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An Inside Look at Restoring a Grand Organ

Wikimedia Commons
The organ at Notre Dame Cathedral, prior to the fire in April, 2019

After the 2019 fire, the Notre Dame Cathedral's organ lives on. Also, celebrate Beethoven, make your own blob opera, and more, in this week's roundup!

1. The unsung heroes of 2020? The people who help put classical concerts online. For the New York Times, Zachary Woolfe highlights the media companies, engineers, film crews, and more who kept classical music alive this year.

Speaking of which... our own Anthony Rudel wrote about the very nearly miraculous collaboration behind the effort to bring Handel's "Messiah" to your television this Sunday evening. Read his piece here.

2. This week, the world celebrated Ludwig van Beethoven's 250th birthday with joy. The Global Ode to Joy project, which has been collecting videos of performances and stories from around the globe, released a gorgeous finale video:

3. Google Arts and Culture presents its new musical machine learning experiment: the Blob Opera (blobpera?).

4. Not every piece of music that we love today had a successful premiere. Here are 15 pieces that had disastrous first nights.

5. The Boston Globe's David Weininger has a roundup of local classical recordings that helped us through 2020 -- one such album is David Lang's "love fail," which we featured on Out of the Box in July!

6. When Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire in April, 2019, firefighters were careful not to destroy the enormous organ inside. Smithsonian Magazine takes a look at the cleaning and repairs required to restore this incredible instrument.

Here's a video about the restoration efforts for the rest of the cathedral:

Kendall Todd is the Content Manager for GBH Music.