Forcalquier, France

The Forcalquier Organ Model (1627-2000)

The history of the organ in the church of Forcalquier is very turbulent and only a part of the material remained from the baroque period, from the original organ. Most of it comes from a 19th and 20th century restorations.

The cathedral in a small and picturesque French city called Forcalquier had a small organ with 9 stops built by Pierre Marchand in 1627. It is said that during the time of the Revolution, the church and the organ served for the embellishments of the feasts of the new regime. In 1803, the Christian worship was restored in the church. Half a century later, Prosper Antoine Moitessier rebuilt the organ completely, reusing also the ancient material. The Grand orgue had now 22 stops, a Récit expressif (enclosed in a swell-box) and Pedal with 4 stops. The organbuilders Cavaillé-Coll – Mutin made further reconstruction in 1932. They extended the pedal board range and changed the action to the pneumatic one. Recently, the organ was carefully restored and enlarged in two steps in 1981 and 2000 by Alain Sals. The action was changed back to the mechanical one, new Positif de dos was installed using the remaining old pipes, some new stops were added, so that now the organ has 36 speaking stops. The swell-box of the Récit was most probably removed during this restoration.

The composition and the timbre of the organ is typically French, although rather sharp, "chiffy", with a strong feeling of „inégalité“, i. e. there are numerous voicing breaks where suddenly the timbre of the stop changes. The most prominent one is the division of the Voix humaine of the Récit, which is in fact composed of two different stops, one for the Bass part and the other for the Treble part of the keyboard compass. The specification given below gives also the idea how old every stop is, so, whether it comes from Marchand (1627), Moitessier (1847) or Cavaillé-Coll-Mutin (1932) or Sals (2000).

Specification:

Positif de dos (54 keys) Grand Orgue (54 keys) Récit (54 keys) Pédale (30 keys)
Bourdon 8´ (2000) Bourdon 16´ (1847) Bourdon 8´ (1847+1932) Soubasse 16´ (2000)
Prestant 4´ (1627+1847) Gambe 8' (1847) Flute 4´ (1847+1932) Flute 16´ (1847)
Flute à cheminée 4´ (2000) Bourdon 8´ (2000) Cornet III (2000) Flute 8´ (2000)  - a mild Principal
Nazard 2 2/3´ (1627) Flute 8´ (1847+1932) - a mild Principal Dessus de Hautbois 8´ (1847) Flute 4´ (2000) - a mild Principal
Doublette 2´ (2000) Prestant 4´ (2000) Voix Humaine 8´ (1847+2000) - bass / dessus Plein Jeu IV (2000)
Quarte 2´ (2000) Flute 4´ (1847+1932)   Bombarde 16´ (1847)
Tierce 1  3/5´ (1627) Doublette 2´ (2000)   Trompette 8´ (1847+2000)
Larigot 1 1/3´ (1627+2000) Sifflet 1´ (1847+2000)   Clairon 4´ (1847+2000)
Plein-Jeu IV (2000) Cornet V (1627) - dessus    
Cromorne 8´ (2000) Plein Jeu V (2000)    
  1ère Trompette 8´ (1847) - sharp one    
  2ème Trompette 8´ (1847) - mild one    
  Clairon 4´ (1847)    

Couplers:

  • I / Ped.
  • II / Ped.
  • III/ Ped.
  • I / II - Positif to Grand Orgue
  • III / I - Récit to Positif, not original, added only virtually

Tremulants:

  • Positif tremulant, not original, added only virtually
  • Récit tremulant, not original, added only virtually

Wedge Bellows:

It is generally agreed by experts, that it is the wind behavior which makes the beauty of the organ sound. In early times, wedge bellows were used in organs which were pulled up by "calcants". There were usually several sets of bellows to feed the organ so that the wind achieved some stability.  Nevertheless, the procedure of pumping and also the changing torque of the falling moving board as the bellows were deflating, caused slight changes in pressure, slight oscilations which affected the pipe speech. Also, the wind stability was so delicate that playing on one manual with just one or two stops affected the speech of pipes played on a different manual. After the parallel rise bellows were invented, and after organ blowers invaded churches, these subtle wind behavior was lost to great deal. With the help of Hauptwerk, we can now model the original situation of the hand pumped bellows. Together with carefully modelled response of pipes, it is completely new experience of the organ sound.

