Chapter

Welker and CavillÉ-coll: A Frano-German Competition

Kerala J. Snyder

in The Organ as A Mirror of Its Time

Published in print August 2002 | ISBN: 9780195144154
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849369 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195144154.003.0018
Welker and CavillÉ-coll: A Frano-German Competition

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This chapter is about the career of two organ builders: Eberhard Friedrich Walcker (1794–1872) and Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. These two 19th-century French and German organ builders produced a dazzling variety of instruments, despite what is commonly assumed about the effects of 19th-century mass production. But it is beyond doubt that these two builders personify French and German organ building during the 19th century. Both lives were marked by Franco-German antipathies, wars, and revolutions: Walcker's childhood and early youth were affected by the French Revolution, his adult years by the battles to defeat Napoleon. Cavaillé-Coll's company suffered from the Revolution of 1848 and the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1. Their lives and careers had many similarities as both had their roots in a classical organ-building tradition, and even if there are many classical features to be found in their respective concepts, each of them eagerly experimented, searching for a modern organ concept. The success of their early achievements motivated them to continue looking for opportunities to build spectacular instruments.

Keywords: Eberhard Friedrich Walcker; Aristide Cavaillé-Coll; organ builders; Franco-Prussian War; French Revolution; modern organ concept

Chapter.  7393 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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