On April 14, Olivier Latry, “one of the three main organists at Notre-Dame … played the cathedral’s Grand Organ on Palm Sunday,” the day before a devastating fire in the Paris church, writes Alex Marshall in Thursday’s (4/24) New York Times. “On Tuesday, he was told that the organ was safe, albeit covered in dust. It may not sound exactly the same again, however, depending on how the cathedral is rebuilt…. The acoustics of the building were vital to the organ’s much-admired sound….. One of the reasons the organ is so impressive is that it has been renovated repeatedly … including adding electronics…. The organ loft at Notre-Dame is 84 steps above the cathedral’s entrance. It survived the fire with only minor damage thanks to being at the front of the cathedral beneath a stone roof, rather than beneath the 800-year-old wooden one that covered most of the building. And the roof above the organ is sloped, which meant water from firefighters’ hoses ran off it and also protected the instrument.” Notre-Dame organist Philippe Lefebvre stated, “The organ only needs to be cleaned and tuned. In maybe three, four years, we can reopen the church and play again.”

Posted April 24, 2019