Special thanks to:

Francois Blonay and Jean Jacques Le Coz for all their support during the recording of the organ!

 

Features and Screenshots

The samples are available in 24bit/48kHz resolution. Hauptwerk v.3.30 and higher supported. There are multiple releases and, at times, also multiple attack samples. It is wet sample set. The amount of reverberation is rather high (about 4 seconds). The spatial difference of the location of the Positif de dos and the rest of the instrument is well pronounced in the recording. The Positif appears to be more "near" to the performer than the rest of the organ. The virtual model offers very clear, present and detailed sound.

Large compass of manuals as well as of the pedal board allows for the performance of almost any organ music. The wide range of sound colors also contributes to the sound possibilities of this mid-sized instrument. Therefore, it seems to suit the needs not only of the French compositions, but also other musical traditions, including modern organ music.

Key midi velocity is used to controll the attack of the pipes (the feature common to all Sonus Paradisi sample sets). However, this is useful only if you use midi velocity sensitive keyboard! If your physical console is not equipped with a velocity sensitive keys, it will be necessary to switch off the midi velocity sensitivity in Hauptwerk (General settings) to prevent unexpected errors in the note attack.

Forcalquier organ model was designed so that it fits into the 1024x768 pixels screen (smaller screens or even laptops).

In order to increase the readability of the stop labels and the comfort of switching the stops when using a touch screen, we decided to offer clickable labels instead of modeling virtual drawstops. Simply click on the label itself and it will engage/disengage the stop. The drawstops which appear "behind" the semi-transparent labels are not operational. The couplers and tremulants  foot switches above the pedal board are operational (including their labels).

There are also Generals 1-5 added for the comfort of modern players, they appear on the top of the music desk (Notenpult). To set the general, engage first the set button "S" (the light will be switched on). After setting the right registration, store it, by pressing (or clicking) on one of the 5 Generals. Having done that, do not forget to disengage the "S" button (the light will be switched off) or you will override your setting.

Every division has labels of certain color: Positif is green, Grand Orgue is blue, Pedal is yellow and the Récit is red.

Memory consumption

Full instrument in 16-bit depth, memory compression enabled, all releases, all attack samples: 3.7 GB. 
If you want to get most out of the samples, load it at least in 20-bits (possibly with the memory compression enabled). If you have to make compromises, it is always better to use the memory compression while loading in higher bit depth, than using the samples without the memory compression at lower bit depth! The higher bit depth, the less noise (hiss) introduced by the audio engine in Hauptwerk!

Screnshot - the virtual console

Screenshot - Wind modeling

It is generally agreed by experts, that it is the wind behavior which makes the beauty of the organ sound. In early times, wedge bellows were used in organs which were pulled up by "calcants". There were usually several sets of bellows to feed the organ so that the wind achieved some stability.  Nevertheless, the procedure of pumping and also the changing torque of the falling moving board as the bellows were deflating, caused slight changes in pressure, slight oscilations which affected the pipe speech. Also, the wind stability was so delicate that playing on one manual with just one or two stops affected the speech of pipes played on a different manual. After the parallel rise bellows were invented, and after organ blowers invaded churches, these subtle wind behavior was lost to great deal. With the help of Hauptwerk, we can now model the original situation of the hand pumped bellows and indeed, it is completely new experience of the organ sound.

Four bellows are seen, all feeding one common trunk where all the divisions are fed from. The bellows are of the wedge type and are operated by hidden calcants (in fact, a hidden blower operating only when the bellows is being filled). When the bellows are full, they are attached to the wind trunk of the organ and the air begins to flow from the bellows to the organ. In this way, the bellows are emptied after some time and they are filled again by calcants. The indication of the bellows extension is shown. The small icons above this indication are showing the state of the inlet and exhaust valves of the given bellows. The left is inlet, the right is the exhaust valve. These operate automatically, but they are also clickable, so you can detach any bellows at any moment from the wind system of the organ if desired! Besides the moving board indicators, there are also the pressures inside the bellows and inside the windchests indicated. This setting of the bellows imitates the ancient way of the organ wind system construction and adds to the aliveness of the pipe sound due to small instabilities generated in the wind ways when under heavier load. In the left bottom corner, there is the blower switch (you can turn the "calcants" off or on) - if you switch it off, the bellows will deflate after a while and the organ will be without wind - i.e. without any sound. Also, you can alternatively choose to bypass the non-return valve present at the foot of each the set of bellows. This can produce different behavior of the wind system if desired. In the right bottom corner, there is the main valve shown in a form of continuous controller. Clicking on the valve, you can make the aperture of the wind trunk wider of narrower, allowing more or less air to the whole system if desired.

