Michel Chapuis (1930–2017): A great organist, pioneer, and professor

October 2, 2018

A French-American organist and musicologist, Carolyn Shuster was organist at the American Cathedral in Paris. In 1989, she was appointed titular of the Cavaillé-Coll choir organ at the Trinité Church and founded their weekly concert series. She has performed over 500 concerts in Europe and in the United States. She has also contributed articles to Revue de musicologieLa Flûte HarmoniqueL’OrgueOrgues NouvellesThe American Organist, and The Diapason. Her recordings have been published by EMA, Ligia Digital, Schott, and Fugue State Films. In 2007, the French Cultural Minister awarded her the distinction of Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters.

On November 12, 2017, the liturgical and international concert organist Michel Chapuis died. Also an eminent professor, historian, and organ reformer impassioned by architecture, acoustics, and organbuilding, he immensely contributed to the renaissance, conservation, and restoration of early French organs. He delighted in supporting artistic beauty: his noble, graceful, and poetic interpretations vibrated with rhythmic pulsation, a natural flowing expression, and a spiritual elevation that was filled with mystery and joy.

 

His inspiration to become an
organist and initial training

Michel Chapuis was born January 15, 1930, in Dole, situated in the Burgundy-Franche-Comté region in eastern France. His father was a primary school teacher, and his mother worked as a telephone operator at the post office. In 1938, when his grandmother brought him to a Mass celebrating First Communion in Notre-Dame Collegiate Church,1 he was overwhelmed by its historic organ by Karl Joseph Riepp (1754)/François Callinet (1788)/Joseph Stiehr (1830, 1855, 1858).2 Its grandiose sonorities, which resonate beautifully in such marvelous acoustics, inspired him to become an organist. The organ possesses one of the finest examples of the French Grand Plein-Jeu. This characteristic combination of the Fourniture and Cymbale mixtures with the foundation stops is a full, brilliant, and noble sound that contains all its various inherent harmonics—with up to fifteen pipes that sound on a single note. For Michel Chapuis, this sonority symbolized God, eternity, and the entire color spectrum.

Noting their son was extremely talented, his parents purchased a piano for him at the music shop of Jacques Gardien, an ardent defender of the Dole organ.3 Michel Chapuis acquired a firm and supple piano technique with Miss Palluy, a disciple of Alfred Cortot. For six months, he took lessons with Father Barreau on the harmonium in the Collegiate Church and helped him accompany Masses there. He then began to study organ with Odette Vinard,4 who played at the Protestant Church in Dole, and continued with her professor, Émile Poillot,5 organist at the Dijon Cathedral.

In 1940, his family left Dole during the German occupation and went to Brive-Charensac, a village in the Haute-Loire, where he accompanied church services on the harmonium.6 When he returned to Dole in 1943, he accompanied vespers in the Dole Collegiate Church, even improvising verses between psalms. Delighted to discover a collection of Alexandre Guilmant’s Archives of Organ Masters in the personal library of the Marquis Bernard de Froissard7 in Azans, near Dole, he began to play the early French organ repertory, using registrations mentioned in these scores. His grandfather and the church janitor pumped the organ bellows for him! In 1945, he began to study organ with Jeanne Marguillard, organist at Saint-Louis Church in Monrapont, Besançon, where he accompanied two church services each Sunday for two years on a Jacquot-Lavergne organ.8

 

Musical training in Paris

After the Second World War, in 1946, Jeanne Marguillard came to Paris with Michel Chapuis, to introduce him to Édouard Souberbielle.9 At the age of sixteen, Chapuis began to study organ and improvisation with him at the César Franck School. This “true aristocrat of the organ” possessed a vast culture and an eminent spirituality that deeply influenced all his students. He encouraged them to expand their musical knowledge by listening to great classical works, and Chapuis appreciated his methodical spirit. This master enabled him to maintain a solid yet supple hand position and taught how to “touch” the organ by varying articulations, how to improvise fugues and trio sonatas, and used Marcel Dupré’s improvisation method books to prepare him to study at the Paris Conservatory. Michel Chapuis completed his solid musical formation there by taking piano lessons with Paule Piédelièvre,10 courses in harmony and counterpoint with Yves Margat,11 and fugue with René Malherbe.12 His fellow students there included Simone Michaud13 and her future husband, Jean-Albert Villard,14 Father Joseph Gelineau,15 and Denise Rouquette, who married Michel Chapuis in 1951.16 They lived on Clotaire Street, near the Panthéon.

To launch a career as an organist in France, it was indispensable to obtain a first prize organ in Marcel Dupré’s class at the Paris Conservatory. After auditioning with Dupré in 1950, playing J. S. Bach’s Sixth Trio Sonata and Louis Vierne’s Impromptu, thanks to his solid technique, Michel Chapuis enrolled in the Paris Conservatory the next October. Nine months later, in June 1951, he obtained his first prizes in organ and improvisation, as well as the Albert
Périlhou and Alexandre Guilmant prizes, awarded to the best student in the class.17 Gifted with mechanical ingenuity, he followed Gaston Litaize’s advice and apprenticed with the organbuilder Erwin Muller from 1952 to 1953, in Croisy, just west of Paris.18

 

First three church positions in Paris

From his youth, Michel Chapuis loved the ritual aspects of liturgical music. During his studies in Paris, he substituted for many organists. Highly respected for his fine accompaniments of congregational singing, his vast liturgical knowledge, and his repertory, he was appointed titular organist in several Parisian churches. From 1951 to 1953, he accompanied the liturgy on the Gutschenritter choir organ at Saint-Germain-des-Prés. From 1953 to 1954, he played the 1771 Clicquot/1864 Merklin organ at Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois Church, following in the footsteps of Alexandre Boëly.

