History

Facteurs d’orgues de Notre-Dame-de-Paris
1402 : Frederic Schambantz
1415 : Jean Chahancel
1458: Jean Bourdon
1476 Jean Robelin
1540: Pasquier Bauldry
1564 : Nicolas Dabenei
1609 et 1620 : Valeran de Hewn
1636 et 1646: Pierre Thierry
1672 : Jacques Carouge
1691: Alexandre Thierry, Hippolyie Ducastel
1699 : Jean Bessart
1733 : Francois Thierry
1783: Francois-henri Clicquot
1812 : Pierre-Francois Dallery
1838 : Louis-Paul Dallery
1868 et 1894 : Aristide Cavaille-Coll
1904 : Charles Mutin
1932 : Societe Cavaille-Coll, Joseph Beuchet
1963 : Jean Hermann
1966: Robert Boisseau
1975 : Jean-Loup Boisseau
1992 : Jean-Loup Boisseau, Bertrand Cattiaux, Philippe Emeriau, Michel Giroucl, Societe Synaptel
2012 et 2014 : Bertrand Cattiaux, Pascal Quoirin

Les grandes orgues de Notre-Dame de Paris
Since 1402, the best French organ builders have, one after the other, contributed to the making of a singular instrument, directly above the West rose window, that, from time immemorial, has been the subject of admiration by organists, worshippers and the public

Rarely has an instrument been composed of so many successive strata. The single-keyboard medieval organ was unchanged until Heman added a second board, then a third one in a back positive. In 1733, Thierry upgraded the instrument to 47 stops over five keyboards and built the large buffet we can still admire today. Then Clicquot rebuilt the back positive. During the French Revolution, the fleurs de lys decorating the buffet were destroyed by axes, but the organ itself escaped destruction. Upon completion of the cathedral's restoration, Viollet-le-Duc asked Cavaille-Coll to rebuild the instrument. The genius organ builder took advantage of a change in the architect's plans, that resulted in the removal of Clicquot's positive bullet during the works, to give free rein to his imagination and create a never before attempted sound palette: based on the combinations of specific stops (harmonics, transfers, complete families of reed pipes), Notre-Dame's organ became a unique example of organ building. Various dismantling operations proved unavoidable at the turn of the 20th century. From 1963, at the instigation of Cochereau, Cavaillé-Colls Barker machines were replaced by an electric notes action, and a newly installed console. The sound part would evolve to fit in with a modern world while, at the same time, retaining its classical colours. But once again, time got the better of the instrument's condition and, out or breath, it required significant works, carried out between 1990 and 1992 by the companies Boisseau-Cattiaux, Emeriau and Giroud, in association with the company Synaptel who would produce the computer transmission. In 2012 and 2014, the renovation carried out by Cattiaux and Quoirin workshops brought together, as in the previous cases, the secular tradition of organ building and the most advanced technologies. At the crossroads between past and future, the great organ of Notre-Dame is now and more than ever an incredible instrument whose 7952 pipes and their multiple colours resonate through the arches to the great joy of thousands of listeners who hear it during the services and concerts.

Source: Inauguration brochure, Notre-Dame-de-Paris, 2014