St Joseph des Nations

Organ works of Michel Estellet-Brun

Michel Estellet-Brun

Michel Estellet-Brun (born in Bordeaux in 1943) studied the organ at the Schola Cantorum in Paris, and then undertook further study with Gaston Litaize and Pierre Cochereau. His appointments include Beauvais Cathedral, the Abbey of Royaumont, and the churches of Notre Dame de la Croix, St Georges and St Joseph des Nations in Paris. His discography includes a recording of organ music by the Czech Josef Klicka, on the Alpha label: bringing the work of this unjustly neglected composer to public attention has been a substantial element in his career.
His compositions include the oratorio La Passion à Menilmontant as well as much solo organ music, some of which is published by Fagus in Scotland and Delatour. He is currently working on a series of compositions inspired by Paul Claudel’s poems on the Stations of the Cross. Michel is a frequent visitor to England and has played at Salisbury Cathedral (where he improvised a 44-minute Symphonic Suite in four movements before an enthralled audience of young organists), Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and, most recently, at Westminster Cathedral, where he played a set of improvisations during a Sunday evening Mass. He has also played in Germany and the Czech Republic, where he gave the final concert of the Organ Festival of Eastern Europe in the Basilica of Olomouc, as well in his native France.
In 2006, Michel was decorated by the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris, receiving the Gold Medal of St Gregory for his outstanding services to church music over nearly forty years.In 2015, he received the decoration "Chevalier des Arts et Lettres".
Michel Estellet-Brun is organiste emérite of St-Joseph-des-Nations.

Organ works

(Description by Michel Estellet-Brun himself)

1. Poème des Rameaux [6.333 KB]
Rameau’s poem improvisation - this work shows the incompatibility of the two aspects of Celebration into one, which in fact should be two distinct Celebrations 1), the ovation for the incoming Christ into Jerusalem 2) the reading of the Passion evoking his crucifixion, the promiscuity of both these aspects always disturbed me.
Improvisation - cette oeuvre montre l'incompatibilité de deux aspects de Célébration en une seule qui, en fait devraient faire l'objet de deux Célébrations distinctes 1) , L'ovation pour le Christ entrant dans Jérusalem 2) Lecture de la Passion qui évoque sa crucifixion, la promiscuité de ces deux aspects m'a toujours perturbé.

2. Cantilène [3.415 KB]
Improvisation - work of tenderness dedicated to my wife Françoise.
Improvisation - oeuvre de tendresse dédiée à mon Epouse Françoise.

3. Verset [2.291 KB] Yseult
Improvised on this theme as a commentary on a Psalm and dedicated it to my aunt Denise (now defunct) who loved Wagner.
Improvisé sur ce thème en commentaire d'un Psaume et dédié à ma Tante Denise ( aujourd'hui disparue ) qui aimait Wagner.

4. Communion de l'Assomption [3.745 KB]
Assumption communion, improvisation - my intimate prayers cater mostly to the Virgin Mary, work dedicated to Norma, the mother of my friend David Adkins as a token of my deep Affection.
Improvisation - mes prières intimes s'adressent le plus souvent à la Vierge Marie , oeuvre dédiée à Norma , la maman de mon Ami David Adkins en témoignage de ma profonde Affection .

5. à Patrick [5.741 KB]
Improvisation transcribed, created at the request of parents whose children died by "autolysis", which has been the subject of one CD containing 9 pieces based on their names translated by their musical theme, others will be transcribed.
Improvisation retranscrite , oeuvre créée à la demande de parents dont les enfants sont décédés par " autolyse " a fait l'objet d'un CD comprenant 9 pièces basées sur leur prénoms traduits par leur thème musical, d'autres seront retranscrites .

6. Improvisation lors des obsèques I [12.235 KB]
6. Improvisation lors des obsèques II [3.316 KB]
6. Improvisation lors des obsèques III [15.792 KB]
Funeral – three improvisations
1) Marie-Thérèse reparaît
2) Offertoire Resurrexit
3) Au revoir Marie-Thérèse
This person with a cancer, great friend and parishioner of St.Joseph of Nations, died while me myself, suffering from the same disease, "escaped", the ceremony took place a few weeks after my operation, work marked by anxiety, fear, but also hope and deliverance, as evidenced by the Offertory Resurrexit.
Cette personne atteinte d'un cancer , grande amie et paroissienne de St.Joseph des Nations , est décédée alors que moi-même, atteint de la même maladie , j'en ai " réchappé " , la Cérémonie a eu lieu quelques semaines après mon Opération , oeuvre marquée par l'angoisse, la peur, mais aussi l'Espérance et la délivrance ,le Résurrexit de l'Offertoire en témoigne.

