The project approved by the Foundation Council of the Notre Dame Basilica, according to the proposal of the Organ Commission, is based on the following criteria:
An instrument adapted to the liturgy, which thus corresponds to the primary vocation of the organ, a liturgical instrument par excellence, but also an instrument in harmony with the history and the architecture of the church. It recalls the instrument of Joseph Anton Mooser, which in its turn was influenced by the organ builders of Alsace at the end of the 18th century. The style of the case is marked by the simplicity and austerity of the late Louis XVI style, the style which inspired the restoration of 1753.
This is a style of organ which would be well placed in the organo-musical landscape of Fribourg, and would add to the diversity of the organs of the city. This project is inspired by the instruments of the builder Johann Andreas Silbermann (1712-1783), the last representative of a long and celebrated line of organ builders, whose instruments are particularly well-suited to the execution of French and German music of the 17th and 18th centuries.
The organ builder
The organ builder chosen for the construction of this instrument is the Manufacture Blumenroeder, under the young organist and organ builder Quentin Blumenroeder, at Haguenau, in Alsace. The Blumenroeder workshop has a wide experience in the restoration of Silbermann instruments, as well as in the construction of new instruments, with the latest being the organ of Charolles in Burgundy.
The composition of the organ
II Grand Orgue
Bourdon 16’ | Montre 8’ | Bourdon 8’ | Prestant 4’ | Quinte 2’ 2/3 | Doublette | Tierce 1’ 3/5 | Fourniture | Cymbale | Cornet 5 rgs | Trompette 8’ | Clairon 4’ | Voix humaine 8’ | Tremblant général
I Positif de dos
Bourdon 8’ | Prestant 4’ | Flûte 4’ | Nazard | Doublette | Tierce | Larigot | Cymbale | Cromorne
Bourdon 8’ | Salicional 8’ | Prestant 4 de Cornet | Cornet (dessus) 3rgs | Basson 8’ dessous | Trompette 8’ (dessus)
Soubasse 16’ | Octave 8’ | Octave 4’ | Trompette 8’ | Clairon 4’ | Basse de Posaun 16’
The keyboards will have 56 notes from low C to high G, and the pedal will hal 32 notes from low C to G. The whole instrument will be made according to the best practices of historical organ building. The harmonisation of the pipes will be done in collaboration with Jean-Marie Tricoteaux. The temperament will be taken from Silbermann, recently discovered on the positive organ of the Musée des Arts décoratifs in Strasbourg, with the tuning at A=415, common with instruments of the 18th century. The sumptuous sounds of Silbermann can thus be well reconstructed, but in order to avoid the problems with an organ of this type, a continuo organ, with transposable keyboards, will also be commissioned from the builders Frédéric Desmottes in Landete, Spain.