Crowd sings ‘Ave Maria’ outside burning Notre-Dame Cathedral to honour its legacy

16 April 2019, 14:48 | Updated: 16 April 2019, 15:17

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

In the wake of the fire that has devastated Notre-Dame in Paris, people have been paying homage to the great cathedral with beautiful music.

Last night (Monday 15 April), a fire broke out at the Notre-Dame de Paris, devastating the 12th-century structure.

Firefighters rushed to try to contain the blaze, which is thought to be linked to its ongoing $6.8 million renovation project. The fire reportedly started on a piece of the building which was covered in scaffolding.

A number of videos have been posted on Twitter, showing people singing ‘Ave María’ as they watched the Notre-Dame burn.

Following the devastating news, people have been posting their own musical tributes to Twitter.

Organist Matt Nicholls posted a video of himself playing the glorious closing chords to Boëllmann’s ‘Prière à Notre-Dame’.

One user shared a video she filmed inside the cathedral last year, featuring a chamber choir singing music by Monteverdi and Carissimi.

Twitter user Brindisi posted a video from a service she attended at the cathedral, a couple of years ago.

The clip gives us a glimpse of the beautiful stained glass rose window, which is now thought to have survived the blaze.

Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral southern rose window
Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral southern rose window. Picture: Getty

André Rieu, the Dutch violinist and conductor, has offered to provide 700 tons of steel, originally used to build his famous Schönbrunn Palace replica, to “help erect the scaffold for the restoration of beautiful Notre-Dame”.

Deeply shocked by the dramatic images from Paris. We would like to provide our 700 tons of steel, used for the set of Schönbrunn Castle, to help erect the scaffold for the restoration of beautiful Notre-Dame.

Posted by André Rieu on Tuesday, 16 April 2019

The Notre-Dame school of composers played a very important role in the history of music. Composers like Léonin and Pérotin led the development of polyphonic music in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the cathedral was renowned for its traditions of French organ and choral music.

Notre-Dame Cathedral also contains the largest organ in France, with five keyboards, 109 stops and nearly 8,000 pipes. In 2012, after 10 months of restoration work, it was sounded in celebration of the cathedral’s 850th anniversary.

Following fears over the fate of Notre-Dame’s iconic instrument, Paris’ deputy mayor Emmanuel Gregoire announced this morning that the organ has been saved.