Église du Très-Saint-Nom-de-Jésus
Titular Organist in Residence: Alexander Straus-Fausto
The organ in the stunningly beautiful Très-Saint-Nom-de-Jésus Church, built by Casavant Frères, is one of the most respected organs in the world, and one of the most beautiful in North America, and featured in the film C.R.A.Z.Y. It is still one of the best in North America, and has been used released for recordings by organists including, Philip Crozier, Sylvie Poirier, Roberta Gray, and John Grew. The acoustics of the church are also said to be among the finest in the world, with music recorded by Orchestre Metropolitan under Yannick Nezet-Seguin.
At the time of its completion in 1915, this organ was the sixth largest in North America and the largest in Montreal. Today it is still classified among the largest instruments. The sound is typical of the larger instruments built by Casavant at that time, reflecting both the influence of the 19th- century French symphonic organ and the Anglo-American aesthetics trend. The case was designed by architect Joseph H. Caron, built by the Louis Caron & Fils firm of Nicolet, and painted on site under the supervision of Toussaint-Xénophon Renaud (who was in charge of the church decoration). Praised by many as the loudest, most thrilling and the finest organ in Montreal, it boasts a total of 120 ranks, and nearly 7000 pipes with only 11 ranks fewer than the largest pipe organ in Canada and 24 ranks fewer than the organ of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. It has all the fire, glory, and that big majestic powerful sound similar to organs built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll.
Lynnwood Farnam (1885-1930), the greatest Canadian organist of the time, played the TSNJ organ on July 5, 1915, and the next day he wrote to the Casavant brothers: "I played your organ opus 600 yesterday in the large church of Maisonneuve. I want to write to you to tell you the pleasure that I took there ... I will add only that the balance and the smoothness of execution are everywhere apparent." In 1924, organ-builder Henry Willis III (Who's company built the organs of St. Paul's Cathedral, Royal Albert Hall, Salisbury Cathedral, Westminster Cathedral and many more in the UK) toured Canada and the United States and visited the Casavant brothers, who showed him some of their organs. He wrote the following in a report on his visit: "The organ that gave me the greatest pleasure, and which I consider to be the masterpiece of Casavant, is that of the Church of Très-St. Nom-de-Jesus, Maisonneuve, Montreal." This organ continues to be a model of excellence that Montreal is extremely fortunate to possess.
Mass is held Sunday at 9:30, 4215 Rue Adam, Montreal.
Photo credit to L'Atelier d'hitsoire Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisoneuve-Maisonneuve.
Alexander can help you prepare your own personalized program of music for your wedding celebration.
Sunday Organist and beyond:
• Liturgical organist
Par Georges Dutil.