In 1954, he succeeded Line Zilgien19  as titular of the 1777 Clicquot/1839 Daublaine & Callinet/1842 Ducroquet/1927 Gonzalez organ at Saint-Nicolas-des-Champs and kept his title there until 1970. Nicolas Gigault played there from 1652 to 1707 and Louis Braille, the inventor of the language for the blind, served at the church from 1834 to 1839. This church, located near Arts and Métiers, was reconstructed in a flamboyant Gothic style in the twelfth century and attained its present form in the seventeenth century. Its historic Clicquot organ was the key that opened the doors to Michel Chapuis’ comprehension of the early French organ. He also learned a great deal there from two organbuilders, Claude Hermelin20 and Gabriel d’Alençon.21

In 1954, Michel Chapuis succeeded Jean Dattas as titular of the two-manual, seventeen-stop Merklin choir organ in Notre-Dame Cathedral, in the heart of Paris. There, he accompanied the
Maîtrise choir, directed by the quick-tempered Canon Louis Merret until 1959; then by a marvelous musician, Abbot Jean Revert, who allowed the congregation to sing during alternated verses at vespers. Michel Chapuis accompanied all the daily Masses and nearly all the canonical offices in Gregorian chant: prime (on feast days), tierce, the grand Mass, sext, none, vespers, and compline. One day, a priest sang too high and reproached Michel Chapuis for playing a pitch that was too high, when, in fact, he had mistaken a tourist boat whistle on the Seine for an organ note! In spite of the hordes of tourists that invaded this church, this position brought great joy to Chapuis for nine years: it enabled him to unite his capacities to resonate universal beauty in such a breath-taking setting, with its traditional liturgy and its fantastic acoustics that enhance any musical note. Michel Chapuis strongly believed that music ought to pacify, console, and comfort humanity. Above all, he hoped that his musical offerings would illuminate other people’s lives.22

Michel Chapuis collaborated closely with the two titulars of the grand organ: Pierre Cochereau23 and Pierre Moreau.24 Each Sunday the two organs dialogued, continuing a tradition established in 1402, when Frédéric Schaubantz installed the grand organ in its present location. This dialogue, issued from the Gallican ritual, had remained intact, except during the Revolution, from 1790 to 1798. A 1963 Philips record documented Pierre Cochereau playing his own Paraphrase de la Dédicace and Louis Vierne’s Triumphant March, with Michel Chapuis accompanying Jean Revert’s choir singing works by André Campra and Pierre Desvignes. In September 1984, when Pierre Cochereau decorated Michel Chapuis with the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, he recalled his improvisations at Notre-Dame and had wondered if J. S. Bach had composed a seventh trio sonata!

 

A pioneer in early French music
interpretation

Impassioned by early French Classical music, Michel Chapuis realized that most of the Parisian organs by such builders as Cavaillé-Coll, Merklin, and Gutschenritter were symphonic or neo-Classical in style, thus unsuitable for the early French repertory. While organists did regularly play the repertoire, however, they did not use notes inégales in their playing. For example, in 1956, when Michel Chapuis went to Marmoutier to meet the American Melville Smith, during his rehearsals for the first complete recording of Nicolas de Grigny’s Livre d’Orgue by Valois, he was surprised that he did not dare to use notes inégales there, even though he had been playing them for over thirty years, simply because he did not want to appear to be original (“Je ne veux pas paraître original”).25 Chapuis concluded that he was a bit timid, probably since the great master organists in Paris at that time had not used them. Nonetheless, Melville Smith’s landmark recording highlighted Muhleisen and Alfred Kern’s 1955 restoration of this historic 1710 Silbermann and received the Grand Prix du Disque.

Curious by nature, Michel Chapuis carried out extensive research to understand the performance practice of notes inégales. His departure point was Eugène Borrel’s book on the interpretation of French music from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries [The Interpretation of French Music (from Lully to the Revolution)].26 This book, well in advance of its time, remained the continual reference point that guided Chapuis’ interpretations. It emphasizes that to enchant auditors, one must play like a singer, with clear pronunciation, an appropriate emotion, expression, and character: serious, sad, happy, or
pleasant.

An organist in the seventeenth century knew how to bring out the main themes, such as plainchants, and could boldly improvise counterpoint on them. Like harpsichordists, they “touched” keyboards by holding their fingers as close to the keys as possible. They played vividly on the Positive Plein Jeu, interpreted Récits tenderly, and played Tierces en tailles with emotional melancholy. Their fingerings enabled them to play notes inégales naturally.

During his nine years at Notre-Dame, Michel Chapuis did not need much time to prepare his work there: this gave him lots of time to consult hundreds of early French organ and singing treatises and prefaces from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, beginning with Loys Bourgeois (1530), who had indicated that eighth notes should be sung in groups of two to render them more graceful. Thanks to his musical intuition, his solid supple technique, and his courageous spirit, he then incorporated notes inégales, appropriate ornaments, and registrations into his interpretations of early French music. Michel Chapuis acknowledged Jules Écorcheville’s research.27 In 1958, Chapuis gave a conference with Antoine Geoffroy-Dechaume28 at Saint-Nicolas-des-Champs Church, presenting musical illustrations of the application of notes inégales and dotted rhythms. The interpretation of the French national hymn, La Marseillaise, is an excellent example of the natural application of notes inégales: although notated with eighth notes, it is sung with dotted notes. Of course, when one uses early fingerings, one plays naturally with notes inégales. This landmark conference inspired organists such as Marie-Claire Alain29 and marked the beginning of a new era in early French music interpretation.

Michel Chapuis brought early French repertory to life, expressing past rhetoric naturally, with nobleness, simplicity, and good taste. Guided continually by Eugène Borrel, his playing was “elegant, distinguished, and animated without excessiveness” [“élégant, distingué, chaleureux sans outrances”].30 In fact, when he gave a concert on the Gonzalez organ at Saint-Merry Church in May 1963, interpreting works by Titelouze, D’Aquin, and Dandrieu Noëls, no one even noticed that he had played with notes inégales.31 Nicole Gravet’s book on registrations in French music from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries was a guide to him.32 His numerous recordings of early French music in the 1960s testify to his natural assimilation of notes inégales: Dandrieu, Guilain, and Raison on the Clicquot in Poitiers (by Lumen) and others by Harmonia Mundi: François Roberday at Manosque and Isle-sur-Sorgue, François Couperin’s two organ Masses on the Isnard at Saint-Maximin, François Couperin at Le Petit-Andely, Louis Marchand and Gaspard Corette on the Clicquot in Souvigny (Grand Prix), Nicolas Clérambault on the 1765 Bénigne Boillot at Saint-Jean de Losne, Gaspard Corette and D’Aquin in Marmoutier (the only restored organ),33 and his improvisations on the 1746 J. A. Silbermann at Saint-Quirin Lettenbach.

