Juvigny, Eglise Notre-Dame
The construction of the historic organ in Juvigny was begun in 1663 by Jehan der Villers and completed after his death by Jacques Carouge.

On 15 October 1662, the Cordeliers of Châlons-sur-Marne signed a contract with the local carpenter Martin Prestal for the construction of the organ case for their new instrument. On 16 January 1663, Jehan de Villers committed himself to the construction of a 24-stop instrument in Martin Prestat’s case; this project was already well on its way when it got interrupted on 16 July 1663 by the death of the organbuilder.

On 19 September 1663 his widow, Cécile Laguille, signed an agreement with the Parisian organ builder Jacques Carouge, who undertook the completion of the instruments. The archives contain no documents concerning the organ until 1791, when René Cochu was paid 1500 pounds to install the instrument, purchased by the parish on 28 March 1791, in the church of Juvigny.

The organ was then repaired in 1806 by Pierre-Francois-Philippe Lefèbvre, from Verbery (Oise); first modifications were carried out in 1850 by Alfred Abbey, who replaced the front of the Positif, modified the composition, probably removed the Echo and built a new wind channel. The work carried out by Jean Blési in 1889, and then by his successor Charles Didier in 1893, was even more serious: at the end of this intervention, the instrument had lost its windchests and its Grand-Orgue action, and retained only 11 of its original stops, plus eight more or less transformed and incomplete ranks.

After its restoration in 1927 by Henri Firmin, the organ remained in service until 1940; forgotten since then, it was “rediscovered” in 1966 by Alain Saint-Denis and Jean Gonnet who called upon Robert Masset for the installation of an electric fan, and upon Philippe Hartmann and Jean Deloye for a partial restoration which was carried out by the two organbuilders in 1968: the remaining pipework was recomposed and a classical voicing re-established. In 1976, Philippe Hartmann completed the instrument with a plein-jeu stop in the Positif.

In 1985, the Direction du Patrimoine commissioned Eric Brottier, titular organist, to proceed to a detailed inventory of the instrument in view of a complete restoration, which was finally carried out from 1990 to 1994, along with renovation work on the church; the project was entrusted to the renowned organ builder Pascal Quoirin, based in Saint-Didier (Vaucluse).

Eric Brottier