Two big organ contests, in a tale of two cities

Eglise Saint Pierre des Chartreaux, Toulouse. Image: Didier Descouens Two European cities hold festivals devoted to the organ and its music this summer - each basing their festival around a major organ-playing competition. The Midi-Pyrénées region in the south of France is home to a multitude of organs of all styles and periods - Baroque, romantic, symphonic: around 370 organs at the last count, amongst which about 60 are government protected monuments historiques.  This region was the homeland of organ-builder dynasties of Cavaillé-Coll and Puget, and the collection of instruments in the capital city Toulouse alone…

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