Friday, September 29, 2017

Cambodia (Kampuchea): St Cecilia

Cambodia issued a set of 7 stamps plus a mini-sheet of one additional stamp in 1985, celebrating the international music year. The stamps are basic representations of art works that feature music and musical instruments. The 2 riel stamp (Scott 607) is "St Cecilia" by Bartolomeo Schedoni (1578-1615). On the left edge of the stamp, behind the saint's right shoulder is a small, anonymous positif organ. The saint's left hand is passing in front of her body and reaching for the keys of the instrument. An winged angel is at her left shoulder. In front of Cecilia are a lute and tambourine. Beneath her foot seems to be another stringed instrument. Schedoni painted this oil on canvas work in 1610. The work now hangs in the Galleria Nazionale di Capidimonte in Naples, Italy.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Evora, Portugal: Cathedral

The first building associated with the cathedral's locale was built 1184-1204. It was revised and expanded 1280-1340. It is the largest of Portugal's medieval cathedrals.

The stamp, horizontally oriented, was issued as part of the 2014 set of 10 cathedral stamps. Like others in the series, it has an exterior image in additional to the interior, and features a cross pattern in the perforations. It is denominated .42 euros. The stamp captures the bottom portion of the gallery in which the organ is located. One must look elsewhere for images of the whole instrument.

The Organs of Portugal site is ambivalent about the builder, but suggests installation took place between 1694 and 1710. It was restored by Flentrop in 1967 is is currently playable. For such a large space, the stoplist looks remarkably small.

Beja, Portugal: Cathedral

The cathedral at Beja was begun in 1590 and is dedicated to St James. It was designated a cathedral relatively recently, in 1925. At that time it was renovated and enlarged, and ultimately rededicated in 1937. As such the organ is likewise relatively new.

The stamp for this cathedral was issued in the 2013 series. It features a long view of the nave, with part of the organ just barely visible. One can home in on the organ using the characteristic red  pipe shades as a guide. It was built in 1996 by Egbert Pfaff of Germany. One may view the stop list here. The view of the nave below seems to have been shot just a bit closer to the east end of the church, and thus shows a little bit more of the instrument.

Coimbra, Portugal: New Cathedral

The New Cathedral in Coimbra, Portugal began as a Jesuit seminary and residence, begun in 1543. In 1759 Jesuits were banned from Portugal (I need to read more about that!) The cathedral had been housed in a Romanesque facility but was moved to the Jesuit church which was deemed more modern and spacious.

The present stamp is similar to others in this expanding series. Issued in 2013 it is in the vertical format. It shows an exterior image of the church and a larger interior image. If one knows what to look for, the organ cases are readily apparent within the chancel area shown.

The Orgaos de Portugal site explains that the original builder is unknown. The organ was refurbished in 2000 by Antonio Simoes and is still used in liturgies. They include this lovely image of one of the organ cases.

Leiria, Portugal: Cathedral

The cathedral church at Leiria was built between 1550 and 1574, having been elevated to a diocese in 1545. It was severely damaged in the 1755 earthquake. In 1811 it's interior was burned by French troops.

This stamp was issued in 2013 as part of a series of eight. This was the second set issued in the "Rota das Catedrais" series begun by the Portuguese postal authority. The stamp shows the interior of the cathedral, a straight shot down the nave toward the east end along with an exterior short. The stamps of the 2012 set were all in a landscape format; those in the 2013 set are oriented vertically. One can discern the altar in the center of the image. Harder to see are the two Baroque organ cases within the chancel area. The very top of the cases are only slightly seen in the stamp image. However, one does not see that these cases are essentially empty, with the pipe openings in the facade covered shut. A new organ stands in the south transcept, facing west. It is not visible in the stamp. The image below of the cathedral interior makes this all more plain.

According to the Orgaos de Portugal site, this new, unseen, instrument was built in 1998 by Georges Heintz. That site also includes a disposition. I have not been able to find any information about the older instrument whose cases are still in the chancel area.

Faro, Portugal: Cathedral

The cathedral in Faro, Portugal has a long and colorful history. The edifice became cathedral for the region in 1540. In 1596 the exterior was destroyed by the ravages of war. In 1755 an earthquake caused considerable damage. Thus much of what is seen today is from the rebuilding that took place in the late 1700's.

The organ barely seen in this stamp was built in 1715-1716 by Johann Heinrich Hulenkampf and Caetano Oldovini. It was most recently restored by the DA Flentrop firm in 1974. The organ is in a small gallery at clerestory level in the nave. The stamp includes just a small portion of the front of the instrument, including some of the horizontal reeds. One may read a fairly detailed history here. This site on Portuguese organs gives a disposition and photo.

Portugal began a sizeable series of stamps featuring its cathedrals in 2012. A few stamps in the series include glimpses of the organs in the interior images that comprise the stamp. The 2012 set included 10 stamps. Notice the cross included in the perforations.

Note: I was rooting around the website of Flentrop Orgelbouw this evening (two days after the initial post) looking for another instrument and in their works list saw two listings for Faro, Portugal. One was for the great organ! (The other was for the choir organ also in the cathedral.) Not Schnitger as proposed in some places, but according to Flentrop rather Uhlenkampf, in 1716. Flentrop did restoration work in 1974. Flentrop also provides a complete stoplist using modern formatting.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Masevaux, France

I got this cover several years ago, not really knowing what I was getting. The stamp is a common French regular issue, unremarkable with a likewise unremarkable cancellation. I liked the cachet. It shows an organ facade, a church tower and mentions the Masevaux International Organ Festival.

St Martin Church in Masevaux burned in 1966, destroying an historic Callinet organ from the mid-1800's. The church committed to rebuild, including two instrument (choir area and rear gallery) for the new facility. The 2016 season was the 40th of this august festival series.

The gallery organ was built by Alfred Kern and completed in 1975. This is the instrument shown on the cover.