Association of Friends of Rozay en Brie Historic Organ
(SEINE ET MARNE – FRANCE)
INAUGURATION OF THE 17th CENTURY RESTORED ORGAN
The unique and beautiful keyboards from the 17th century
After the outstanding restoration, conducted with utmost care and respect for the old instrument by Yves CABOURDIN, four ceremonies took place to celebrate with all essential splendor, this highly significant local event.
Yves Cabourdin : Rozay en Brie bestows on him the city’s official medal
First Concert by Michel CHAPUIS
Second Concert by Alain MABIT
Blessing of the organ
Tribute to Andrée DARAS, former principal organist
The mayor of Rozay en Brie, bestows upon the master organ builder the city’s official medal –march 20th, 1996
Yves Cabourdin (left) and Michel Bonnard
On March 20, 1996, when the splendid restoration had been completed by Yves CABOURDIN, Mr. Michel Bonnard, at that time the mayor of Rozay en Brie, bestowed upon the master organ builder the city’s official medal.
Yves CABOURDIN, quite moved, admitted that Rozay en Brie is the first city to bestow on him this honor.
Michel CHAPUIS, ended the concert with an impressive improvisation on the “thème de l’Angelot”, that is to say, the unknown melody (from the Brie region ?) engraved on the partition held by the cherub located on the central turret of the case of the large organ.
In the collegiate of Rozay en Brie, not a single seat was available, and some spectators were seated, here and there, on the stone steps. Everyone in the region that one would consider to be music lovers or organists were gathered together that evening. Moreover, some came a great distance to hear once again the great historical organ of Rozay en Brie, played by Michel Chapuis.
Although Michel Chapuis usually activated the bellows himself, during the concert, he asked Yves CABOURDIN to activate the bellows, which date back to the original construction.
At the end of the concert, thunderous applause greeted Michel Chapuis. Yves CABOURDIN, urged on to the front of the organ loft by the organist, deeply moved, was greeted by a standing ovation.
Before a large audience, Alain Mabit insisted upon presenting, on his own, his concert, along with commentaries on the different pieces that he played, while also praising the incomparable restoration work done by Yves CABOURDIN.
The presentation, done by the performer himself was highly appreciated by the public, for which usually an organ concert is a concert that one attends to listen to the music. The organist, more often than not, is hidden from the public and is only seen briefly during the interludes.
Philippe Lécossais - Organ, Spéphane Guérinet - trumpet
On Saturday, April 20, 1996, during a moving ceremony, and in the presence of a large gathering, Monsignor Louis CORNET, Bishop of Meaux, greeted and blessed the great restored Organ.
Philippe LECOSSAIS, Principal organist, is at the keyboards.
Miss Andrée Daras was the principal organist at Rozay en Brie ever since its restoration in 1933 by Gabriel D’ALENCON and until 1990.
For 57 years in charge of her parish organ, she was able to meet and get to know a number of organists who became famous, such as young Chapuis et Cochereau in the 50s, and still many others. She was on familiar terms with them and called them by their given name; <those youngsters> as she liked to call them!
During all those years she jealously watched over the organ (and she did not allow just anybody to play it).
Unfortunately, Andrée Daras passed away during the restoration carried out by Yves Cabourdin, and consequently did not experience both the pleasure and the emotion on hearing once again HER organ in all its restored majesty.
Translation : Robert F. Allen
Revision : February, 18th, 2008 / PhL