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Charles-René Collin

St-Brieuc 1827 - St-Brieuc 1911

Organist, Cavaillé-Coll great organ in St. Brieuc Cathedral (1854-1911)

A friend of Cavaillé-Coll from the very beginning, Collin was one of Lefébure-Wely's very few organ pupils. A privileged witness of the world of the organ in Paris in the middle of the century (he left us his lively and informative "Souvenirs artistiques", a splendid evocation of an era of great aesthetic debates) he remained one of the great figures of music in Brittany throughout the second half of the XIXth Century.

His talent and taste made him the classic example of the stability of provincial musicians who don't try to go against the omnipresent influence of the capital, but through force of character and a solid education, manage to breath fresh air into their country's music. For example, Collin's publications which included Breton popular songs, enchanted Franck and Guilmant. We imagine that the presence of a Parisian master at the inauguration of a great organ in the provinces was not enough to give it standing in the long term. However, even though the catalogue of music by provincial musicians doubtless may not be as prestigious as that of the "standard" composers, we must always give a thought to these artists, who were often more devoted and certainly more obscure, who demonstrated - in much greater quantity than their counterparts in the capital - the tones of the master organ builder.

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