Puget Nameplate KINCOPPAL - ROSE BAY
School of the Sacred Heart
New South Head Road, Rose Bay, Sydney
NSW 2029

Tel: +61 2 9388 6000
Email: annhenderson@optusnet.com.au
Return to HOMEPAGE

The Organ is Home – Progress Report – May 2009

The organ builders have almost finished the installation of the Puget Organ in the tribune. We have watched in awe the intricate and detailed work of this skilled builder from Provence, Charles Henry, and his son, Ionathan, working with hardly a break since the containers arrived on 10 January, 2009. Their gracious manner and good humour have endeared them to all who have taken the time to get to know them and their expert workmanship is the culmination of many years of planning and experience.

Charles and Ionathan Henry installing the Puget Organ in the Chapel at KRB

We found an exceptional restorer for this unique organ and it was more than mere chance. Many years ago, as a young apprentice organ builder learning his skills, Charles worked on the organ in the Church of St Thibault, in Joigny, where St Madeleine Sophie was baptised just hours after her birth in 1779. Charles had forgotten working there and he had never made the connection. I think we now know who did. I asked Charles to write a few lines as he nears the end of this long and complicated restoration / rebuild.

The organ in St Thibault, Joigny, France where St Madeleine Sophie was baptised

An organ builder writes - Pour beaucoup, le nombre d'heures et de pièces nécessaires à la reconstruction de l'orgue de la chapelle sont une découverte, parfois un émerveillement. Comment imaginer, sans l'avoir vu, qu'une machine aussi imposante renferme autant de milliers de minuscules pièces et nécessite autant de gestes et de savoir faire. Pourtant l'essentiel de l'orgue n'est pas là.

Un orgue est non seulement fait de mécanique et de tuyaux, mais il est aussi fait

• de nuits passées à le dessiner, à le penser,
• de la mémoire du son de l'orage, du murmure du vent dans les oliviers de Provence ou du fracas de la vague qui se brise sur la falaise de South Head,
• des couleurs du bush, du rythme du didgeridoo et des courbes de l'opéra sur la baie de Sydney, • de l'émotion qui vous envahit en écoutant un prélude de Chopin, une fugue de Bach, ou le Requiem de Mozart,
• de celles et ceux qui nous ont donné leur sourire dans les couloirs de l'école ou qui furent là au bon moment, pour simplement nous aider ou surmonter le découragement dans une aventure aussi folle. C'est pourquoi, un orgue ne peut naître que du rêve et de l'utopie.... Il n'a qu'un seul but, partager, au travers de la musique, le rêve et l'émotion qui lui ont donné naissance.

(Charles Henry, April 2009)

For many people, the number of hours and the parts needed to re-construct the Chapel organ have been a surprise and at times an astonishing discovery. How could anyone imagine, never having seen it before, that such an imposing machine could contain so many thousands of minute pieces, and require so much manual work and skill. But the essence of the organ is not there.

An organ is made up not only of mechanical parts and pipes, but also

• Of many nights working on the designs, and thinking • Of the memory of the sound of thunder, the murmur of wind in the olive trees of Provence or the noise of the waves that crash on the cliffs of South Head
• Of the colours of the bush, the rhythm of the didgeridoo and the curves of the Opera House on Sydney Harbour • Of the emotion that comes over you when you listen to a Chopin prelude, a Bach Fugue, or the Mozart Requiem
• Of all those who gave a smile in the corridor of the School or who were there at the right time simply to help us or to get us over the discouragement in such a crazy adventure That’s why an organ can only be born from a dream and utopia……. It has only one gaol, to share, through music, the dream and the emotion which gave it birth.

The long wait is over.

Please join us as we welcome the organ home and meet the organ builder Charles Henry, and the Consultants, Michel Colin and Pastór de Lasala at the Reception to follow.

Sunday 12 July 2009
Gala Organ Recital
by Professor Michel Colin
with Reception

Monday 13 July 2009
Organ Recital only
by Professor Michel Colin
Invitations and details on this website

Michel Colin at the console of the organ built by Yves Cabourdin (1986) Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Victoire, St Raphaël, France

Ann Henderson
Email: annhenderson@optusnet.com.au