 

Installation near Dole

During his military service at Mont-Valérien (near Paris) from 1954 to 1955, Michel Chapuis met many of his lifelong acquaintances, notably Jacques Béraza (the future organist at Dole, 1955–1998), Jean Saint-Arroman34 (with whom he collaborated in future organ academies and publications of early French music), and the orchestra conductor Jean-Claude Malgloire. Shortly thereafter, he also met the ingenious organ visionary and voicer, Philippe Hartmann.35 From 1955 to 1958, Hartmann lived with Pierre Cochereau’s family, on Boulevard Berthier in Paris. He babysat for his children, Jean-Marc and Marie-Pierre, and enlarged his house organ to seventy stops.36 A few years later, when Michel Chapuis and Francis Chapelet came to visit Pierre Cochereau, they joyfully improvised a trio sonata on his organ, his Steinway piano, and his harpsichord, before savoring some champagne!37

During this period, Chapuis visited Dole regularly. His appointment as organ professor at the Strasburg Conservatory in 1956 assured him a solid income. At Jacques Béraza’s advice, in 1958, he purchased a historic seventeenth-century home in Jouhe, a village near Dole, where he installed his pianos, harmoniums, and his personal library. During this same period, Philippe Hartmann moved to Rainans, a nearby village. Together, their overflowing energy, encyclopedic knowledge, and extraordinary imagination influenced an entire generation of organbuilders who apprenticed there from 1958 to 1969, notably Alain Anselm, Bernard Aubertin, Louis Benoist, Jean Bougarel, Didier Chanon, Jean Deloye, Barthélémy Formentelli, Gérald Guillemin, Claude Jaccard, Dominique Lalmand, Denis Londe, Marie Londe-Réveillac, Jean-François Muno, Pascal Quoirin, Alain Sals, and Pierre Sarelot.38

 

From Saint-SОverin to the Royal Chapel in Versailles

In 1963, at the suggestion of Father Lucien Aumont,39 Michel Chapuis crossed the Seine River to the Latin Quarter to succeed Michel Lambert-Mouchague as titular of the grand organ at Saint-Séverin Church.40 Among some of the past organists who maintained a great classical tradition there were: Michel Forqueray (1681–1757), Nicolas Séjan (1783–1791), Albert Périlhou, composer and director of the Niedermeyer School (1889–1914), Camille Saint-Saëns, honorary organist (1897–1921), and Marcel-Samuel Rousseau (1919–1921).41 After his arrival, Michel Chapuis reinstated the classical system of rotating organists that existed before the Revolution in Parisian churches. Over the years, he shared this post with Jacques Marichal (1963–c. 1972)42 and Francis Chapelet (1964–1984),43 then with André Isoir (1967–1973), Jean Boyer (1975–1988), Michel Bouvard (1984–1994), François Espinasse (1988), Michel Alabau (1986–2016), Christophe Mantoux (1994); and two substitute organists: Jean-Louis Vieille-Girardet (1973–1994), and François-Henri Houbart (1974–1979). In 2002, Chapuis was named honorary organist and Nicolas Bucher succeeded him as titular until 2013, when he in turn was succeded by Véronique Le Guen.44

In 1963, the 1748 Claude Ferrard/1825 Pierre-François Dallery/1889 John Abbey45 organ was in poor shape. In 1963 and 1964, the Alsatian builder Alfred Kern reconstructed the organ according to the plans of Michel Chapuis and Philippe Hartmann,46 who decided upon the use of mechanical action. This exemplary reconstruction as a four-manual neo-Classical German-French organ with fifty-nine stops marked a turning point in French organ construction. It used all of the Abbey windchests and existing pipes, including Claude Ferrard’s Positif Cromorne, the Récit Hautbois, and several mutation stops, along with twenty-two new stops. The disposition of its newly constructed Plein-Jeu stops, with its Cymbale-Tierce stop, allowed the interpretation of both early French and German literature for the first time in Paris and enabled Michel Chapuis to accompany the congregational singing with vitality and variety. The third keyboard, Récit-Resonance, enabled him to couple the other two keyboards to it. The natural keys were made of ebony, and the sharps of white cow bone. The Positif de dos was placed mid-height in the church, enabling the organ to resonate fully. Chapuis inaugurated the instrument on March 8, 1964, with two different programs: the first consisting of works by Couperin, Buxtehude, and Bach; and the second, works by de Grigny, Marchand, Sweelinck, Böhm, and Bach.47 After initial work by Daniel Kern in 1982 and Dominique Lalmand in 1988, the organ was restored again in 2011 by Dominique Thomas, Quentin Blumenroeder, and Jean-Michel Tricoteaux, respecting Alfred Kern’s work.

Michel Chapuis had arrived at Saint-Séverin during the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965). This parish’s ecumenical approach mirrored that of the Community in Taizé. With that in mind, Michel Chapuis adapted Bach chorales to the Catholic liturgy with French texts. The organists collaborated with priests to prepare the liturgy in accordance with the texts and the different colors of the liturgical year. Instead of beginning the Mass with Asperges me and an appropriate Gregorian Introit, the chorale “Nun komm der Heiden Heiland” served as the opening hymn during the four Sundays in Advent. Before each Mass, Michel Chapuis softly accompanied a rehearsal of the liturgy. After improvising a prelude to the opening hymn on the Positif Plein-Jeu, he accompanied the congregation on the Grand Orgue Plein-Jeu. Father Alain Ponsard requested Michel Chapuis to compose a Sanctus, known as the Saint-Séverin Sanctus, sung throughout France. Later, his former student and substitute organist, François-Henri Houbart, composed a partita based on this Sanctus.48

Two recordings by Cantoral49 attest to Michel Chapuis’ fine accompaniments. Harmonia Mundi recorded his interpretations of Jehan Titelouze’s hymns and Magnificat at Saint-Séverin. His other recordings in the 1960s and 1970s echoed the repertory he played there: works by Louis Couperin (Deutsche Grammophon), Nicolas de Grigny (Astrée), French Noëls by Balbastre, Dandrieu, and D’Aquin, and the complete works of Nicolas Bruhns, Vincent Lübeck, J. S. Bach, and Dieterich Buxtehude (Valois).50 Recording the complete organ works of Bach was extremely difficult: after learning all the scores, he recorded alone at night, set up the magnetic tapes, pushed the “record” button, and went up to the organ loft to play; if there was a noise or the slightest error, he started all over, until it was perfect.

