15,800 Notes for the Duomo
Give Italy's biggest organ its voice back
The Duomo di Milano organ, whose construction began in 1938, is the largest modern organ existing in Italy and the second largest in Europe when it comes to the number of pipes and stops. It has also been entered into the Golden Register of the fifteen largest organs in the world. However, the functioning of this magnificent instrument is currently threatened by several factors of deterioration. First of all is the slow but inexorable structural failure of the bellows’ binding and the various types of dust deposited on the pipes. The result of this leaves it almost impossible to play the stops of one of the main bodies of the instrument.
The conservation of the precious decorative mechanisms, made between the 16th and the 17th century by artists such as Giuseppe Meda and Camillo Procaccini amongst others, is at risk too due to the repeated conservation interventions and reworkings applied with materials which were altered over time. Moreover, the expansion and fragmentation of the wooden support has caused some fragments to detach from the pictorial layer.
Today, the Veneranda Fabbrica needs to raise funds for the special maintenance of this historical-artistic heritage. The last major restoration was carried out in 1986, and the regular seasonal maintenance is not enough for the Cathedral Organ: the instrument is subject to progressive organic deterioration as it consists of living materials such as wood, metal and leathers, and the intervention, usually to be expected every 30 years or so, cannot be delayed any further.
The project "15,800 Notes for the Duomo" arose from the need to raise funds to support the restoration of this musical giant, heritage of art and mechanics, in keeping with the centuries-old music tradition of the Cathedral.
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