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DaveHarries

Notre Dame

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I thought this might be of interest.

The Facebook page of the organbuilding workshop of Atelier Bertrand Cattiaux has this video showing some of the work to dismantle the organ of Notre Dame de Paris for the work of 1990-1992. I am guessing it won't be long before they start dismantling it once again for restoration work following last year's near disaster: hopefully within a few years the beast will roar again. Meantime the video from Cattiaux is at https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2614655468778918

Dave

 

 

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5 hours ago, DaveHarries said:

I thought this might be of interest.

The Facebook page of the organbuilding workshop of Atelier Bertrand Cattiaux has this video showing some of the work to dismantle the organ of Notre Dame de Paris for the work of 1990-1992. I am guessing it won't be long before they start dismantling it once again for restoration work following last year's near disaster: hopefully within a few years the beast will roar again. Meantime the video from Cattiaux is at https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2614655468778918

Dave

 

 

Just goes to show how dirty things can be when dismantling an organ!

I doubt though whether 'the beast will roar again' in a few years. Progress on restoring the cathedral is painfully slow, and the current pandemic will not help. 

I would be pleasantly surprised if everything is back to full operation even in ten years time.

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Super little video! I liked the bits where some of the large pedal pipes were being 'roped' over gallery down into the nave and you could see tourists still flocking around the side aisles. And also when the old console went over the side too! You don't realise how high up it all is until you either go into Notre Dame or see a video like this! No hard hats either!!

M. Macron's 'five years' was always optimistic and the current situation will have put a lot of pressure on that. Ten years may be a little pessimistic but I'll bet it is nearer the mark for when the 'monster' does roar again! We shall see!

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4 hours ago, S_L said:

Super little video! I liked the bits where some of the large pedal pipes were being 'roped' over gallery down into the nave and you could see tourists still flocking around the side aisles. And also when the old console went over the side too! You don't realise how high up it all is until you either go into Notre Dame or see a video like this! No hard hats either!!

M. Macron's 'five years' was always optimistic and the current situation will have put a lot of pressure on that. Ten years may be a little pessimistic but I'll bet it is nearer the mark for when the 'monster' does roar again! We shall see!

Ten years is optimistic. The French do not appear to be particularly adept at dealing with emergencies/restorations like this. I know it's not a fair comparison but the way York Minster was restored in its response to the fire shows what can be done. The general impression is that the French are not interested and the President of France is incompetent. 

It would also be asking too much for the Positif de Dos be restored as part of the project. The case for this has recently been restored to an excellent condition and was stored in the upper galleries. Hopefully the fire hasn't damaged this. Realising Pierre Cochereau's dream of the restored Positif de Dos with his ambitious proposal of an eighteen stop division is probably fanciful. But from a visual perspective at least the restoration would be welcome. Who knows, there may be some musical value to it as well.

All highly unlikely given current circumstances and the disinterest of the French people.

 

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As SL said, a fascinating video.  Thanks to Dave for posting the link.  I winced when they took a pair of pliers to the wiring looms emerging from the console and just chopped through them, especially as I've done the same thing myself from time to time.  Always seems sacrilegious somehow!  It reminded me, though, of something I often ponder on, which is how on earth did the old organ builders prior to the industrial revolution manage to achieve what they did?  Nothing other than horse power for transport beyond the church door, meaning that everything possible would have been done on site, either within the building or in huts outside in the church yard.  Many of the workforce probably lived there with their families as well until the job was done - commuting would have been unknown.  And only human muscle power for working winches - they might have used a man inside a wheel as when constructing the buildings themselves.  Many cathedrals still have those in the roof space today, so maybe they were pressed into service again for organ building purposes.  No steel scaffolding, just rickety wooden affairs.  And the difficulties of working during the short, dark, cold days of a north European winter with only candles for illumination.

Makes you think, and wonder at their achievements.

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2 hours ago, contraviolone said:

Ten years is optimistic. The French do not appear to be particularly adept at dealing with emergencies/restorations like this. I know it's not a fair comparison but the way York Minster was restored in its response to the fire shows what can be done. The general impression is that the French are not interested and the President of France is incompetent. 

All highly unlikely given current circumstances and the disinterest of the French people.

 

I have to say that there is a lot of this post that I don't agree with! 

