Museum of Organs: Gallery 2
Historical Organ Cases of Europe
France : 18th-19th Centuries
Click on each thumbnail / link to view a larger image.

Coutances: Cathédrale (Manche, France)  Map: ct
The case was originally built for the Abbey in Savigny (1724).

-- (jpeg 105k) Uploaded 97-09-18.


Albi: Cathédrale (Tarn, France)  Map: A
The original instrument was built by Christophe Moucherel in 1734-36. The organ case is one of the largest in France and there are 222 pipes in front. (Under construction)
-- Photo 1 (jpeg 123k. Upld. 97-09-10), Photo 2 (jpeg 142k. Upld. 97-09-20)

Narbonne: Cathédrale (Aude, France)  Map: N
Like the unfinished Cathedral at Beauvais, this building also lacks a nave. The organ is installed on the west wall where the nave would normally begin. The splendid case dates from the 1741 organ built by Christophe Moucherel at a cost of 24,000 livres. Unfortunately, this instrument had serious defects, including a heavy action, and insufficient and unstable wind pressure. In 1766-1770, it was rebuilt by Jean-François L'Epine at a further cost of 13,200 livres. After several modifications during the first half of the 19th century, Puget rebuilt it in 1858. The fire in the church in 1910 badly damaged the organ, and in 1927 it was again rebuilt by J. Rivel. His work reflected the aesthetic of the period: pneumatic action, unification of the Pedal and suppression of the Positif de dos (Rückpositiv). In its day, this instrument was much a favorite of organists like Bonnet, Dupré and Cellier. The present instrument is still in the first stages of the restoration started in 1993 by B. Soutoul which includes electrification of the action. As the use of a tripod is prohibited in the Church, a satisfactory photograph was difficult to obtain. Note the protective nets on the north and south walls to keep falling mortar in check. -- (jpeg 73k : Improved image 97-09-06)

Dôle: Eglise Notre-Dame (Jura, France)  Map: D
Karl J. Riepp (1754) / Callinet (1788) / Stiehr (1830/56) Karl J. Riepp built the original organ with about forty stops. His Montres produce refined gentle sound, upon which the noble plein-jeu is built up. In 1787 François Callinet enlarged the organ with the splendid reed chorus. In 1830 and 1856, Stiehr enlarged it again from 44 to 62 stops installing a new Echo division with a beautiful Voix Humaine. Those rebuilding were done in very sympathetic ways. Consequently, the present organ is one of the most astounding evidence of the collaboration between different generations of organbuilders and esthetics The church was built in 16th century, though without excessive ornamentation of the late Gothic, anticipating the Renaissance. -- (jpeg 94k) Uploaded 97-08-28

Paris: St. Sulpice (France)  Map: P
Designed by Jean-François Chalgrin, better known as the architect of the Arc de Triomphe, for an instrument by François-Henri Cliquot, 1781. Current organ by Cavaillé-Coll 1862.
-- (jpeg 117k, 99-08-25 rev.)

Bordeaux: Eglise Notre-Dame (France)  Map: B
The organ was built in 1781-83 by Schmit, when the chapel belonged to the Dominican convent. The case is by Brother Durel. -- (jpeg 92k) Uploaded 98-03-03

Saintes: Cathédrale (Charente-Maritime, France)  Map: st
This was originally built as one-manual organ with 16 stops in early 17th century by Jehan Oury. After the Revolution, it was enlarged to III/P/37. Throughout the 19th century, various works were done on it. The complete restoration (1976-85) was carried out by Yves Sévère and the classical style was re-established (Pos-GO-Réc/P/36). This was one of the most impressive clssical organs I heard during my 1997 tour in France. A recording by the current chief organist, Thierry Semenoux, is available from Disques CORIOLAN. -- (jpeg 79k) Uploaded 98-05-10

Paris: St. Eustache (France)  Map: P
This magnificent case was designed 1849 by Victor Baltard for an instrument by Ducroquet. The current organ is from 1989. (Stop list)

-- (jpeg 100k, 99-08-25 rev.)

Luçon: Cathédrale (Vendée, France)  Map: L
The former organ "un Grand 16 pieds" was completely destroyed when the bell tower fell down in 1847. The new organ case was designed by Boeswilwald and sculpted by Geoffroy-Dechaume. Napoleon III ordered the organ which Cavaillé-Coll had built for Carcassonne. After necessary modifications and revoicing it was completed in 1857. Specifications (original and actual). -- (jpeg 96k) Uploaded 98-07-07

Bayeux: Cathédrale (Calvados, France)  Map: by

Cavaillé-Coll (1862). Specification.

-- (jpeg 92k) Uploaded 97-09-03

Toulouse: Basilique St-Sernin (H.-Garonne, France)  Map: T
This is perhaps the best known instrument built by A. Cavaillé-Coll, the great French builder of the Romantic/Symphonic school. It was inaugurated by Alexandre Guilmant in April 1889. The organ case of the preceding instrument was reused. The church is a well-known example of a fine, large-scale Romanesque building. -- (jpeg 73k) Uploaded 97-08-30


All the photos on this page are by T. Ohbayashi unless otherwise indicated.
Copyright 1996-2000, 2003 by T. Ohbayashi. All Rights Reserved. (Notice)


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This page last modified: 2003-Nov-13.