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.

The samples do not require any voicing
To my great surprise, I didn't have to voice any sample to adjust the sound to the living room. The samples show a fascinating church organ with a volume that is not too loud for the living room, but with the right proportions between the registers, as they sound in the church.

             Jiri Zurek has created the ideal sample set

Mild, intensely poetic sound

The characteristic of the French Baroque organ is a mild, intensely poetic sound. The Montre register has a basic tone that sounds in good balance with the singing overtones. In the plenum sound, the overtones interlock and form a polyphonic choral sound. The voices of basses, tenors, alten and sopranos are easy to follow. A relatively low wind pressure promotes the development of overtones and gives the plenum a beautiful vocal sound.

In a French Baroque organ, a lot of attention is paid to Flutes. Their velvety sound is present in all foot sizes and colors the sound in different combinations. The subtle characters of baroque Reeds sound in the refined French style.

I had to voice all sample sets on my organ, but that is unnecessary with this set. All registers of the organ in the church sound in the same proportions in the living room. Without having to make any adjustments !
Prytanée is the best sample set to play with the church sounds in the living room

For years I have voiced pipes in churches of the area between Freiberg and Dresden. I got to know the sounds of the Central German Baroque organs of Silbermann and Hildebrandt well. Johann Sebastian Bach made his compositions with these sounds. The sounds of the Prytanée sample set correspond well to the Central German sounds and the works of Bach come into their own.

Some organists played Bach on my organ and were enthusiastic that they could play a good rendition of Bach with these sounds. Comments on my website showed that more organists had already discovered this.

The organ of the sample set almost corresponds to the Couperin organ of the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. It was built in 1973 by Koenig in Alsace. He is known as an honest craftsman, who is well versed in the world of the old French organs. The style of the organ was chosen by Ewald Kooiman and Frans C. Stam. They were looking for an organ of a type that we do not know in the Netherlands. An organ in the style of the French Baroque turned out to be an important addition to Dutch organ ownership.

For the same reason, the Prytanée sample set is of extraordinary importance, to add an organ style that is not present in any other 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 like the Positif with a milder base. The Echo keyboard repeats it with tones that sound far away. According to French usage, the theme can be played alternately at the Grand Orgue or with the Cornet on the Récit. The idiom of sounds is related to the Southern German Baroque.
Bourdon          8'
Prestant         4'
Cornet           III
Cromorne        8'
Cornet            V
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. René Descartes studied here.

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.