The revival of the Bourbourg Carillon (Nord)
No, we aren't talking about a remake of 'Bienvenue chez les ch'tis'. Furthermore, and in spite of the absence of
Dany Boon, a festive mood reigned in the town of Bourbourg, (situated 18 km from Bergues), on the 21st december 2008. That was the day the Carillon brought the town back to life. This was a true rebirth of this instrument which had remained silent for many years.
It must be said that people who live in the area of Bourbourg, love the Paccard Carillons. In the county of North, there are at least fifteen : Bergues, Béthune, Bourbourg, Cambrai, Capelle-la-Grande, Douai, Dunkerque, Hazerbrouck, Hondshoote, Le-Quesnoy, Maubeuge, Roubaix, Saint-Armand-les-Eaux, Saint-Pol-sur-Mer, Tourcoing, just to name the most important ones...
This revival was made possible due to the willpower and persistence of Mister Francis Bassemon, Mayor of Bourbourg, together with the energy of the Carillon Renovation Society : in brief, a good piece of team work.
Built in 1548, divers renovations have been carried out on the Carillon, the last ones date back to 1960. This time the alterations are much more important : they include the construction of entrances, repair work of the roofing embellishments (carried out by the PASCHAL Company), as well as providing and setting up a "clavier d'études" (practice keyboard) and finally the manufacturing of new PACCARD Bells, casted in Annecy.
The installation of the Carillon, supervised by PACCARD, was undertaken in partnership with the PASCHAL Company.
The inauguaration of the Carillon consisted of several concerts spread out over the day and given by numerous carillonneurs, all curious to discover this new instrument. Amoung them we can name Jacques Martel, the entitled carillonneur of Bourbourg (and true carillonneur of Bergues), Alfred Lesecq, Michel Godefroy, Christian Boon, Annie Desmarets, Charles Dairay...
A special mention for the young forteen years old carillonneur Quentin Leriche, taught by Mister Stéphano Coletti, who won the public's opinion due to his mastery and interpretation of a chosen repertoire. A very promising young carillonneur !
Every hour, the Carillon plays four ritornellos : Fra Diavolo and "Le Petit oiseau de la nature" (Little Birds of Nature"), as well as "Sarah" and "Arnaud", named after two young students of the Bourbourg Music School who composed the tunes and who won the contest organised in partnership with the Music School. You can imagine how proud the two young musicians are...
A last minute piece of information :
See you in September for the dedication of the Dunkerque Carillon, currently being restored...