In 1966, Édouard Souberbielle gave a concert at Saint-Séverin. In 1968 and 1969, Chapuis organized a concert series entitled “Renaissance of the Organ,” for the Association for the Protection of Early Organs, on the first Wednesday of each month at 9:00 p.m.: on October 9, Michel Chapuis opened this series with a Bach concert; on November 6, Marie-Claire Alain played Bach and early German masters; on December 4, Pierre Cochereau performed Bach, Mozart, Liszt, and improvised; on January 8, 1969, André Isoir gave an eclectic concert for the Christmas season; on February 5, Francis Chapelet played selections of Art of the Fugue and the Toccata in C Major by Bach; on March 5, Helmuth Walcha was scheduled to play Bach’s Clavierübung III, but, unable to perform, was replaced by Marie-Claire Alain; on May 7, Xavier Darasse performed Messiaen, Bach, and Ligeti; and on June 6, Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini performed Frescobaldi, Muffat, and Bach. In the fall of 1969, concerts were given by Michel Chapuis, Heinz Wunderlich, Anton Heiller, and Helmut Walcha. From October 1970 to June 1971, Michel Chapuis performed the complete works of J. S. Bach there.

In 1995, Michel Chapuis was appointed titular of the prestigious historic Robert Clicquot organ,51 rebuilt by Jean-Loup Boisseau and Bertrand Cattiaux, at the Royal Chapel in Versailles. On November 18 and 19, 1995, he inaugurated this organ and was named honorary organist there in 2010. This position was the crowning summit of his concert career.52 At this exquisite historic royal palace, he was truly an ambassador for French culture, receiving artists from the entire world.

 

A. F. S. O. A.: The Association for the Protection of Early Organs

On December 21, 1967, a group of organists, organ historians, and builders, as well as amateur organ admirers, joined forces to protest against abusive transformations of historic French organs and founded the Association for the Protection of Early Organs
[A. F. S. O. A., Association pour la sauvegarde de l’orgue ancien]. Their first general meeting took place on March 1, 1968. Jean Fonteneau, a substitute organist at Saint-Séverin, was president for the first year; the organ historian Pierre Hardouin, its primary editor; Michel Bernstein, editorial secretary; and Michel Chapuis, artistic advisor. Among its honorary members were Jean-Albert Villard and Helmut Winter. Other members included Father Lucien Aumont, Michel Bernstein, Bernard Baërd, Dominique Chailley, Jacques Chailley, Francis Chapelet, Pierre Chéron, Pierre Cochereau, René Delosme, Christian Dutheuil, Robert Gronier (a future president), André Isoir, Henri Legros, Émile Leipp, the architect Alain Lequeux, the astronomer James Lequeux, Charles-Walter Lindow, Pierre-Paul Lacas, Dominique Proust, Jean Saint-Arroman, Gino Sandri, Marc Schaefer, Jean-Christophe Tosi (a future president), and Jean Ver Hasselt. They struggled to renew interest in the unforgotten historic early French organ and its music. In 1969,
A. F. S. O. A. organized an international François Couperin competition for organ and harpsichord at Saint-Séverin and on the François-Henri Clicquot organ (1772), restored by Alfred Kern, at the Royal Chapel in Fontainebleau. It also organized visits to organs, such as the Clicquot at the Poitiers Cathedral, and organs in Alsace.

A. F. S. O. A. ardently defended a respectable restoration of the 1748 Dom Bédos organ in Bordeaux and protested against Gonzalez’s restoration of the historic Couperin organ at Saint-Gervais Church in Paris.54 In 1954, this firm, under Norbert Dufourcq’s direction, had already considerably transformed Jean de Joyeuse’s 1694 Baroque 16 organ in Auch Cathedral: out of the 3,060 pipes there, 620 were considerably altered and 2,240 had disappeared, notably the Grand Plein-Jeu.55 Michel Chapuis felt that Victor Gonzalez’s neo-classical Plein-Jeu, although pitched too high, was remarkably well-voiced and suitable for a small instrument installed in a studio or a home, but not for a large organ in a church. When Norbert Dufourcq went to visit the historic eighteenth century Jean-Baptiste Micot organ in Saint-Pons-des-Thomières (in the Hérault), the organist, Jean Ribot, hid the keys so that he could not enter the organ loft to look at the organ.56

Michel Chapuis strongly supported research on the French Classical organ Plein-Jeu, notably by his friends Jean Fellot57 and Léon Souberbielle.58 Thankfully, in 1954, Pierre Chéron and Rochas saved the splendid Grand Plein-Jeu in the 1774 Isnard organ at Sainte Marie-Madeleine Basilica in Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume.59 In 1957, Robert Boisseau voiced a Roethinger organ in the French Classic style that included a Plein-Jeu as described by Dom Bédos, in Saint Louis du Temple Benedictine Abbey in Limon-Vauhallan (in the Essonne south of Paris). It was designed by Édouard and Léon Souberbielle. On November 7, 1959, Claude Philbée made a private recording of Michel Chapuis improvising to demonstrate the organ’s stops.60

In 1967, Michel Chapuis pleaded with André Malraux, the minister for cultural affairs since 1959, for new policies concerning the restoration of early organs. He explained that past massacres of historic organs had given a bad name to organbuilding in France. He estimated that around seventy historic organs remained intact in France: thirty large instruments and forty smaller instruments. He suggested that, as in Austria or the Netherlands, a group of experts be appointed to form a new national commission of historic organs in addition to regional commissions. Before dismantling each organ for restoration, it should be completely evaluated and inventoried, with precise measurements, photos, and recordings. However, advocating for drastic changes in the French administration was not an easy task!

As A. F. S. O. A. encouraged, restorations were carried out that respected the past. As a member of the Commission for Historical Monuments, Michel Chapuis travelled in his Citroën van to visit organs and photographed them with his Rolleflex box camera. Here are some of the organs beautifully restored between 1968 and 1998: Perthuis, Malaucène, Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, Saint-Lizier, Forcalquier, and Sète by Alain Sals; Houdan by Robert and Jean-Loup Boisseau; three cuneiform bellows to activate the wind in the Clicquot in Souvigny by Philippe Hartmann;
Ebersmunster by Alfred Kern; Albi and Carcassonne by Barthélemy Formentelli;
Villiers-le-Bel, Juvigny, and the Dom Bédos in Bordeaux by Pascal Quoirin; Semur-en-Auxois by Jean Deloye with Philippe Hartmann; Seurre in Bourgogne, Saint-Martin-de-Boscherville in Normandy, and Saint-Antoine-L’Abbaye by Bernard Aubertin; the 1790
Clicquot in Poitiers by Boisseau-Cattiaux Society;61 Bolbec by Bertrand Cattiaux; and the reconstruction of the Jean de Joyeuse in Auch by Jean-François Muno. Between 1994 and 1997, the builders Claude Jaccard and Reinalt Klein built a replica of the Houdan organ (except the case) in the Kreuzekirche Church in Stapelmoor, Germany (in the North of Ostfriesland): Organeum Records recorded Michel Chapuis playing works by Böhm, Boyvin, Dandrieu, and Jullien on this organ on September 17, 1998.62

In the 1980s, Michel Chapuis supported the Cavaillé-Coll Association, which advocated for quality restorations of Romantic organs. He kindly advised this author’s research on Aristide Cavaillé-Coll’s secular organs. Among the Cavaillé-Coll organs restored between 1985 and 1997: the grand organs in Sacré-Coeur Basilica and in Saint-Sulpice in Paris, by Jean Renaud; Charles-Marie Widor’s 1893 house organ in Selongey, Côte d’Or (1986), and Édouard André’s 1874 house organ in Decize, by Claude Jaccard; the grand organ in Poligny, by Dominique Lalmand and Claude Jaccard, the grand organ in Saint-Sernin Basilica in Toulouse, by Boisseau-Cattiaux.

