Bourdon          8'
Prestant          4'
Flûte a biberon 4'
Nasard       2 2/3'
Doublette        2'
Tierce        1 3/5'
Larigot       1 1/3'
Fourniture       III
Cymbale          II
Cromorne         8'
Bourdon         16'
Flûte               8'
Flûte               4'
Trompette        8'
Clairon            4'
Sounds of Prytanée compared to sounds of Cavaillé Coll

Nowadays, French sounds are often synonymous with organs by Cavaillé Coll. He gave his pipes a high wind pressure, which made the sound stronger but also poorer. The character of the tone changes and multiple registers are needed to hear the original character. According to Jan Jongepier, four registers are needed to replace the Montre: Bourdon for the fundamental tone, Flûte Harmonique presence in the treble, Viola for the overtones and a Montre for a powerful tone. In the Netherlands, Cavaillé Coll's ideas were mainly used by Christian Gottlieb Friederich Witte.

In the age of the baroque, the sound of an organ was aimed at accompanying the choral singing and thus the pipes were given a vocal character. In addition to a moderately strong tonic, a good development of the overtones was necessary to get a vocal sound. The North German Baroque was aimed at the vowel sound of a male choir. The southern preference was wider, the vowel sound included basses, tenors, alt and sopranos. Gottfried Silbermann exaggerated the overtones, but his pupil Zacharias Hildebrandt had a better understanding and found the best relationship between tonic and overtones. A prerequisite sound rich of overtones is a low wind pressure for the pipes.

Many of the pipe organs I built were destined for a living room. I gave the organs a low wind pressure for a sound rich of overtones with a mild volume. When I installed the sample set of Prytanée I was immediately enthusiastic, because the sound character was completely similar to the Central German organs. Mild singing tones with a vocal character.

                                       Jiri  Zurek  has  created  the  ideal  sample  set

Relaxed and colorful sounds

All sample sets contain sounds with the loud volume for a church and must be adapted to the living room on the Hauptwerk organ. However, the organ of the Prytanée sample set is an exception. The wind pressure here is so low that it corresponds to the wind pressure for a pipe organ in the living room. Due to the spacious acoustics of this French church on the Loire, a low wind pressure is still sufficient to make all tones sound with sufficient loudness. In Italy that is the norm for all churches. Every church is built in such a way that the acoustics are excellent. Therefore, the wind pressure of the organs can remain low, creating overtone-rich and relaxed sounds.

The sample set is intended for a living room and because the volumes are already at the level of the living room, I found that the sounds did not need to be adapted to the living room. Very striking, because every other set needs good intonation. Initially I played all registers and enjoyed the relaxed sounds in each register combination.

Despite the beautiful sounds, I still wanted to know whether the richness of sound could be improved by voicing. The result was surprising, the characters of the sounds came out even more clearly. All the details of addressing and colorful tone formation came into their own even better and the sounds from the loudspeakers did not differ from the sounds from my pipe organ.

House pipe organs always have a wooden Stopped Diapson 8' with the response and clear tones of a Recorder. They sound beautiful in a living room. There is not one sample set that can represent that in a comparable way. With the exception of this Prytanée organ; every time I play this organ I like to play with these sounds called here Bourdon.
My working method is described in detail in my book Sounds in the Living Room

Prytanée is the best sample set to sound a church organ in the living room. The recordings are sublimely stored in the samples and prove the craftsmanship of Jiri Zurek (Sonus Paradisi).

The sounds of the Prytanée organ have the same character as the Middle German Baroque organs of Gottfried Silbermann and Zacharias Hildebrandt. During my studies in the Silbermann-environmentin the Erzgebirge I got to know all the organs well and learned how to voice a Silbermann sound or a Hildebrandt sound. With voicing the samples of the Prytanée organ, these sounds do not differ much from the Middle German Baroque organs.

The organ of the sample set corresponds almost entirely to the Couperin organ of the VU University in Amsterdam. It was built in 1973 by Koenig in Alsace. He is known as an honest craftsman, who is well introduced to the world of old French organs.
Ewald Kooiman and Frans C. Stam chose a French Baroque organ as a counterpart to the North German Baroque style. Ewald Kooiman recorded all of Bach's works and looked for the best organ for each work of Bach.

For the same reason, the Prytanée sample set is of extraordinary importance, adding an organ style not present in any sample set.
On the Grand Orgue keyboard, the Montre 8', Prestant 4', Doublette 2' and the Fourniture 4 st. with a sparkling plenum sound. That also sounds on the Positive with a milder base. The Echo keyboard repeats with tones that sound far away.
According to French custom, the theme can be played alternately on the Grand Orgue or with the five-strong Cornet on the Récit.
The idiom of the sounds is closely related to the sounds of the Middle German Baroque.

Cornet            V


Bourdon            8'
Prestant           4'
Cornet             III
Cromorne         8'
Grand Orgue
Bourdon        16'
Montre           8'
Prestant         4'
Flûte              4'
Doublette       2'
Quarte           2'
Nazard      2 2/3'
Tierce       1 3/5'
Flageolet        1'
Fourniture      IV
Cymbale        III
Cornet            V
Trompette       8'
Clairon           4'
Voix Humaine  8'
Prytanée - French Baroque organ        Levasseur-Dangeville Orgel (1640, 1772)

The Church of Saint Louis was consecrated in 1621 as part of a Prytanée; a college for the training of the court of the French Royal Family. Later it became a famous French military university. It is located in La Fleche on the Loire.

The organ cabinet was made in 1638 by Pierre Frileux and Pierre Cornet. In 1640 Ambroise Levasseur built an organ in the richly decorated cabinet. Jean Dangeville was commissioned in 1772 to expand the organ and he lived in the college for six months to carry out the job. Dangeville added a Trumpet to the Manual and he built the Echowork. Now the organ had 30 registers divided between four manuals and the pedal organ.

In the course of the 19th century, the organ got a number of modifications. An inventory in 1927 found that the number of registers differed considerably from the 18th-century specification. A Salicional was placed on the Grand Orgue and a Hautbois was added to the Positif. The Récit and Echo were completely removed. The organ builder Victor Gonzales worked on the organ between 1935-1963, in order to restore it to its original state as much as possible.

The complete restoration of the instrument finally took place in 1992-1996. Organ builders Benoist and Sarelot painstakingly brought the instrument back to its baroque state. The voicing was performed by Jean-Pierre Conan. About a third of the pipes are original, dating back to 1640. The original pitch of A=392 Hz was restored and the organ was tuned Werckmeister III.