Belgian building chest organ for Notre-Dame of Paris


About a year ago, Johan Deblieck from Lennik in Flemish Brabant was quite surprised when Paris called him with a request to build a new chest organ for the fire-ravaged Notre-Dame.

Who does not remember the terrible images of the fire that razed the roof of Gothic Notre-Dame to ashes on Monday 15 April 2019, among other things? The celebration tower broke down before the eye of the camera. Many treasures suffered heavy smoke and water damage. The two largest organs were spared, but a chest organ was in need of replacement. That is a small, light, easily tuned and transportable organ that accompanies singing.
Johan Deblieck ranks among the world's top organ builders. Chest organs are his speciality; he already has 180 of them to his name. It has over 200 pipes, is 1.25 m wide, 1.15 m high and 0.75 m deep. In total, he will work on it for three months. It is scheduled to go to Paris in October so that the general public can enjoy this handcrafted instrument, which has a pure beauty of sound despite its limited size and weight, when the cathedral reopens on 8 December.
The man has more than 30 instruments in Paris at various rental offices and recently one of his chest organs was tested at Notre-Dame with a professional singing choir. The result was stunning and the commission for an organ immediately followed. Naturally, he is proud and honoured!