Beziers Cathedral Puget Organ

Béziers Cathedral Organ

A contract for the construction of a new organ in Béziers Cathedral was signed on September 28, 1623 with Flemish organ builder Guillaume Poncher. The organ had two manuals; a Grand Orgue based on a 16' Montre, with a smaller positif. There was also a 19-note Pédale with just one 16' wooden stop. The organ and its gallery were completed in 1633 and they have been preserved until today, including their splendid and rich decoration. In 1680, Jean de Joyeuse repaired the bellows, modified and added various stops, and enlarged the Pédale. In 1775, Guillaume Monturus made a repair and further modifications. Some of his pipes still exist today, especially the Positif Montre. Later, Joseph Isnard and Jean-François L'Épine worked on the instrument. The instrument suffered damage during the French Revolution, when almost all the pipes of the Grand Orgue were lost.

The organ loft and case were listed as historic monuments in 1840. In 1841, Nicolas Chambry was commissioned to rebuild the organ. The organ was enlarged to 5 manuals but remained based on 18th-century models, with a pedalboard that included a grand ravalement to F0. In 1849, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll was called to bring the instrument up to date. But Cavaillé-Coll's plans to improve the organ were hampered by the limited resources available to the organ committee, and in 1868, a new reconstruction was entrusted to the Théodore Puget et fils factory from Toulouse. He radically transformed the organ into a Romantic instrument. He provided new windchests, new bellows, three highly differentiated Romantic-style divisions. However, he respected the old pipework, particularly that of the Positif that was still made up mainly of old pipes. In 1881, Eugène Puget slightly modified the composition to bring the instrument into line with symphonic aesthetics.

In 1930, Maurice Puget increased the number of stops from 45 to 50, the range of the keyboards from 54 to 56 notes and the pedalboard from 27 to 30 notes. Full restoration of the instrument was completed in 1993 by Manufacture Languedocienne de Grandes Orgues under the artistic direction of Georges Danion and voicing by Jacques Bertrand. The instrumental section of the organ was listed as a historic monument on March 11, 1986. The consultants, Xavier Darasse and Jean-Pierre Decavèle, opted for a return to the 1868 composition, while retaining the reed stops rebuilt in 1881. The inauguration took place on February 20 and 21, 1993, by Marie-Claire Alain and André Isoir.

The organ has 45 stops, 59 ranks, on 3 manuals of 54 notes and a 30-note pedalboard. The console layout is by Théodore Puget, with Grand Orgue being the first (lowest) manual, then the Positif and finally the Récit expressif. Key action is mechanical, with Barker pneumatic assistance for the G.O. and its couplers.

The pipework is quite disparate, with pipes by:

Poncher - G.O. Montre facade pipes, and other six stops: Cornet, Bourdon 8', bass of Doublette in the G.O.; Flûte 4', bass of Nazard and bass of Doublette in the Positif

de Joyeuse - top of the Voix humaine in the Récit and Trumpet in the Pos.

Monturus - facade pipes of the Positif Montre, wooden bass of the G.O. Bourdons 16' and 8' and of the Positif Bourdon 8' and a few pipes in the Flûte 8' de Pédale

Isnard - oboe in the Récit from C3

Chambry - principal chorus of G.O. and Positif

Cavaillé-Coll (Solicional 8' in the G.O. and Trompette in the Récit)

Puget - all remaining pipework, plus he revoiced the complete instrument to bring it to a coherent whole.


Further reading:




The samples are offered in 48kHz/24bit resolution. The multiple releases have three levels: short, mid and long. Hauptwerk v4.2 and higher supported. The sample set is offered in a plain wave format, no encryption.

Reverb time

The reverb time is ca. 4 seconds.

Keyboards, pedalboard

The original compass of the keyboards is 54 keys, extendable to 56 keys via a mixer switch. The original compass of the pedal division is 30 keys, extendable to 32 keys via a mixer switch.


All ranks of the Positif and Récit were recorded with and without tremulants for the most convincing tremulant behavior. It is possible to select to use the artificial tremulant instead if desired (the switch is located on the mixer tab).


RAM consumption: 6-channel surround

16-bit, other settings default: 24 GB

20-bit, other settings default: 40 GB

24-bit, other settings default:  46 GB

Screen resolution 1280x1024 px or more.

