Copyright photo de Jean Guillou
haut de page : W. P. Gross

Alpe d'Huez

of Notre-Dame des Neiges

(L'Alpe d'Huez, France)

Designed by Jean Guillou in 1978, with modifications in 1987.

Case Design by Jean Marol. Built by Detlef Kleuker.

"The appearance of an organ must provoke the viewer's curiosity to hear this instrument, the architecture of which

should have already create  in his mind a sound image."

This is what Jean Guillou believes and this is certainly the case of the organ of l'Alpe d'Huez, with the shape of a hand, the "hand of God", designed by Jean Marol the architect of the church.

The organ has 2 Manuals (GO and Récit Expressif) of 61 notes, a Pedalboard of 32 notes, a tracker action a Swell box., the Couplers : Récit to GO, GO to Pedal, Récit to Pedal and an Electronic combinator (added afterwards).

The eye is bound to observe the presence in front of the instrument of an impressive battery of pipes: it is a classic 'Trumpet Chamade' on the left looking at the instrument and a surprising ‘Oboe in Chamade’ on the right. About the latter here follows what tells us Jean Guillou, in his book "The Organ, memory and future" (ed. Symétrie, 2010), who had the idea of putting an Oboe in a Chamade position.

"Outside springs a Chamade Oboe that brings a special color to this particular instrument. It has the sweetness and lyricism of an Oboe, but at the same time brilliant and the presence of an horizontally placed stop. It merges beautifully with any combination of stops and brings warmth, I would say a fire, to the « ensemble » sounds. This stop provides to the organ an entirely new sound element, not directly related to the baroque or to the romanticism but it can nevertheless be used with happiness.


For the Organ Specifications and additionals informations see : "L'Orgue, souvenir et avenir" (Symétrie, Lyon F)