“When I told Monsieur Stein that I would very much like to play his organ because the organ is my passion, he was very surprised and replied, ‘How does a man like you, such a fine pianist, wish to play an instrument that has no softness, no expression, no distinction between piano and forte, but that always progresses musically in the same manner?’ All this means nothing. To my eyes and ears, the organ is the king of instruments.”
An organ is peculiar in that it takes up a huge amount of space yet sits in silence 99% of the time. The instrument’s asthetique is therefore an essential element to consider so that one day its public can admire its beauty. Bernad Aubertin is an organ maker recognized for his drawings, which combine keen sensitivity toward both aesthetics and proportions. Throughout his career, he created a traditional aesthetic which adheres to the architecture of the building the organ is housed in. This goes against the grain of the modernist adhesion to clean design without embellishment. Bernard Aubertin's drawings are in and of themselves true works of art which have been collecting dust for years inside the workshop. Bernard Aubertin has made dozens of instruments, many of which have never come to life.
We present here in limited-edition format a glimpse of the abundant archives of the Aubertin organ factory. We have selected our favorite drawings that we have then copied before engraving and printing them in a limited series. The quality of Bernard Aubertin's work has earned him the title of Master Artist and the Legion of Honor from the French government, the quality of his designs having played a significant role in earning him these titles.
The principal organ of the Catholic Church of Béthune was designed in perfect harmony with the proportions of the building.
The organ is placed against a wall closing a huge opening that would negatively impact the quality of the instrument’s sounds in the acoustic space.
The arrangement of the compartments faithfully reflect the position of the sound planes:
- In the middle, hanging on the balustrade, the positive from the back
- On both sides at the same level, the pedal turns
- In the center, the great organ, main sound plane
- Above this great organ, on either side of the central turret, the 4-story compartments, a sound plane with delicate and colorful tones.
The organist is seated between the back positive and the large organ, facing the console of 3 keyboards with its pedal board and the register tie rods.
Everything is designed for optimal sound clarity with easy access to all the piping and mechanisms to allow its maintenance and adjustments and tuning without major difficulties.
Project appreciated but rejected...