 

Organ professor

An eminent professor, Michel Chapuis acknowledged that the best way to learn music is to teach it. He loved to transmit his musical heritage and his practical knowledge. His intuition and his astute sense of observation and analysis enabled him to transmit elements of interpretation that cannot always be explained. He taught organ at the Strasburg Conservatory from 1956 to 1979, at the Schola Cantorum in Paris from 1977 to 1979, at the Besançon Conservatory from 1979 to 1986, and then succeeded Rolande Falcinelli at the National Superior Conservatory of Music in Paris, from 1986 to 1995. He also gave masterclasses in numerous academies in France: early French music on the historic Isnard organ at Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume Academy, founded in 1962; German and French early music on the 1752 Riepp/1833 Callinet organ in Semur-en-Auxois (in the Côte-d’Or) in the mid-1970s;63 in the Pierrefonds Academy (in the Oise) with Jean Saint-Arroman in the 1980s; and in Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges64 (in the Haute-Garonne) from 1976 to 2008, notably with André Stricker and Jean Saint-Arroman. He also gave masterclasses in Stapelmoor, Germany (with André Stricker and Pierre Vidal), as well as in the United States and Japan.

At the Strasbourg Conservatory, Michel Chapuis taught in the Catholic organ class, alongside André Stricker,65 who was in charge of the Protestant organ class. As the organ department grew, two more professors were added to balance the department: in 1962, Marc Schaefer,66 a Protestant, and, in 1963, Pierre Vidal,67  a Catholic. In June 1964, Helmut Walcha inaugurated the Kurt Schwenkedel organ (III/64) in the conservatory concert hall. Michel Chapuis helped to determine its stoplist, which he described as being both “classical and personal.”68 Of note, the organ case included horizontal Montre pipes.

In 1986, when Michel Chapuis began to teach at the Paris Conservatory, it was still located on Madrid Street, before its transfer to la Villette in 1991. Instead of giving lessons on the dusty 1951 Jacquot-Lavergne organ there, he preferred to teach on beautiful church organs: at Saint-Séverin, in Dole, and in Poligny. Open-minded, he never imposed any particular interpretation on his students69 but used his immense knowledge, his fantastic imagination, his humanistic approach, and his witty humor to guide them from the visible text to the invisible spirit of the music. He emphasized the importance of a calm, supple body, notably in hands and wrists, to give great lightness and liberty to fingers, which remain in contact with the keys. With his soft, sweet voice, he calmly encouraged students to go beyond the notes, to recreate the composer’s musical conception in a harmonious and sober manner. He abhorred inadequate and superficial ornaments and inappropriate expression. He enabled his students to understand the inherent marvels in each score, its underlying harmonies, rhythmic structures, and melodic expression, and helped them to incorporate these elements into their interpretations with an appropriate style, with spontaneity, good taste, and excellent registrations.

How fortunate I was to study with Michel Chapuis and Jean Saint-Arroman at the Academy in Pierrefonds in 1983 and 1984. Eugène Borrel’s book on the interpretation of early French music was truly indispensable to interpreting early French music expression in a well-balanced harmonious manner, with natural fluidity and ease. We accompanied singers to understand the underlying nature of a musical text, its pronunciation, its appropriate expression and style, its inherent harmonies. We studied the early French organ and its music: figured basses, dance rhythms, registrations, tempi, temperaments, ornamentations, and learned how to appropriately express and embellish the musical line. Its sweet, gentle expression70 finds its summit in the Tierce taille and numerous Récits.

We presented recitals at Saint-Séverin and Saint-Gervais churches. While studying on early historic instruments does not guarantee a beautiful performance, it enables an interpreter to play ornaments, registrations, phrasing, etc., with greater ease. As Jean Saint-Arroman pointed out, it is impossible for early music to be heard as in former centuries because “life and sensibility have changed too much, and, at least for the listeners, the music which was ‘modern’ has become ‘ancient’” [“la vie et la sensibilité ont trop chargé, et, au moins pour les auditeurs, la musique qui était ‘moderne’ est devenue ‘ancienne’”].71

Michel Chapuis inspired an entire generation of organists, among them: Scott Ross (at Saint-Maximin); Robert Pfrimmer, Étienne Baillot, Antoine Bender, Lucien Braun, Henri Delorme, Alain Langré, François-Henri Houbart, Jean-Louis Vieille-Girardet, Hélène Hébrard, Chieko Mayazaki and Henri Paget (at Strasbourg Conservatory); Régis Allard, Michel Bouvard,72 Yasuko Uyama-Bouvard, Makiko Hayashima, Hisaé Hosokawa (at the Schola Cantorum); Marc Baumann, Sylvain Ciaravolo, Pierre Gerthoffer, Luc Bocquet, Éric Brottier, Bernard Coudurier, Roland Servais, Véronique Rougier, Vinciane Rouvroy, Marie-Christine Vermorel (at the Besançon Conservatory); Valéry Aubertin, Valérie Aujard-Catot, Franck Barbut, Philippe Brandeis, Yves
Castagnet, Slava Chevliakov, Denis Comtet, Françoise Dornier, Thierry Escaich, Pierre Farago, Jean-François Frémont, Mathieu Freyburger, Christophe Henry, Emmanuel Hocdé, Jean-Marc Leblanc, Marie-Ange Laurent-Lebrun, Éric Lebrun, Véronique Le Guen, Erwan Le Prado, Gabriel Marghieri, Pierre Mea, Nicolas Reboul-Salze, Marina Tchébourkina,73 Vincent Warnier (at the National Superior Conservatory of Music), and Frédéric Munoz (in numerous academies).

