Thanks to his small advertisement we got in touch with Dr. Jean-Sébastien Borghetti, professor of private law at the Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) University in Paris.
The Dereux was bought in 1974 by his Father, Patrice Borghetti (born 1934), who died September 2020 aged 85. The Dereux organ had to find a new home...
"My father was a banker by profession, he had a great love for music and was himself an amateur organ and harpsichord player. At home, he had not only the Dereux but also a piano and a harpsichord. He gave a couple of public organ concerts, including one at the Geneva cathedral in the 1980s. He would also travel across southern France with my mother, a fellow amateur organist and his wife, to play on historic organs. He went to play on historic organs in Switzerland and Germany as well. At some point, he played the organ at church services during his holidays. I remember him playing on his Dereux at home in the 80s. I think he stopped using it in the 1990s, probably because of technical problems, but maybe also because by that time he preferred to play on his harpsichord (but he kept playing on church organs)."
After a little cleaning, the exciting moment: "power on".
The motor-driven generator started slowly, but after less than a minute everything was running smoothly, and almost all tones and functions seem to be operational.
Enough for now, we are going to start with the restoration first. The outside first, cleaning, then the inside ...
The story of the missing piece...
A piece of Dereux was cruelly broken off during transport. Fortunately, this message came from Jean-Sébastien in Paris:
"While emptying my parents' flat, I found a small piece of wood which I think was chopped off from the Dereux' side. Do you want me to send it to you?"
My answer was yes. This is probably the only piece of such a small and broken wood that will receive so much attention. Unless, of course, it concerns valuable antique, archaeological finds, or a Dereux Organ
After uniting the two parts, the 'Dereux de Paris' will be finished on the outside. It is completely clean and shines in the morning light. Now we proceed with the interior and technical aspects...
In the middle of the last century, professor Jean Adolphe Dereux developed one of the first sampling organs.
The recorded sounds of organs build by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, are reproduced electrostatically.
From left to right: Amplifier and built-in loudspeaker with treble horn Leslie, in the middle the switch-unit controlled by the stops, and to the right the motor-driven electrostatic generator in which 756 sampled sounds are stored.
We disassembled and cleaned the various parts and tested the components. A number of parts were replaced.
Then we put the whole back together.
There are still small things to solve, but already the sound of the Dereux is impressive. The recording was made straight from the audio line output and not edited. We only added a Behringer DR600 reverb.
Close your eyes and imagine yourself in St. Peter's Basilica :)
Jean-Sébastien: merci très beaucoup :)
To be continued...