7. Poème de l'avent [13.057 KB]
Advent poem, transcribed improvisation - I lost my father at the age of 12, and all my life I searched for him, with time his image is sublimated, I talk about peace, a form of revolt and, of course, the Resurrection.
Improvisation retranscrite - j'ai perdu mon Père à l'âge de 12 ans , et toute ma vie je l'ai cherché, avec le temps son image s'est sublimée ,j'évoque la Paix, une forme de révolte et ,bien sûr , la Résurrection .

8. Communion carème [5.020 KB]
Lent communion, transcribed improvisation - waiting and silence before the hope of the next resurrection which Christ has promised us.
Improvisation retranscrite - l'Attente et le silence devant l'espoir de la prochaine résurrection que le Christ nous a promis .

9. In memoriam [16.131 KB]
Improvisation transcribed - in memory of Bernard Cordaillat, a faithful friend, student and seamless supporter, who died brutally by an accident.
Improvisation retranscrite - à la Mémoire de Bernard Cordaillat, fidèle ami,élève et soutient sans faille , brutalement disparu accidentellement .

10. Offertoire Défunts [4.161 KB]
Offertory of the deceased, transcribed improvisation - in memory of my mother rising to heaven during the ceremony of Pathway of the Cross: immense grief, revolt, but infinite appeasement.
Improvisation retranscrite - à la Mémoire de ma Mère montée au Ciel pendant la Cérémonie de Chemin de Croix : immense chagrin , révolte, mais apaisement infini .

11. Stephane [7.804 KB]
Improvisation transcribed (as Patrick), in memory of this child which died much too young!
Improvisation retranscrite (comme Patrick), en mémoire de cet enfant disparu bien trop jeune !

12. Eclips [13.632 KB]
'I witnessed the eclipse in 1999 in Paris, at the top of the Tower St. Jacques, exceptional spectacle, the wind rises, the temperature drops suddenly, the colors of the sky and lighting of buildings, the entire environment changes suddenly through the color night blue, dark red, life in the streets slowed, human beings froze at the site, a spectacle of apocalypse! Before diving into a disturbing night, a huge black circle takes the place of the sun who faints, anxiety is felt everywhere, and then, a few minutes later, a trickle of light appears, it is there that one takes consciousness of our fragility and this "Ariadne's thread" which allows the miracle of life.
A few days later, a friend with whom I visit the organ of St.Joseph, placed on the pupitre a panoramic photograph of the upsetting show of this Eclipse, it was, for me, an intense emotion, I'm 'gone' on this improvised work and creates this diptyque that ends with an explosion of life, as a resurrection.'
J'ai assisté à l'éclipse en 1999 à Paris , perché en haut de la Tour ST.Jacques , spectacle exceptionnel , le vent se lève , la température ambiante baisse brutalement , les couleurs du ciel et l'éclairage des immeubles , de tout l'environnement se modifie brutalement en passant par la couleur bleue nuit, rouge sombre , la vie dans les rues ralenti , les êtres se figent sur place , bref , un spectacle d'apocalypse ! avant de plonger dans une nuit inquiétante , un énorme rond noir prend la place du soleil qui s'évanouit , l'angoisse se ressent partout , puis ,quelques minutes plus tard , un filet de lumière apparait , c'est là que l'on prend conscience de notre fragilité et de ce " fil d'Ariane " qui permet le miracle de la vie. Quelques jours plus tard , un ami à qui je faisais visiter l'orgue de St.Joseph , plaça sur le lutrin une photographie panoramique du spectacle bouleversant de cette éclipse , ce fût ,pour moi, une intense émotion , je suis " parti " sur cette oeuvre improvisée ,et réalisé ce diptyque qui s'achève par une explosion de vie ,comme une résurrection .