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The CLAUS organ of the church of Pontrieux

The church

Pontrieux VIII 2010 extr smllBuilding in neoclassical style completed in 1842 to replace a XVII century chapel that was fallling into decay. The architect was Mr Le Pescheur-Bertrand.

The foundation stone of the church was laid on July 29th 1840 and the completed building was blessed on October 30th 1842, Mr Le Borgne, vicar-general, attending the ceremony.

The church is situated on the Place Yves le Trocquer near the well-known fountain (XVII century).

From :

The instrument

The organ dates back to 1878 thanks to Reverend Riou, parish priest of Pontrieux sincePontrieux_buffet+nef 1876. Owing to his obstinate efforts and to the inhabitants’ good will, a 12-stop-organ was ordered from the Claus factory in Rennes. It was paid 15,000 francs and was installed on the new loft that had just been built by a company from Nantes, the case being attributed to Hérault from Rennes.

Jean-Baptiste Claus, who had worked with the well-known Cavaillé-Coll made the Grand orgue of Notre-Dame in Rennes in 1879 and, in the Côtes d’Armor, the organ of the basilica in Quintin (1880). The organ in Pontrieux, in a romantic style, has 6 stops for the GO, the same number for the Recit, that is to say 672 pipes

Pontrieux VIII 2010 006With the initiative of Reverend Malégeant and the Association of the friends of the organ created for that reason, the renovation to an identical state (except that a 16’emprunt ( ?) to the pedalboard was added) was made from 1992 to 1993 by the organ builder Jean-Pascal Villard Thénezay (79) for an amount of money of 300,000 francs. Perfectly adapted to the acoustics and the volume of the church, the organ has been finely harmonized by Mr Villard who is also in charge of its regular maintenance.

The console, made of oakwood is backwards. Slightly different from from the Cavaillé-CollPontrieux VIII 2010 console  consoles or Debierre, the sides end at right angle , not in a cut-off.

Thanks to its two-octave-pedalboard slightly off-center to the right and its expression « cuiller » ( ?)- not really an « « expression pedal » yet, of really delicate use today for an organist, this small instrument with its poetic and forthright sounds is an irreplaceable witness of what a « country organ » could be during the romantic period, strong and made with dedication.

Pontrieux_pédalier et commoditésPontrieux_porcelaine Fl.harmPontrieux_porcelaine Quintaton

The owner

Town of de Pontrieux

Protection of the instrument

The instrumental part is classified as historic monument by ministerial decree (February 22 1984)

Situation in the church

In the gallery down the main nave.

The instrument as it is today

State of the instrument



Maintained regularly by Mr JP Villard, the organ builder.

Details ?facteur-villard



Excellent. Neither short nor too long echoes


Central heating in the church


2 keyboards of 56 notes C-f –Pedalboard of 25 notes C-c


Accouplement ( ?), tirasse GO and Récit ( ?)

Call/Reed removal


Expression (cuiller)

The case

Pontrieux_buffet 1

Pontrieux_buffet entrelacs sculptés

Pontrieux_buffet lyre

Neo-classical case finely sculpted by Jean-Julien Hérault.


The notice about the history of the organ, down the gallery has been made by the AMIS DE L’ORGUE DE PONTRIEUX and MR Jean-Pascal VILLARD.

H.CORBES , « Les orgues du département des côtes du Nord » – Société d’émulation des Côtes du Nord. 1965-1966.

Organists (today and before)

Jean-Cédric Salaün- Laurent Le Bot


– Sunday mass

– A few concerts with choir and organ

– A few films you can watch on

Eric Cordé : improvisation (mars 2013)

[youtube p-XXh-XVsqo]

Ropartz_Prélude en ré m_”au pied de l’autel” :

Ropartz_prélude en fa m (sur un thème breton) :

JS Bach_choral “Ich ruf’ zu dir Herr Jesu Christ” – BWV 639

[youtube KkXzLu0nnA0 nolink]

Guillaume Dufay (XV°)_Ave Regina Caelorum_pièce polyphonique sacrée :

Guillaume Dufay (XV°)_”Bon jour, bon mois”_chanson polyphonique :