Notre Dame Cathedral

Weedon’s Wanderings: 18th April 2019

The Cavaille-Col at Notre-Dame, Paris

Holding our breath in hope...

Hearing news of the fire at the cathedral of Notre-Dame rates as one of those ‘never to be forgotten’ moments for me, and many other organists I expect. In addition to the shock of seeing such a huge, iconic and ancient building going up in flames there was the sick-to-the-stomach fear for the organ it housed. The glorious Cavaille-Col is the stuff of organists’ dreams. Something about the awakening of its enormous lungs when it’s switched on, the background thrum of its circulation, and then the unique beauty of its singing voice. It seemed impossible that it would live through an inferno and flooding such as we witnessed. And yet it also seemed impossible that it would die so horribly and we’d never hear it alive again.

Aristide Cavaillé-Col (1811-1899) single-handedly changed the future of organ music through his highly individual...

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