All organ builders
who worked in Paris before the revolution
The organ builders of the 17th century
Crespin Carlier (1560-1640) worked until 1600 in the southern
Netherlands and came to Paris in 1631. Among his pupils were
Valéran De Héman (his son-in-law) and Pierre Thierry, his successor in
Paris. In 1635 Carlier and Thierry worked together on the organ of St
Nicolas-des-Champs. He and Jan and Matthijs Langhedul developed
the basis of the French classical organ.
De Héman was a dynasty of French organ builders, founded by
Valéran De Héman (1584- 1641). He was a pupil and son-in-law of
Crespin Carlier. He was one of the greatest French organ builders of
the first half of the 17th century. Pierre Thierry, Pierre Pescheur and
François Ducastel were among his pupils. Valéran’s nephews François
De Héman (1608-1652), Jean De Héman (1603-1660) and Louis De
Héman (1601–1644) worked together. François and Jean built a new
organ at St Médard (1648) and St Merry (1650). They were associated
with, among others, Pierre Désenclos (xxxx-1668).
Nicolas Pescheur (??-1616) founded a dynasty of French organ
builders working in Paris during the 17th century. He probably
learned his skills from (among others) Jan Langhedul and Carlier. His
son Pierre (1590-1637) continued his activities in the Parisian region.
He learned his skills from (among others) his father and Valéran De
Héman. The organs at Aubervilliers (1630, still present) and St
Etienne-du-Mont at Paris (1636) were his greatest instruments. He
worked also on the organ of St-Leu-Saint-Gilles and Saint-Gervais (his
voix humaine can still be heard there ). With his teacher, De Héman,
he founded the classical Parisian school of organ building. His most
prominent pupil was Pierre Desenclos.
The first generation of Parisian organ builders ended with the death of
Pescheur (1637), Carlier (1638) and De Héman (1640). More
Photo’s: St Médard - St Merry - St Etienne-du-Mont