beneath the Choir. Townspeople organized a Musique et Patrimoine committee to initiate an annual organ festival in 2009.

Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption-de-la-Très-Sainte-Vierge, Champcueil, Essonne, France
Manufacture d’Orgues Thomas, Stavelot, Belgium, 2008-2010

I Positif de dos
Bourdon 8
Montre 4
Flûte d’allemand 4
Nasard 2-2/3
Doublette 2
Tierce 1-3/5
Larigot 1-1/3Fourniture IV
Cromorne 8

II Grand-orgue
Montre 16
Montre 8
Flûte à cheminée 8
Prestant 4
Quinte 2-2/3
Doublette 2
Tiercelette 1-3/5
Fourniture IV
Cymbale IIICornet V MC
Trompette 8 (full compass)
Dessus de Trompette 8 MC
Voix humaine 8

III Récit
Bourdon 8
Quintaton 8
Flûte conique 4 (labeled “Flûte”)
Flûte ouverte 2 (labeled “Waldflöte”)
Sifflet 1 (labeled “Flageolet”)
Sexquialtera II
Dulcian 8

Montre 16 (G.O.)
Flûte ouverte 8
Dulcian 24
Trompette 12

A = 415Hz, Meantone temperament
with 10 pure major thirds
Manual compasses: 61 notes C-D-f without low C-sharp, and with split keys on the g-sharps/a-flats and the d-sharps/e-flats
Pedal compass: 37 notes FF-f without FF-sharp, GG-sharp, BB-natural, and C-sharp, and with split keys on the g-sharps/a-flats and the d-sharps/e-flats


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