Where do you get that the French people are not interested? It might be a slightly romantic view but I would say that Notre Dame is at the heart of the French nation!  And M. Macron is incompetent? 

I think there is a good deal more interest, from the French people, in the rebuilding of Notre Dame than there was in the UK after the fire at York Minster - or Windsor! True that within the French population there is a sizeable anti-religion group. My next door neighbour's wife said "Let it burn!" But he was in tears! Sizeable audiences attend the organ recitals on a Sunday afternoon, and up and down the country, far more than ever would in the UK and, whilst the French don't go to church they pack the place on August 15th or at Toussaint

 

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1 hour ago, Colin Pykett said:

As SL said, a fascinating video.  Thanks to Dave for posting the link.  I winced when they took a pair of pliers to the wiring looms emerging from the console and just chopped through them, especially as I've done the same thing myself from time to time.  Always seems sacrilegious somehow!  It reminded me, though, of something I often ponder on, which is how on earth did the old organ builders prior to the industrial revolution manage to achieve what they did?  Nothing other than horse power for transport beyond the church door, meaning that everything possible would have been done on site, either within the building or in huts outside in the church yard.  Many of the workforce probably lived there with their families as well until the job was done - commuting would have been unknown.  And only human muscle power for working winches - they might have used a man inside a wheel as when constructing the buildings themselves.  Many cathedrals still have those in the roof space today, so maybe they were pressed into service again for organ building purposes.  No steel scaffolding, just rickety wooden affairs.  And the difficulties of working during the short, dark, cold days of a north European winter with only candles for illumination.

Makes you think, and wonder at their achievements.

Must agree with everything you say. I would add that, not being good at heights, I found the precarious work so close to the tribune quite frightening. Standing in the nave and looking up the organ gallery is positioned at a great height, some would say too high for the organ to be at its most effective. But the way they were negotiating the pulley with all the heavy items - ugh!

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10 hours ago, S_L said:

I have to say that there is a lot of this post that I don't agree with! 

Where do you get that the French people are not interested? It might be a slightly romantic view but I would say that Notre Dame is at the heart of the French nation!  And M. Macron is incompetent? 

I think there is a good deal more interest, from the French people, in the rebuilding of Notre Dame than there was in the UK after the fire at York Minster - or Windsor! True that within the French population there is a sizeable anti-religion group. My next door neighbour's wife said "Let it burn!" But he was in tears! Sizeable audiences attend the organ recitals on a Sunday afternoon, and up and down the country, far more than ever would in the UK and, whilst the French don't go to church they pack the place on August 15th or at Toussaint

 

Sadly, I agree.  I have been to many organ recitals where I feel sad at the apparent lack of public interest, going by the size of the audience.  I may have mentioned before that I attended a recital in Cologne Cathedral several years ago when the place was literally packed, many having brought along camping chairs to sit in the aisles as the pews were full.  And, if I recall, that was a recital mainly of Messaien!

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These comments puzzle me, and this has been said before.  In normal circumstances (which don't exist at present) there can never have been so many organ recitals on offer around the country, and some do take place on Sunday afternoons, notably at St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral in London.  They also happen in some provincial and rural churches.  Paul Carr, for example, regularly plays on Sunday afternoons.  There are Sunday evenings at St Giles' Edinburgh, and one could go on.  The London Cathedrals and Abbey feature visiting organists, some from abroad, as well as the home team.  The provincial cathedrals mostly cannot compete as Evensong occurs in mid-afternoon on Sunday - usually the third choral service of the day with organ.  But there are regular weekday recitals in some, notably Chester, Coventry, Worcester, Hereford and Liverpool (the last two including Saturdays) just to name a few at random, and evening series at many others.  For those who can go, there are recitals every day in London.  Audiences at the regular recitals at Birmingham, Huddersfield and Leeds Town Halls, St George's Hall, Liverpool and Hull City Hall are usually respectably in the hundreds.  

The size of audiences and the success of the event will be governed by the attraction of the programmes - and the ability to attend which in turn depends on adequate publicity.  Some venues are, frankly, hopeless at doing this, and one sees recitals being announced shortly, sometimes only the day before they are to take place, and even sometimes on the day itself.

Anyone who looks at the excellent website of organrecitals.com run by Steve Smith should be in no doubt about what is available and, equally, everyone organising recitals should advertise them there - it's free! - as far in advance as possible. Audiences won't come unless they know.

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