exceptional quality and richness
Release indication (Q3/4 2023)
In Alpe d’Huez, a village and ski resort in the Isère, we are fortunate to have an exceptional church: its architecture, stained glass windows and organ are magnificent.
In preparation for the 1968 Olympics, the idea arose to replace the small wooden chapel in Alpe d’Huez (which stood on the site of the current parking lot) with a larger church from which the Meije can be seen. Under the impetus of Dutch Father Jaap Reuten, who was a priest there from 1964 to 1992, the Notre-Dame des Neiges church was completed in 1970, financed by donations from parishioners and numerous benefactors, thanks to three associations he founded: one for the construction of the building and the stained-glass windows (the Notre-Dame des Neiges association, proclaimed in the prefecture on Jan. 17, 1967), the other for the installation of an organ (the Orgues et montagnes association), and the third for its dissolution in the early years.
The first symbol is that God pitched his tent on Alpe d’Huez, like Abraham in the desert; thus, the shape of the roof follows the smooth and rounded movement of this great refuge. You enter through the choir, or heart of the building: after passing through the darkness, through a long entrance (narthex) that allows you to get used to the darkness and prepare for meditation, you reach a shaft of light in the middle. This shaft is also the mast that supports the tent, the backbone of the building. The congregation sits in a circle around the shaft of light, like around a campfire…. Finally, the central pole of this tent is aligned with the other two bell towers of the municipality, that of Saint-Ferréol and that of Huez-en-Oisans. For the designers, this alignment is a reminder that religion, according to its origins, has the task of connecting people. Below is the crypt.
The church has a unique organ, called Christophe-Raphaël, of exceptional quality and richness, built in 1978 by the organ builder Detlef Kleuker to the plans of Jean Guillou, composer and former titular of the organ of Saint-Eustache in Paris.
Located in the center of the light shaft formed by the central column of the building, the organ represents a hand raised to heaven, designed by Jean Marol. In the fingers of this hand are the pipes of the organ, which has 24 stops. A compact instrument with great richness of sound, it introduces the audience to the organist’s playing in an unusual way, since the keyboards face the audience.
Concerts, every Thursday evening during the season, winter and summer, are organized by the Notre-Dame des Neiges-Orgues et montagnes association (www.orguesetmontagnes.com). They welcome the best organists from around the world as well as orchestras several times a year.
Organ courses with Jean-Paul Imbert and David Cassan also take place in the summer.
8 GB of RAM (excl. operating system) is required to load this organ.
Grand Orgue (C-c””)
Flûte des Neiges 8′
Cornet 2-5 rangs
Mixture 5 rangs
Trompette en Chamade 8′
Grand Orgue – Récit
Récit Expressif (C-c””)
Flûte Harmonique 8′
Flûte Octaviante 4′
Larigot 1 1/3′
Sesquialtera 2 rangs
Plein Jeu 5 rangs
Hautbois en Chamade 8′
Flûte Ouverte 16′
Flûte Creuse 4′
Pédale – Grand Orgue
Pédale – Récit.