 

International concert artist

Michel Chapuis was a great artist who consecrated his entire life to enriching other people’s lives with beautiful music. Although he often said that he never took vacations, in all truth, he worked too much, giving generously to others: as a teacher, as a member of the national organ commission for cultural affairs, as a church musician, and as a concert artist. He delighted in sharing his passions with others: photography, tramways, historic books, and architecture, among others. Fascinated with movement, he often invited visitors to his home to take a ride in his old train wagons, which he pushed on the train tracks he had installed in his yard: an unexpected experience! His listeners sensed such sparkling joy when listening to his captivating interpretations, from its kindling intense, fiery warmth to its gentle gracious sweetness. Conscious of the acoustical resonance of each room, he knew how to let silences speak fully, thus clarifying the musical narration and providing it with spiritual depth and elevation.

When I met Michel Chapuis in Saint-Séverin in 1984, I admired his noble yet gentle manner of playing. Although his hands were robust and gnarled, as if he had labored as an eighteenth-century tanner along the canals in Dole, once he began to play, they floated just above the keyboards, but his fingers were deeply enrooted in the keys,74 like those of J. S. Bach! His vivid imagination and fantasy excelled in the interpretation of
Dieterich Buxtehude’s works. I remember the numerous interesting discussions in the church reception hall after Mass with artists from all over the world.

Michel Chapuis considered himself to be Catholic in the universal sense of the term.75 On May 7–8, 1979, during the inauguration of Alfred Kern’s restoration of the 1741 Jean-André Silbermann organ at Saint-Thomas Lutheran Church in Strasburg, he illustrated the mission of the organ in the church by improvising in the French Classical style on themes from the old Parisian Ritual. Like the great humanist Albert Schweitzer, who had preached in this church, he believed that when music is felt deeply, either sacred or secular, it resonates in spiritual spheres where art and religion may meet.

Michel Chapuis played concerts in Europe, the United States, Russia, and Japan. He came to the United States at least on three occasions. On November 26 and 27, 1968, he gave a recital and masterclass at Northwestern University School of Music, Evanston, Illinois, and returned to play at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, University of Chicago, in 1978. During this same year, he inaugurated the Yves Koenig organ at Saint-Sulpice Church in Pierrefonds, performing Nicolas de Grigny’s entire Organ Mass. In Japan, he gave his first organ recital in the NKH Hall in Tokyo in 1976. He inaugurated three Aubertin organs there: his opus 48 (III/48), in the French Classical style at Shirane-Cho/Minami-Alps in 1993, where he returned at least ten times to give academies, concerts, and masterclasses, recorded by Plenum Vox in 1999; opus 13 (II/13) in the Lutheran Church in Tokyo in 1999; and opus 22 (II/22) in a home in Karuizawa in 2003. He gave concerts and masterclasses many times in Russia, notably on the Charles Mutin organ at the Tchaikovky Conservatory in Moscow beginning in 1993.

Throughout his entire career, Michel Chapuis collaborated with singers, choirs, and orchestras, as illustrated in several recordings: the 1967 Harmonia Mundi record of François Couperin’s Leçons de Ténèbres with Alfred
Deller, countertenor; Philip Todd, tenor; and Raphael Perulli, viola da gamba, at Augustins Chapel in Brignolles
(Var); in 1997: Quantin CD of four Handel concertos, opus 4, with the Marais Chamber Orchestra directed by Pascal Vigneron; and an Astrée CD of Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Port Royal Mass in Houdan, directed by Emmanuel Mandrin; a 1998 CD of his inauguration of Laurent Plet’s restoration of the 1847 Callinet organ at Saint-Pierre Church in Liverdun captured his accompaniments of three local choirs, with works by Scheidt, Rinck, Boëly, Mendelssohn, Ritter, Herbeck, and Berthier.76 In 1999, Glossa Records recorded his improvised verses in Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Messe de Monsieur de Mauroy at Saint-Michel-en-Thiérache with Hervé Niquet’s Le Concert spirituel. In 2000, Plenum Vox recorded his inauguration of Bernard Hurvy’s twenty-six-stop early nineteenth century transitional-style organ in Charbonnières-les-Bains (near Lyon), with the Saint-Roch Choir directed by J. M. Blanchon, with works by Bach, Buxtehude, Mendelssohn, Guilmant, Bruckner, and improvisations on Salve Regina. Ekaterina Fedorova, soprano, the founder of Plenum Vox Records, gave many concerts and recorded with him: Magnificats by Guilain, Dandrieu, Beauvarlet-Charpentier, and improvisations on the Dom Bédos organ at Saint-Croix Abbey Church in Bordeaux in 2002, and Burgundian Christmas carols, vocal works by Clérambault, and improvisations on the 1768 Bénigne Boillot organ in Saint-Jean-de-Losne in 2003.

At the end of each concert, Michel Chapuis improvised in a style that valorized the organ with a wide variety of registrations. In 2004, when he improvised at the end of his concert on Jean-François Muno’s exemplary reconstruction (1992–1998) of the 1694 Jean de Joyeuse organ at Auch Cathedral, he received a standing ovation that lasted for over ten minutes! During the last ten years of his life, even as his vision deteriorated, his luminous and graceful improvisations continued to enlighten his audiences. Many of them were recorded live by Plenum Vox: a 2003 DVD in the Royal Chapel in Versailles and in Souvigny, a 2004 CD in the Romantic style on the Cavaillé-Coll organs at Saint-Ouen and Poligny, and a 2005 DVD in the German Baroque style on Bernard Aubertin’s organ at Saint-Louis-en-l’Île Church in Paris. He had assimilated the early French repertory so well that he was capable of improvising in the style of each composer and each period. He knew how to discern the tonalities that resonated well on each organ: for example, C Major and D Major in Dole, and G Major at Saint-Séverin.

Michel Chapuis’ 2001 Plenum Vox recordings in Dole remind us that this organ remained the star that inspired him throughout his entire career. These three CDs illustrate his eclectic repertory on this versatile instrument with three faces: the German face (Buxtehude, Kellner, Rinck, with improvisations), the French face (Boyvin, Tapray, d’Aquin, Balbastre and improvisations on Ave Maris Stella), and the Romantic face (Mendelssohn, Czerny, Guilmant, Brosig, Boëllmann, and Franck).