Polyphony of 8.000 voices recommended for the full suround.

Surround format

The sample set is offered in a Surround variant (6 channels). There are direct channels, diffuse channels, and rear channels. To reproduce the surround format, an audio card with at least 4 output channels is required, dedicating the direct and diffuse channels for the front speakers, and other two channels for the rear speakers.

I Grand-orgue 54 notes
Montre 16’  
Bourdon 16’  
Montre 8’  
Bourdon 8’  
Solicional 8’  
Gambe 8’  
Gros nazard 5 1/3’  
Prestant 4’  
Quinte 2’2/3  
Doublette 2’  
Fourniture II à IV rgs       
Grand cornet V rgs      
Bombarde 16’  
1re Trompette     8’  
2e Trompette 8’  
Clairon 4'  
II Positif 54 notes
Montre 8’  
Bourdon 8’  
Kéraulophone 8’  
Unda Maris 8’  
Prestant 4’  
Flûte allemande    4’  
Nazard 2′2/3  
Doublette 2′  
Plein-jeu III à VIII rgs       
Trompette 8′  
Cromorne 8′  
Clairon 4'  
III Récit expressif 54 notes    
Bourdon 8’  
Flûte harmonique 8’  
Viole de gambe 8’  
Voix céleste 8’  
Flûte octaviante 4’       
Octavin 2′  
Trompette 8′  
Basson-Hautbois 8’  
Voix humaine 8’  
Clarinette 8’  
Clairon 4'  
Pédale 30 notes
Flûte 16’  
Flûte 8’  
Flûte 4’  
Bombarde 16’  
Trompette 8′  
Clairon 4’  

  • Couplers: Pos./G.O. , Réc./G.O. (Réc/Pos. added in Hauptwerk), G.O./Péd., Pos./Péd. ,Réc./Péd.
  • Appels (enables stops in red): G.O., Pos., Réc., Péd.
  • Tremulants for Pos. and Réc.






Console view:

this is the general console view. It serves to define the keyboard MIDI inputs for all the divisions. The only active part of this view are the manuals and the pedals. Specifying the MIDI inputs is done by right-clicking on the desired manual or pedal. All the other screen components are image-only.




Mixer view:

The output levels of the direct, diffuse, and rear ranks can be adjusted here. Also the blower and tremulant noises can be adjusted.

The pipe coupling and pipe detuning features can be adjusted. The sound gets somewhat mistuned with higher settings, giving the "chorus" effect to the overall sound, often found pleasingly "floating".

The mixer settings can be stored, retrieved, reset. 3 different mixer settings can be stored/recalled any time.

The switches:

Select the sampled (real) tremulant or the artificial (Hauptwerk model) tremulant.

Select the mixtures sounding as recorded (casually mistuned) or purely tuned.

The compass extension allows for the top most added keys to be heard.

Blower switch must be always on (to give virtual air into the organ, allowing it to speak).


Left+Right Jambs view:

for dual touch screens, split jambs were created. They allow for portrait or landscape orientation, according to the orientation of the touch screens.




Left + Right Jambs Vertical view:

the dual stop jambs offer vertical (portrait) orientation as an alternative.






Simple Jamb:

simplified version of a single jamb to allow for more readable version of the stop names on small LCD touch screens. There are two variants: landscape and portrait.

All the stops of the organ can be found here.

Physical pistons or draw stops can be assigned to a virtual button on screen by right-clicking on the button.

The indicators for BW swell shutters show the actual position of the pedals.


Single Jamb:

All the stops are available on a single screen.




  1. Béziers Cathedral Organ, vol. 0 (free volume)

    vol.0 - The free volume with some GO and Réc stops. Direct, diffuse, rear channels. 16 sounding stops. Minimum Hauptwerk version: 4.2. (Also works in all higher versions.) No encryption. Free volume.
    Price: Excl. Tax: €0.00 Incl. Tax *: €0.00 Excl. Tax

    Detail & order

  2. Béziers Cathedral Organ, vol.1

    vol.1 - Together with vol.0 it forms the complete sample set. You must install also the vol.0 to get the fully working sample set. Minimum Hauptwerk version: 4.2. (Also works in all higher versions.) No encryption.
    Price: Excl. Tax: €360.00 Incl. Tax *: €435.60 Excl. Tax

    Detail & order