Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Notre Dame Cathedral welcomes Belcanto on July 4 at 11 am for a special recital

Notre Dame Cathedral, or Notre Dame de Paris, is for many the most important church in all of Paris, and it stands as the official chair of the Archdiocese of Paris. How fitting that the first performance in France's capital city for Belcanto will take place here on Friday, July 5, at 11 am. The 100+ voice touring choir under the direction of Mr. Bruce Koliha will be the featured guest performers for an exclusive recital at the main altar. 

The Notre Dame Cathedral is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothis architecture in France and throughout Europe. It was one of the very first Gothic cathedrals, and its construction spanned the entire Gothic period. Its sculptures and stained glass windows show a heavy influence of naturalism, unlike that of the earlier Romanesque architecture.

The cathedral suffered extensive desecration during the radical phase of the French Revolution in the 1790s, during which much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. An extensive restoration project was completed in the 19th century, returning the cathedral to its original state.

Although several organs have been installed in the cathedral throughout its existence, many were inadequate for the size and acoustical structure of the building. The current organ, installed in the 19th century, is the master work of Aristide Cavaille-Coll. This organ boasts 7,800 pipes, 900 of them classified as historical, 111 stops, five 56-key manuals, and a 32-key pedal board. A two-year restoration of the instrument was completed in 1992, making the organ completely computerized under three local area networks.
The Notre Dame Cathedral bell towers house five bells. The great bourdon bell, Emmanuel, is located in the south tower, weighs just over 13 tons, and tolls to mark the hours of the day and various special occasions. On the night of August 24, 1944, as the Ile de la Cite was taken by an advance column of French and Allied armored troops and elements of the Resistance, it was the tolling of the Emmanuel that alerted the city that liberation was under way.

Photos courtesy of Wikipedia and Superstock.com

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