Sainte Élisabeth

The Church

This former Franciscan convent chapel was dedicated to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary in 1646. It was constructed by architect Paul de Gonde. Its classic facade has both Doric and Ionic elements. During the reconstruction of the City under Napoleon III, the church lost its Chapel of the Virgin to make room for the Rue Turbigo. In the choir is a panel of Flemish wood sculptures from the beginning of the 17th century, coming from the former abbey of Saint-Vaast d'Arras.

Sainte Élisabeth

The organ

The organ of Sainte Élisabeth is built by Antoine Suret in 1852-1853 and was showed on the word exhibition of 1855 as an example of fine Parisian organ building. It won a first price, as is indicated on the organ case, which itself is very impressive. It is one of the few organs of this builder still present in Paris. The organ is charateristic for this (pre-romantic) period, with many reed stops (16 on 39), of which three are free: Euphone, Cor Anglais and the (nowadays missing) Hautbois of the Swell. It also houses a new stop: the Kéraulophone, invented by Gray & Davison (London, 1843). The organ was severly altered by G. Gutschenritter at the beginning of the 20th century (towards a more symphonic style) and in 1941-1955 (towards a more neo-classical style), but recontructed again into its original style in 1994-1999 by Giroud.

Sainte Élisabeth

Main builder History Latest restauration
1853 - Suret père et fils 19xx/1941/1955 - Gaston Gutschenritter
1976 - Philippe Hartman
1985 - Haerpfer
1994-1999 - Michel Giroud

III/39 - Mechanical traction

Titulaire: Christophe d'Alessandro

Concerts: regularly
Masses with organ: saturday 18.30, sunday 11.00

The 'traditional' organ

The organ of Suret is an organ with on one side many characteristics of the past centuries (reeds, cornet, plein jeu) and on the other side many innovations charateristic of the first half of the 19th century (with the exception of Barker machines, which were never installed).

Demonstration of the 'traditional' organ by Christophe d'Alessandro, organiste titulaire de la Ste Elisabeth:
Louis Couperin (1626-1661)
Prélude (grand plein jeu)
Fugue (fonds – nasard)
Fantaisie (grand jeu)
Auguste Bazille (1828-1891, first Titulaire of Sainte Élisabeth)
Souvenir de Dalila - Impromptu
Félix Foudrain (1880-1923, Titulaire of Sainte Élisabeth)
Offertoire from "Improvisations", 1905

The augmented organ

The organ of Ste Elisabeth is equipped with microphones inside the five works of the organ and loudspeakers behind the organ to enable a mix of the traditional organ sound with live electronical sounds. New technologies of processing audio and video real time are thus used to increase/modify the sound of an organ. The sound of the organ is captured, modified, and distributed in space in real time. The real and the virtual are mixed in the acoustic space of the church. The augmented organ is played by the organist (Christophe d’Alessandro, the organist titulaire of Ste Elisabeth) and by the musician that controls real-time processing and dissemination of the sound of the instrument (Markus Noissternig, computer music composer and electrical and audio engineer).

Explanation of the augmented organ
Explication de l’orgue augmentée
Erklärung über die Klanginstallation

Improvisation (organ and live electronics) 1
Improvisation (organ and live electronics) 2
Improvisation (organ and live electronics) 3

Specific links:
About the organ
About the augmented organ