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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Mailbag: “Situation in Meudon?”

November 1, 2006


Dear Michael,

I have been a life long admirer of Marcel Dupre. I have read everything on him including the wonderful biography by Michael Murray.

My question is concerning his wonderful house organ that he purchased from Guilmant. The last I knew it was still sitting in the house, but the residents that owned the home were not interested in their house “becoming a museum.” Is it still intact and in use, or has it fallen on hard times or disappeared like so many of the beautiful house organs the greats owned?

Also what is the status of the Longwoods Garden Organ? It seems that the restoration has been going on for a very long time.

David Kinyon
San Jacinto, CA

Dear David,

I did not have up-to-date information about the situation in Meudon, so I emailed Olivier Latry in Paris. His response is heartening:

“As I know, the owner is always the same, and the only way to see the organ is to ask him, or to come to one the concerts that he organises there twice a year, one in June and the other one in November or December. A friend of the owner maintains the organ, and plays a little bit himself.”

So, I would say that the situation is stable, the instrument is still very much alive and well. I visited the home about nine years ago during an Organ Historical Society tour, and our group of about 40 people was welcomed graciously by the present owners. I expect that, given suitable need, the instrument would be accessible for examination…but not just a visit by the curious.

As for Longwood, yes, the process is taking a long time, but they are doing a complete and thorough restoration. I believe the plan is to ‘open’ the organ in the 2007-2008 season. Contact Longwood Gardens directly for more information:

JMB


 

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