RCA Records issued a fabulous recording of band organs in 1975,
entitled "The Great French Carousel Organs," an album licensed
by Erato Records of France. This recording showcases the collections of Paul Bocuse and Marc Fournier, a remarkable assortment of 9 different band organs playing a fine variety of popular tunes in a naturally splendid atmosphere. Bocuse and Fournier started their collection more than 60 years ago, carefully restoring these instruments and perfecting their mechanical integrity of performance. The results, as recorded on this album, are nothing short of phenomenal, exhibiting all the power, joy and precision of the band organ's unique textures & voices.
A Splendid Sampler of Ebullient Tunes & Marvelously Preserved Instruments
The Gros Orgue Gaudin performs "Perles de Cristal," "Light Cavalry Overture," "The Thieving Magpie Overture," "William Tell Overture," "Jalousie," "Under the Double Eagle," and "Ain't She Sweet." This is a very large instrument which displays the formidable sound of quite a marvelous orchestra, offering wave upon wave of musical joy, mechanical precision and splendor of memorable character. The recording also features many varieties of Limonaire, Dussaux, Lemoine and Mortier mechanical instruments, each exhibiting its own delightful sonic signature so beautifully captured by the recording engineers. The Limonaire with 66 pipes plays "Valencia" in a remarkably upbeat and exuberant manner, showcasing its rather robust sound with beautifully integrated percussive effects. The Limonaire with 56 pipes and xylophone plays a lovely version of "Rose Marie," and the Mortier performs positively dazzling versions of "Boum" and "America (from West Side Story)."
Works of Art in Decoration, Wood-Carving & Colorful Ornamentation
The Limonaire with 52 pipes and xylophone exhibits three carved figures standing in front of the opening to the interior woodwork, flanked by drums, cymbal, decorative panels and a light color to the paint scheme. The Mortier reveals a nice set of red drums placed in front of wooden pipes with a neat Art Deco sign overhead. The Petit Limonaire offers a lovely painting on its front facade with drums encasing a set of pipes on its rather petite frame, while the Lemoine showcases its rich chestnut stained woodwork surrounding elaborate lettering, carvings and artwork. Many of these band organs also feature gilded lettering and ornamentation, attributes which allow these instruments to shine and glow when seen in the proper atmospheric condition.