In addition to being a pioneer who revolutionized the French organ world in the second half of the twentieth century, this great concert and liturgical organist and professor generously shared his time, knowledge, and documents with his colleagues, students, and friends. His conception of French good taste goes beyond time and space: it encourages us to memorialize the past, far beyond an idea of comfort and superficial rapidity, by embracing beauty with simplicity, constant research, meditation, and spiritual depth. In addition to his beautiful music, his humanistic and fraternal approach to life, his conviviality, his humble simplicity, as well as his liberty of spirit, will continue to inspire us.

 

A French-American organist and musicologist, Carolyn Shuster was organist at the American Cathedral in Paris. In 1989, she was appointed titular of the Cavaillé-Coll choir organ at the Trinité Church and founded their weekly concert series. She has performed over 500 concerts in Europe and in the United States. She has also contributed articles to Revue de musicologie, La Flûte Harmonique, L’Orgue, Orgues Nouvelles, The American Organist, and The Diapason. Her recordings have been published by EMA, Ligia Digital, Schott, and Fugue State Films. In 2007, the French Cultural Minister awarded her the distinction of Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters. 

 

Notes

1. Cf. Marc Baumann, “Interview with Michel Chapuis in Marienthal,” transcribed by Hubert Heller, February, 2003, and in www.union-sainte-cecile.org.

2. Cf. Pierre M. Guéritey, Karl Joseph
Riepp et l’Orgue de Dole
, 2 vol. (Lyon, FERREOL, 1985).

3. Cf. Jacques Gardien, “Les Grandes Orgues de la Collégiale de Dole,” L’Orgue, no. 25, March 1936, pp. 6–14.

4. Odette Goulon, her married name, was appointed organist at Temple du Luxembourg in Paris in 1991. The dates of organists in this article are mostly those found in Pierre Guillot, Dictionnaire des organistes français des XIXe et XXe siècles, Sprimont, Belgium, 2003.

5. Émile Poillot (1886–1948) was organist of Saint-Bénigne Cathedral, Dijon, 1912–1948.

6. Cf. Claude Duchesneau, Plein Jeu, Interviews with Michel Chapuis (Vendôme: Le Centurion, 1979), p. 34. The Germans occupied Dole from June 17, 1940, to September 9, 1944.

7. Marquis Bernard de Froissard (1884–1962) was an administrator of Société Cavaillé-Coll, Mutin, Convers, & Cie. 

8. Jeanne Marguillard was organist at Sainte-Madeleine Church, Besançon, 1947–1993.

9. Édouard Souberbielle (1899–1989) also taught at Schola Cantorum and at Institut Grégorien.

10. Paule Piédelièvre (1902–1964) studied piano with Blanche Selva and was organist at Étrangers Church.

11. Yves Margat contributed articles to Guide du Concert

12. René Malherbe (1898–1969) was organist and choir director at Saint-Pierre-du-Gros-Caillou Church.

13. Simone Villard (b. 1927) was appointed organist at Sainte-Radegonde Church in Poitiers in 1952.

14. Jean-Albert Villard (1920–2000) was organist at Poitiers Cathedral, 1949–2000.

15. Joseph Gélineau, SJ (1920–2000), was a Jesuit priest, composer, and French liturgist. 

16. Denise Chapuis (b. 1928). They had seven children: Jean-Marie (†), Claude (†), Bruno, Laurent (who worked with the harpsichord builder Anselm and the organbuilder Alain Sals), François, Claire (†) Christophe, ten grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

17. Cf. Claude Duchesneau, op. cit., p. 58.

18. Jean-Marc Cicchero, Hommage à une Passion, Éd. O. V., 2018, p. 126. Erwin Muller had apprenticed with Schwenkedel, then as a voicer with Gonzalez. His shop was active in Croissy from 1950–1986.

19. Line Zilgien (1906–1954), organist there from 1940–1954, was close to Claire Delbos, Olivier Messiaen’s wife.

20. Claude Hermelin (1901–1986), began to study voicing in 1923 with Charles Mutin (cf. J.-M. Cicchero, op. cit., p. 64) and wrote articles under the alias Jean Mas.

21. Gabriel d’Alençon (1881–1956) restored the 17th-century organ in Rozay-en-Brie and was interested in temperaments. From 1936 to 1939, Claude Hermelin collaborated with him in Sotteville-lès-Rouen, and they gave courses in organbuilding at Schola Cantorum, Paris.

22. Cf. Claude Duchesneau, op. cit., pp. 212–213.

23. Pierre Cochereau (1924–1984) was titular of the grand organ at Notre-Dame Cathedral, 1955–1984.

24. Pierre Moreau (1907–1991) played there, 1946–1986. Michel Chapuis wrote the preface to his Livre d’Orgue (Europart Music, 1990).

25. Claude Duchesneau, op. cit., p. 96.

26. Eugène Borrel (1876–1962), violinist and musicologist, L’Interprétation de la musique française (de Lully à la Révolution), Paris, Librairie Félix Alcan, 1934, p. 150.

27. Jules Écorcheville (1872–1915), musicologist, wrote De Lulli à Rameau—L’esthétique musicale (Paris, 1906). 

28. Antoine Geoffroy-Dechaume (1905–2000), Les secrets de la musique ancienne, recherches sur l’interprétation (Fasquelle, 1964).

29. Cf. Jesse Eschbach, “Marie-Claire Alain, pédagogue internationale,” Marie-Claire Alain, L’Orgue, Cahiers et Mémoires, no. 56, 1996—II, p. 59. She mentions that this concert took place in 1958, but this date needs to be verified.

30. Eugène Borrel, op cit., p. 150. 

31. Claude Duchesneau, op. cit., p. 98.

32. Nicole Gravet, L’orgue et l’art de la registration en France du XVIe siècle au début du XIXe siècle, originally published in 1960, it was reedited with a preface by Michel Chapuis, Chatenay Malabry, Ars Musicae, 1996.

33. In 1996, the European Organ Center in Marmoutier reedited Michel Chapuis’ interpretations of Böhm, Buxtehude, J. S. Bach, de Grigny, and Dandrieu on this organ.

34. Cf. his publications on French Classical music, 1661–1789: Dictionnaire d’interprétation (Initiation), (Honoré Champion, 1983) and L’Interprétation de la musique pour orgue (Honoré Champion, 1988); his early music facsimiles are edited by Anne Fuzeau. He teaches in the early music department at the National Superior Conservatory of Music in Paris.

35. Philippe Hartmann (1928–2014) had apprenticed with Gutschenritter, worked three months for Gonzalez, for Émile Bourdon in Dijon, eight years for Pierre Chéron, collaborated with Georges Lhôte, with Jean Deloye from 1969–1975, worked independently at Le Havre in 1982, and as a voicer for Haerpfer.

