Photography by François Collard
The Cintegabelle organ was originally built for the Abbaye de Boulbonne and its construction was started in 1741 as an inscription inside the instrument confirms (“Louis 1741”). The organ was finished and inaugurated in 1742 and its construction is currently attributed to Christophe Moucherel. In 1758 Jean-François Lépine expands the organ.
The Abbaye de Boulbonne is dissolved in 1791 during the French Revolution and the organ is left there until 1798, when it is sold in auction to Jacques Fageadet, representative of a group of six or seven people who wanted to place the instrument in Cintegabelle.
From 1806 to 1819 the organ is restored and reassembled in the Église Sainte-Vierge de la Nativité by Campardou, an organbuilder with little professionalism and care about the instrument. Aside from the reconstruction Campardou also extends the range of keyboards until 54 notes and does some repairs. From 1850 to 1855 Daublain changes the tuning into the contemporary diapason, adds two 16’ stops in the Pédale and extends its range to 25 notes, adds a parallel bellow, substitutes the Écho section by a Récit, substitutes the façade pipes and installs a new keyboard and stop traction system. Some years later the Récit is enclosed in a swell box by Jules Magen.
Already in the 20th century, in 1928, Théodore Puget changes the composition of the organ and installs an electrical blower, while in 1936 Maurice Puget proceeds to changes in the stoplist, changing Kéraulophone and Euphone in Récit by a Cymbale and Sesquialtera, and Flûte douce 4′ by a Fourniture in the Positif.
Due to the several changes suffered by this organ, it was decided to proceed to a major restoration of the instrument into the 1758 state. The intervention is performed in 1989 by Jean-Loup Boisseau and Bernard Cattiaux, including the reconstruction of windchests from Récit and Pédale (keeping those from Grand Orgue and Positif), the reconstruction of the entire traction system, addition of four new wedge bellows to substitute the 19th century wind system, restoration of original pipework and reconstruction of lacking ranks (from the original composition) according to the 18th century ideals.
The organ has three keyboards and a pedalboard “à la française”, with a total of 34 stops. The case has an horizontal composition based on a regular rhythm of towers and flats with differing heights, with a Positif a Dos of similar configuration. The Positif is held by a pair of atlantes while the main case is held by two caryatids below the lateral towers. All the Positif towers are crowned by musician angels and the larger towers on the main case are topped by a pair of angels with a trumpet. Two sets of instruments decorate the panels on the lower part of the main case.
1741-1742 – organ construction
1758 – organ changes by Jean-François Lépine
1806-1819 – organ restoration and reassembly by Campardou
1850-1855 – organ changes by Daublain
1928 – organ changes by Théodore Puget
1936 – organ changes by Maurice Puget
1989 – organ restoration by Jean-Loup Boisseau and Bernard Cattiaux
|Bourdon 8′||Bourdon 16′||Cornet V||Montre 8′|
|Montre 4′||Montre 8′||Trompette 8′||Flûte 8′|
|Flûte 4′||Bourdon 8′||Hautbois 8′||Flûte 4′|
|Nazard 2 2/3′||Dessus de Flûte 8′||Trompette 8′|
|Doublette 2′||Prestant 4′||Clairon 4′|
|Tierce 1 3/5′||Nazard 2 2/3′|
|Larigot 1 1/3′||Quarte de Nazard 2′|
|Fourniture III||Doublette 2′|
|Cymbale II||Tierce 1 3/5′|
|Cromorne 8′||Fourniture IV|
|1ère Trompette 8′|
|2e Trompette 8′|
|Voix humaine 8′|