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The organ

Cité épiscopale d’Albi

The organ at Albi Cathedral is among the most beautiful in France. The unusual dimensions of organ case, built between 1734 and 1736 by Christophe Moucherel, inspire admiration among connoisseurs.

The Cathedral’s organ has been revised by many organ manufacturers.

François and Jean-François l’Epine added a rank of reed pipes in 1747. Joseph Isnard added a fifth manual with a series of reed pipes and a five rank cornet between 1778 and 1779.

In 1825 Antoine Peyroulous modified certain of the pipes to allow additional nuances between the different manuals1. The style of the organ was then “brought up to date” in the Romantic period, thus losing its original character.

By the 1950’s the organ had fallen into a state of disrepair. After many years of research into the nature and origin of the material (in particular the pipes) the decision was taken to restore rather than to rebuild the organ.

In 1977 Bartolomeo Formentelli was appointed the task of restoring Moucherel’s organ, integrating the modifications of l’Epine, Isnard and Peyroulous. The inauguration took place in 1981.

In 1996 Formentelli dismantled, cleaned and tuned the organ and added an organ stop. With its five manuals (from high to low these are positive, great, bombarde, choir and echo manuals), this instrument is a complex and fragile machine which requires constant and careful maintenance.

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