36. In 1993, Daniel Birouste incorporated it into the organ at the Saint-Vincent Church in Roquevaire (Bouches-du-Rhône).

37. Cf. Yvette Carbou, Pierre Cochereau Témoignages (Zurfluh, 1999), p. 38.

38. Cf. Jean-Marc Cicchero, op. cit., pp. 104–105.

39. Father Lucien Aumont (1920–2014) lived in a tower of Saint-Séverin Church. From 1947 until 1987, he recorded concerts there and broadcast them in programs at Radio-France-INA.

40. He had been organist there from 1921 until 1960.

41. Cf. Félix Raugel, Les Grandes Orgues des Églises de Paris et du Département de la Seine, Paris, Fischbacher, pp. 100–102.

42. Jacques Marichal (1934–1987) was also choir organist at Notre-Dame Cathedral from 1964 to 1987.

43. Francis Chapelet (1934), a well-known specialist in Spanish organ music, is honorary organist at Saint-Séverin. 

44. The three actual titulars at Saint-Séverin are François Espinasse, Christophe Mantoux, and Véronique Le Guen.

45. John Abbey II (1843–1930).

46. In 1966, Philippe Hartmann built a choir organ (I/7) for Saint-Séverin. Roger Chapelet, Francis Chapelet’s father, painted its organ case.

47. L’Orgue, no. 112, Oct.–Dec.1964, p. 110.

48. François-Henri Houbart, Partita sur un choral dit Sanctus de Saint-Séverin (Delatour France, 2010).

49. Cantoral: UD 30 1299 and 5, UD 30 1385.

50. For a complete list of Michel Chapuis’ recordings, cf. Alain Cartayrade, www.france-orgue.fr/disque.

51. Cf. M. Tchebourkina. L’orgue de la Chapelle royale de Versailles: À la recherche d’une composition perdue // L’Orgue. Lyon, 2007. 2007–IV no. 280. She was organist at the Royal Chapel in Versailles 1996–2010.

52. Plenum Vox (PV 004) recorded a CD of Nivers, Lebègue, Couperin, Dandrieu, Marchand, and Lully there in 1999 and a DVD in 2003.

53. Bärenreiter published the first eight issues of their periodical, Renaissance de L’Orgue, from 1968 to 1970, followed by Connoissance de l’orgue, until 2000. At the end of the 1960s, Jean Fonteneau taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While in the Boston area, he promoted A. F. S. O. A. by organizing concerts and lectures at Saint Thomas in New York City and at Harvard University.

54. In May and June 1967, several articles appeared in the French newspaper Le Monde and L’Art Sacré. This restoration by Gonzalez was highly supervised by the A. F. S. O. A.
55. Cf. Michel Chapuis, notes in the Plenum Vox CD of the complete works of Jacques Boyvin in Auch, PV 011, 2004.

56. XCP Montpellier, recorded Michel Chapuis’ concert there on September 5, 1993: cf. www.france-orgue.fr/disque.

57. Jean Fellot (1905–1967) wrote À la recherche de l’orgue classique (reedited by Édisud in 1993).

58. This book was written by hand and printed by the author at Montoire-sur-le-Loir in 1977.

59. Cf. Pierre Chéron’s inventory in L’Orgue de Jean-Esprit et Joseph Isnard à la Basilique de la Madeleine à Saint-Maximin, 1774, prefaced by Michel Chapuis (Réalisation Art et Culture des Alpes-Maritimes, Nice, 1991).

60. According to Sister Marie-Emmanuelle, this organ had 31 manual stops and its pedal stops were borrowed. Curiously, its action was electro-pneumatic. One can hear Michel Chapuis’ improvisations on https://youtu.be/5u-0eR3BYko. This organ was integrated into a new 42-stop neo-classical organ by Olivier Chevron, inaugurated in the Abbey at Celles-sur-Belle (Charente-Maritime) on May 5, 2018.

61. Cf. Cathédral de Poitiers, 1787 à 1790, L’Orgue de François-Henri Clicquot (Direction of Cultural Affaires in Poitou-Charentes, 1994).

62. This CD also includes Harald Vogel in the Georgskirche.

63. He taught in Semur-en-Auxois with Odile Bayeux (organ), Blandine Verlet (harpsichord), Alain Anselm (harpsichord building), Philippe Hartmann (organbuilding) and Jean Saint-Arroman (French performance practice).

64. This festival was founded by Pierre Lacroix in 1974 under the musical direction of Jean-Patrice Brosse.

65. André Stricker (1931–2003) taught there, 1954–1996. He had studied with Helmut Walcha.

66. Marc Schaefer (b. 1934), a former André Stricker student, taught there until 2000.

67. Pierre Vidal (1927–2010), composer and musicographer, remained there until 1991.

68. Cf. Jean-Louis Coignet, “L’Orgue du Conservatoire de Strasbourg,” L’Orgue, no. 117, January–March 1966, p. 39.

69. Cf. Éric Lebrun article blog SNAPE: www.snape.fr/index.php/2017/11/13.

70. Cf. Eugène Borrel, op. cit., p. 148. 

71. Jean Saint-Arroman, “Authenticity,” in Dictionnaire d’interprétation (Initiation), Paris, Honoré Champion, 1983, p. 13.

72. Michel Bouvard was an auditor and studied with Chapuis at Saint-Séverin.

73. In 1999, Natives recorded the organ works of Claude Balbastre interpreted by Michel Chapuis and his student Marina Tchebourkina on the historic grand organ at Saint-Roch Church, Paris.

74. Cf. Roland Servais, “Ses mains étaient comme des racines,” Chronique des Moniales, Abbaye Notre-Dame du Pesquié, March 2018, pp. 25–27.

75. Cf. Pastor Claude Rémy Muess, “L’église luthérienne Saint-Thomas de Strasbourg retrouve son orgue Silbermann,” L’Orgue, no. 173, January–March 1980, pp. 5–11. 

76. Available at: Association Amis de l’orgue de Liverdun, 1, place des Armes, 54460 Liverdun, France.

Related Content

October 02, 2018
On November 12, 2017, the liturgical and international concert organist Michel Chapuis died. Also an eminent professor, historian, and organ reformer…
February 28, 2018
Organs for the people The early twentieth century was the golden age of the municipal organist. Dozens of cities across the United States installed…
February 28, 2018
Introduction Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini—organist, harpsichordist, musicologist, teacher, and composer—died July 11, 2017, in Bologna, Italy. Born…