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Some words from Olivier Latry:

Dear all,

In these tragic times for the Cathedral, you have been extremely numerous to send me words of support, more moving than the others res, either by e-mail, SMS, FaceBook, Instagram or by calling.

I will never thank you for that. I would have liked to be able to respond personally to each of you, but given the urgency of the situation, it is unfortunately not possible for me, at least for the moment. I hope you will not hold me against it.

Our Lady, who had resisted revolutions and wars, went up in smoke in a few moments. 855 years missing in four hours ... Like you, I feel an enormous sadness, anger contained, a total dejection. The images that are given to us to see are atrocious. How not to believe in a bad dream? Reality catches us unfortunately hard.

Despite all the damage to the Cathedral, the organ miraculously escaped the flames, and also the water supposed to extinguish them. It is very dusty, but can continue to move us as soon as its case has regained its magnificence. When? No one knows it today. "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it. Is it said in the Gospel of St. John. It will surely take more time in Notre-Dame, but I have confidence and hope.

With all my friendly thoughts.

Olivier Latry

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3 hours ago, Barry Oakley said:

Some words from Olivier Latry:

Dear all,

In these tragic times for the Cathedral, you have been extremely numerous to send me words of support, more moving than the others res, either by e-mail, SMS, FaceBook, Instagram or by calling.

I will never thank you for that. [...]

With all my friendly thoughts.

Olivier Latry

He actually said, "I will never thank you enough for that."

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10 hours ago, contraviolone said:

That is amazing!  

 

It is. Looks from that photo as if case and pipes will need a good cleaning but no doubt the mighty beast will roar again in the not too distant future. Deo Gratias.

Dave

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14 hours ago, Paul Isom said:

This has just popped up on social media - the first photo of the organ after the fire.  It’s really quite remarkable.

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Excellent news. 

Presumably, funds will be found from all the generous contributions for restoration of the cathedral to ensure a full cleaning and any other work needed to make the organ sing again.

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M. Macron has said that Notre Dame will be rebuilt within five years and, I have a suspicion that he will ensure that this is achieved if only for his own political ends! I think what concerns me is the way it will be restored. Our village church has just spent two years being restored. It is an ancient building, a Templar church, nearly 1000 years old and, living within 500 yards of it, I have to have specific  permission to rebuild or even replace any building on my property. The restoration is now complete and I would have thought that our, twice yearly, Mass might resume - but the doors remain firmly locked on a Sunday. There was a funeral the other day and I attended the Mass! English heritage would have a fit! Plaster had been chipped off the walls and replaced with new plaster and then somebody, very carefully, had painted the new plaster white and drawn red lines all over it to simulate stonework. The outside of the building was cleaned - not with high pressure water but with a industrial electric sander, thereby removing a substantial amount of the already quite soft stone. The ancient door has been painted a nasty colour of brown rather than be carefully restored. And it is like that all over France and not only in little village churches.  My daughter was in Chartres cathedral some time ago - they were cleaning the stone in the choir! Actually they weren't cleaning it - they were painting it - white! She was horrified.

There was a discussion some time ago concerning the new console at Notre Dame and many members thought it not to be in keeping with the architecture of the building. Be prepared for some interesting developments at Notre Dame. The French idea of restoration is very different from what you would be allowed to do in the UK. 

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SL's post reminded me of a not completely unrelated situation which exists in the UK.  If your land is current or former Glebe Land (that owned by the CofE where the incumbent was a Rector rather than a Vicar) then you might well have (possibly unbeknown to yourself) what is called Chancel Repair Liability, where the PCC has the right to come to you for all or part of the money for restoration or repair of the east end of the building.  At the same time you would have no right of input into what work is planned or actually carried out - your function is just to fund it.  And if this sounds academic, it isn't.  This legislation has real teeth, as evidenced by a case in the early 2000's which bankrupted a couple who tried to fight it in the civil courts.  So if you live in an old rectory, or in a road with a name such as Parsonage Close, Glebe Road, etc, then watch out!

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The photos of the Grand Organ suggest that it's only a bit sooty. However we should not forget that with fire burning on the nave floor, it will have got a bit warmer than it would normally be used to, so there may be unseen heat damage. It's early days yet and the surveyors, architects and engineers are still working out how to repair the building. However there is still the possibility of further damage if the organ is not protected. The building has great holes in the roof and, although sheltered between the towers, the organ is in a space that is essentially open to the elements. Also the reconstruction of the building will create large quantities of dust which need to be kept away from the instrument. 

Does anyone know the condition of the choir organ? I seem to remember reading somewhere that it had been "well watered" by the firefighters trying to preserve the woodwork of the choir.

Olivier Latry is keeping busy with his other work while NDP is out of action. He's playing at Southwark Cathedral on 9th May and has a Proms billing on 4 August.

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Some news about the organ of Notre Dame de Paris today from organ builders Pascal Quoirin:

“After two hours of examination of the instrument I did not notice any damage that could have been caused by the fire.  Simply dust, a clean, light brown dust a bit like sand, non sticky dry dust. There was a thermometer with memory inside the instrument, it indicates a temperature of 17 degrees the day of the fire.  So no degradation of the pipes or all the electronic components. In a fortnight we will be able to turn the organ on to be able to make a more detailed diagnosis, in particular on the state of the wind chests, but frankly I am very optimistic.
The ideal will be to confine the organ in a well sealed and air-conditioned cage.  Then do the dusting, rank by rank and play the organ regularly.  And finally, dismantle the cage when the building restoration is complete and tune it.”

The fact that the temperature appears to have remained stable while the fire was raging above the vaulting is astonishing.

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At St George’s Hall today Ian Tracey announced that there is to be a recital in aid of Notre Dame to be given by David Briggs at Liverpool Cathedral on Saturday 29th June at 7.30 pm.  The programme includes David Briggs’ own transcriptions of Pierre Cochereau’s improvisations.   See organrecitals.com for the full programme.

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6 hours ago, Rowland Wateridge said:

At St George’s Hall today Ian Tracey announced that there is to be a recital in aid of Notre Dame to be given by David Briggs at Liverpool Cathedral on Saturday 29th June at 7.30 pm.  The programme includes David Briggs’ own transcriptions of Pierre Cochereau’s improvisations.   See organrecitals.com for the full programme.

That looks an excellent programme: music by organists of Notre Dame (Antoine Calviere, for anyone not in the know, was at Notre Dame 1730-1755). If by chance I find myself up that way I will go. One point of note, however, is that someone got Vierne's first name slightly wrong.....

Dave

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