2013 Festival

Edito : The voice of the organ

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© Thomas Guillin

18e International Festival Toulouse les Orgues
The voice of the organ
There will be more organ music than ever heard at Toulouse this year. With some fifty concerts and musical events (including sixteen performances for the International Organ Competition) all going on at once, each of the city’s organs will be lending its voice.

This year’s festival will cover five centuries of musical history, with contributions from dance, poetry, improvisation and film. I am convinced that the rich variety of our programme will draw both the people of Toulouse and visitors from further afield to learn about the city’s wealth of organ treasures.

A musical journey

In order to bring in as many instruments as possible, our musical journey takes us from the mediaeval period to the most contemporary compositions. It starts with some of the oldest works composed for the organ and a major concert of Renaissance works by the Ensemble Clément Janequin and Les Sacqueboutiers.

Baroque music is represented by Monteverdi, Schütz, Bach and the French composers from the time of Louis XIV. For the Classical and Romantic periods we start with Mozart and continue with Brahms, Berlioz, and Wagner.
More contemporary music will include works by Poulenc, Dupré, Britten, Ligeti and Escaich, with the cathedral organ joining the Orchestre du Capitole thanks to a live transmission shown on a giant screen in the Halle aux Grains.

The extended family of keyboard instruments

I also wanted to see the organ surrounded by its cousins: we will be able to hear the mysterious and haunting Gothic organetto, four harpsichords for a Bach concerto, and a pianoforte such as Mozart would have played. You may come across a genuine harmonium, now unfairly neglected, and an accordion in a surprising repertoire.

The Competition

The 11th Xavier Darasse International Organ Competition will also be one of the highlights of the Festival, of course. We are proud to be welcoming some of the most talented young players on the international stage, together with a jury of leading experts. The semi-finals and finals will be held in public, so do come and listen to the greatest organists of tomorrow and vote to award the public’s “Coup de cœur” prize.

Michel Bouvard,
Artistic Director of the Toulouse les Orgues

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