The fruit of 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 or should not be reduced to the simple term “The Cavaillé-Coll Oorgan.”
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 esthetic and above all on characteristics shaped by the liturgical actors 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 Op. 42 Symphonies by Widor – as well as Vierne’s first – we have come a very long way from the “Symphonie” by Beauvarlet-Charpentier!), to name only these few milestones in French organ music.