Great Organ of Notre-Dame la Dalbade

Prosper Moitessier (1850)
Eugène Puget (1888)
Restored by Gérard Bancells and Denis Lacorre (2009)

The organ of the Basilic Notre-Dame la Dalbade is a French symphonic organ, ideal for performing the French repertoire of the 19th and early 20th Centuries.
The original organ, created by Moitessier, was rebuilt by Eugène Puget who re-used a considerable part of the instrument. He delivered an organ with all the latest improvements. It remains one the favourite organs of the Puget family.
It was inaugurated by Charles-Marie Widor.

The instrumental aspect of this “Grand Orgue” is listed as a Historic Monument.

© Patrick Galibert
© Patrick Galibert


Great Organ of Notre-Dame la Dalbade

In 1844, La Fabrique (the parish administration) paid for a massive porch for the Church of Notre-Dame la Dalbade and decided to acquire a new instrument to have installed above the entrance; it commissioned the organ builder Prosper Moitessier (1805 – c.1869), who was based in Montpellier. However, the finished instrument was never satisfactory, which led La Fabrique to ask Eugène Puget to rebuild it completely.

Eugène Puget reused a considerable part of Moitessier’s instrument, including the great enclosed case of its Positive, with the agreement of the architect, Henry Bach. The instrument he finally delivered possessed every possible improvement, with 3 Barker levers, a pneumatic system for combining the stops giving double registration, an electro-pneumatic pedal and two vast expression boxes containing 24 stops, or almost half of the instrument!

The organ was blessed by the Archbishop of Toulouse and inaugurated by Charles-Marie Widor on 22 November 1888.

The organ was damaged by the collapse of the church’s steeple on 11 April 1926, but was restored by Maurice Puget, who introduced a few modifications. It was inaugurated anew by the official organist, on 30 March 1927. The organ was restored by Gérard Bancells between 1982 and 1986.

It has now been returned to its original condition by the organ builders Gérard Bancells and Denis Lacorre (only the electro-pneumatic transmission of the pedal was discarded, with 2 Barker levers being installed in its place).

Although he reused much of Moitessier’s original instrument, the changes introduced by Eugène Puget made his version a genuine creation: the foundation notes are quite as beautiful as anyone could imagine, while Moitessier’s “streams” of reed pipes, that Puget preserved, give a particular colouring to the Grand Chœur. This will remain one of the instruments that the Puget family valued most highly.

The instrumental part of the Grand Orgue was listed as a Historic Monument on 20 February 1979.


Great Organ of Notre-Dame la Dalbade

I - Grand-Orgue

56 notes
Montre 16’
Bourdon 16’
Montre 8’
Bourdon 8’
Flûte harmonique 8’
Viole de Gambe 8’
Salicional 8’
Prestant 4’
Quinte douce 3’
Doublette 2’
Piccolo 1’
Fourniture IV
Cymbale IV
Grand Cornet V
Bombarde 16’
1ère Trompette 8’
2ème Trompette 8’
Clairon 4’

II - Positif Expressif

56 notes
Bourdon-Quintaton 16’
Diapason 8’
Bourdon harmonique 8’
Violoncelle 8’
Unda Maris 8’
Dulciana 4’
Flûte douce 4’
Doublette 2’
Cornet-Carillon III
Baryphone 16’
Trompette 8’
Cromorne 8’
Clairon 4’

III - Récit expressif

56 notes
Flute harmonique 8’
Bourdon/Cor de nuit 8’
Viole de gambe 8’
Voix céleste 8’
Flûte octaviante 4’
Octavin harmonique 2’
Trompette harm. 8’
Basson-Hautbois 8’
Euphone 8’
Voix humaine 8’
Clairon 4’


30 notes
Bourdon 32’
Contrebasse 16’
Soubasse 16’
Flûte ouverte 8’
Octave 4’
Bombarde 16’
Trompette 8’
Clairon 4’

Tirasses : GO, Pos, Réc
Forte général
Anches : Péd, GO, Pos, Réc Expression Pos Expression Réc
Octaves graves : GO, Pos, Réc
Appel GO
Copulas : Pos/GO, Réc/GO, Réc/Pos Trémolo Pos Trémolo Réc

© Patrick Galibert