A collection of the most beautiful sacred music recorded in and dedicated to the Notre-Dame de Paris
Following the devastating fire at Notre-Dame cathedral on Monday, Universal Music France and its label Decca Records have united with la Fondation du Patrimoine to create a new album which will support the rebuilding of the iconic French building.
Entitled simply ‘Notre-Dame’, the album is a collection of sacred music from the cathedral which celebrates its rich musical history. It will be available on all digital platforms this Friday 19th April, followed by a physical release on 26th April.
All benefits and artists royalties will be donated to la Fondation du Patrimoine to help fund its restoration. Not only is the Notre-Dame a cultural, historical and religious landmark, it is also the inspiration for some of the world’s greatest classical music. It gave rise to the “Notre Dame school” of composers (working at or near the cathedral around 1160-1250) and the sacred music they produced. Their lasting significance was to write down and develop western musical techniques which had previously only been improvised.
850 years later, Notre-Dame is still at the heart of musical culture. Remarkably, the cathedral’s spectacular symphonic organ, which dates back to 1868, is understood to have survived the fire – although it’s not yet clear how much damage it suffered. The instrument, which is played on five keyboards and pedals and has nearly 8000 pipes, has played a central role in the popularity of French organ music over the past century.
Several French composers have held the position of organist at Notre-Dame, and two of its most recent performers – Pierre Cochereauand Olivier Latry – appear on the new album. Many of the recordings featured in the new ‘Notre-Dame’ collection were made at the cathedral and feature artists including Cecilia Bartoli, Jessye Norman, Roberto Alagna, Christopher Hogwood, Herbert von Karajan and many more.
Olivier Nusse, President of Universal Music France, says:
“We have no words to describe this tragedy. As generations of artists, we all have a story with this heritage treasure that considerably contributed to the expanding influence of sacred music. We had to help the cathedral once again stand as a symbol of French culture across the world.”
Célia Vérot, Managing Director of la Fondation du patrimoine, adds:
“Thanks to the support of Universal Music France, la Fondation du patrimoine will be able to contribute to rescue Notre-Dame de Paris.”