Aristide Cavaillé-Coll‘s career, which spanned no less than two-thirds of the 19th century – a period of immense technical, artistic and social upheavals – cannot be reduced to the simple term “the Cavaillé-Coll organ”.
His first instruments, still designed with a strong contribution from a father raised and still working in the classical or post-classical tradition, are dependent on a musical aesthetic and above all on a liturgy indebted to the authors of the first third of the century.
When he ended his career with the masterpieces of Toulouse, Rouen, Ilbarritz, Azkoitia…, Franck’s Three Chorals were already alongside Guilmant’s Fifth Sonata and the last Symphonies of Op. 42 by Widor – as well as the premiere by Vierne, we are very far from the “Symphonie” by Beauvarlet-Charpentier!), to name only these milestones in French organ music.