Miracle at Notre Dame: The organ is completely undamaged

Here’s a first survey report from Orgues Quoirin:

Very good news from the great organ of Notre Dame

After two hours of examination of the instrumental part 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 piping and all the electronic components.

In a fortnight we will be able to put the organ back in order to be able to make a more detailed diagnosis, in particular on the state of the sommiers, 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, plan by plan and play the organ regularly. And finally, dismantle the confinement when the vault will be rebuilt, and tune it.

Très bonnes nouvelles du grand orgue de Notre Dame
Après deux heures d’examen de la partie instrumentale je n’ai constaté aucun dégâts qui aurait pu être causé par l’incendie. Simplement de la poussière, une poussière propre brun clair un peu comme du sable, poussière sèche non collante.

Il y avait un thermomètre à memoire à l’intérieure de l’instrument, il indique une température de 17 degrés le jour de l’incendie. Donc aucune dégradation de la tuyauterie et de tous les composants electroniques.

Dans une quinzaine de jours nous pourrons remettre l’orgue en fonction pour pouvoir faire un diagnostic plus approfondi,notamment sur l’état des sommiers, mais franchement je suis très optimiste.

L’idéal sera de confiner l’orgue dans une cage bien étanche et climatisée. Puis fair le dépoussiérage, plan par plan et jouer l’orgue régulièrement. Et enfin, démonter le confinement lorsque la voûte sera reconstruite, et l’accorder.

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  • “Sommiers” is wind chests. “L’accorder” is “tune it”. I’m a little confused by the 17° finding but perhaps that was the temperature before the fire spread. At any rate, this is great news.

  • In case anyone else is wondering, I looked it up, and a sommier is (in the case of an organ) a wind chest.

  • Very good and surprising news indeed. Also, lovely literal translation of a “false friend” – i’m going to call l’accordeur soon, to have my piano granted!

  • Indeed good news! However, for the choir organ there are (unsurprisingly) serious doubts whether it can be recovered besides the pipes.

  • “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 piping and all the electronic components.”

    Another possibility: the thermometer was either damaged or never worked to begin with.

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