This Franco-Swiss heritage project, with the re-commissioning of the Belfort-Delémont railway line, invites music lovers and tourists to discover along this line ten historic or recently-built organs with strong and complementary stylistic options. These eleven instruments stand out among the existing heritage. They represent the great schools of European organ building and allow the musical pages of composers from the Renaissance to the end of the Baroque to be interpreted in a true and adapted sound context.
The exceptional complementarity of ten organs found in the Swiss Jura and in the Territoire de Belfort, all along a line stretching between Belfort (extended until Luxeuil-les-Bains) and Bellelay, has given rise for several years to a cross-border rapprochement.
These instruments are intended to serve all music written specifically for this majestic wind instrument between the early 16th century and the middle of the 18th century , with the sound colour suitable for each of the styles that marked this long period, and have already sparked considerable international interest.
Completed at the beginning of 2019, this Line of Remarkable Organs, unique in Europe, is intended to be a common thread of a thematic tourism focused on the discovery of the organ, its construction and its literature, together with discovery of local curiosities combining nature, heritage, gastronomy etc.
For several years, a rich musical activity has taken place through festivals or associations (Musique et Mémoire, Tribunes baroques, Amis de l’Orgue et de la Musique de Belfort, Acorg, Amis des orgues Bossart…) with the aim of promotion and discovery of European music from the Renaissance to the Baroque. These remarkable organs are its vectors, showcased solo, or in vocal and instrumental projects that are sometimes large-scale. Building on this dynamic, those responsible for these projects, through the Ligne des Orgues Remarquables, aim to coordinate, promote and expand their activities :
by disseminating information, in several languages and on different media such as the Internet, video clips, brochures, displays, etc.
by organising concerts and educational activities adapted to the public and to the age: awakening, awareness and discovery
by the organisation of open days, in particular during heritage days
by welcoming visitors, musicians and the public
by the provision of instruments for study and recording, broadcasting, thematic trips
by organising courses and master classes.
The richness and variety of the instruments allow a very educational approach to the evolution of organ building between the Renaissance and the modern world. It can be adapted to the audience depending on whether it is aimed at children, conservatory classes, or musicians during the discovery phase. This aspect concerns a host of sonic and technical details: materials, harmonisation of pipes, mixtures of timbres, diapasons, temperaments. All this can be illustrated by living and concrete examples, according to the well-defined characters of the organs:
Luxeuil-les-Bains – historical flemisch and french style organ
Cathedral – historical Waltrin-Callinet organ (eighteenth and nineteenth centuries) – French style organ
Lutheran Church – North-German style organ
Sainte-Odile Church – Italian style organ
Grandvillars – Spanish style organ
Beurnevésin – Flemish style organ
Porrentruy – Saxon style organ (Silbermann)
Saint-Ursanne – historical organ (1776), Franco-Alsatian school
Bellelay great organ, choir organ and regal organ – South-German style organs
The BelJu Fund supports the Line of Remarkable Organs
The Republic and Canton of Jura (RCJU) and the Department ” Territory of Belfort”, linked by a cooperation agreement since 1988, maintain close cultural cooperation, formalized in 2006 by an agreement and the establishment of a cross-border cultural cooperation fund says Fonds BelJu.
The objectives of the BelJu Fund are to :
Lead the cultural actors to develop and / or carry out a common project making it possible to forge links between the Territoire de Belfort and the RCJU
Contribute to the enhancement of a cultural space common to Belfort and Jura, based on a shared cultural heritage, by promoting the development of cultural cooperation between the creators, institutions and cultural actors of the two territories
The BelJu Fund is thus a unique cross-border cooperation tool, promoting the emergence of innovative Franco-Swiss collaborations, while ignoring the administrative border.
The Line of Remarkable Organs project is fully in line with the objectives of this Fund and has benefited, as such, from the support of the BelJu Commission for setting up the project, and from financial assistance for its implementation.