Concert for Notre Dame rebuild

WITH Notre Dame de Paris still smouldering and the full extent of the damage unknown, Perth’s St Mary’s Cathedral has decided to donate proceeds from the first concert of its 2019 series to the restoration efforts.

St Mary’s Cathedral has a special connection with the medieval Parisian cathedral: In February Notre Dame organist Johann Vexo and singer Damien Rivière visited Perth and gave a recital at the cathedral, and Vexo gave lessons to the cathedral’s organ scholars while he was here.

• Notre Dame Cathedral in flames. Photo by LeLaisserPasserA38; Wikipedia Commons

“We at St Mary’s feel for our brothers and sisters in France who grieve at the damage to their mother church, and this concert – an initiative of our music director Jacinta Jakovcevic – is a small expression of our solidarity with them,” says St Mary’s Cathedral dean Sean Fernandez.

“We join with Catholics and people of goodwill all over the world in offering our support and hope that this tangible expression of fraternité will be of some comfort to them.

“I am sure that Notre Dame de Paris will rise again.”

• Notre Dame’s organist Johann Vexo and singer Damien Rivière when they visited St Mary’s Cathedral in February.

Ms Jakovcevic says the organ here is “in terms of it tone colours and general tonal concept, almost like a small-scale version of the one at Notre Dame – it was rebuilt in 1963 specifically with French-style stops added to make it able to produce the powerful, colourful effects of the vast French repertoire of the 19th century”.

The first concert of the series, titled “Resurrexit”, will now incorporate works of Louise Vierne, one of Notre Dame’s most prominent organists and composers who played there from 1900-1937.

The concert is on Sunday April 28 at St Mary’s Cathedral at 7.15pm, tickets are $25 ($22 concession) from ticketswa.com or 6488 2440.

by DAVID BELL

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