Screenshot - User voicing

By dragging the voicing handle up or down, you can change the timbre of entire stop at once. Up - more brilliant sound, down - less brilliant sound. This simple and powerful voicing device works also in the Basic Hauptwerk edition, where the native per-pipe-voicing is disabled.

Specification

Positif de dos (54 keys) Grand Orgue (54 keys) Récit (54 keys) Pédale (30 keys)
Bourdon 8´ (2000) Bourdon 16´ (1847) Bourdon 8´ (1847+1932) Soubasse 16´ (2000)
Prestant 4´ (1627+1847) Gambe 8' (1847) Flute 4´ (1847+1932) Flute 16´ (1847)
Flute à cheminée 4´ (2000) Bourdon 8´ (2000) Cornet III (2000) Flute 8´ (2000)  - a mild Principal
Nazard 2 2/3´ (1627) Flute 8´ (1847+1932) - a mild Principal Dessus de Hautbois 8´ (1847) Flute 4´ (2000) - a mild Principal
Doublette 2´ (2000) Prestant 4´ (2000) Voix Humaine 8´ (1847+2000) - bass / dessus Plein Jeu IV (2000)
Quarte 2´ (2000) Flute 4´ (1847+1932)   Bombarde 16´ (1847)
Tierce 1  3/5´ (1627) Doublette 2´ (2000)   Trompette 8´ (1847+2000)
Larigot 1 1/3´ (1627+2000) Sifflet 1´ (1847+2000)   Clairon 4´ (1847+2000)
Plein-Jeu IV (2000) Cornet V (1627) - dessus    
Cromorne 8´ (2000) Plein Jeu V (2000)    
  1ère Trompette 8´ (1847) - sharp one    
  2ème Trompette 8´ (1847) - mild one    
  Clairon 4´ (1847)    

Couplers:

  • I / Ped.
  • II / Ped.
  • III/ Ped.
  • I / II - Positif to Grand Orgue
  • III / I - Récit to Positif, not original, added only virtually

Tremulants:

  • Positif tremulant, not original, added only virtually
  • Récit tremulant, not original, added only virtually

Updates

Please, install in the correct order: first install the version 1.00 downloaded from your "My Products" zone or from the DVDs. Then, install the 1.10 update, then 1.11, and the 1.12 on top of it. The order of the installation is important.

Update Forcalquier ODF 1.12 : The compass of the manuals extended to full 5 octaves: top keys added virtually. Please, install updates 1.10 and 1.11 before attempting to install this one. Failing to do so, will result in Hauptwerk error, the sample set will not load.

Update 1.11 (ODF only) - please, first download and install the Update 1.10!!!. This 1.11 update adds the noise samples (keynoise, drawstop noise, blower noise).

Update 1.10 (ODF + inst. pack. 345) - 22 general combinations added instead of the original 5. The combination usage is thus extended very much.

 

Known bugs:

installing the updates in incorrect order results in error message in Hauptwerk (because the ODF does not have the minimum package version stated correctly) and the sample set refuses to load. The workaround: install all the updates in the correct order suggested above.

  1. Forcalquier Wet Sample Set

    Forcalquier organ model, Wet variant.

    €256.00

    Excl. Tax

    Detail & order

  2. BUNDLE Rozay - Dom Bédos - St. Omer -St. Maximin - St . Michel - Caen - Forcalquier

    Including: Rozay Surround, Caen Surround, Forcalquier Wet, St. Maximin Surround, St. Michel en Thierache Surround, St. Omer Surround and Dom Bédos Surround sample sets.

    €1,627.96

    Excl. Tax

    Detail & order

    Original price: (excl. tax)€2,466.60
    Bundle sale (34%):
    till 7/8/2016  
    - €838.64