Friday, September 21, 2007

DDR: Dresden Silbermann

This is the high-value stamp (Scott 1710) in a set of four issued in 1976 by the former East Germany commemorating organs built by Gottfried Silbermann (1683-1753). This one located in the large city of Dresden in what is now Trnity Cathedral, formerly known as the Hofkirche. The organ was dismantled and stored during the war, and re-built in 1971, with restoration in 2002. This link will give you the specification of the organ and direct you to some pictures of the reconstruction. Other Silbermann organs in Dresden include the Frauenkirche which was destroyed in the war and then rebuilt and the Sophienkirche. Here is a fascinating discussion of the new organ for the rebuilt Frauenkirche.

DDR: Fraureuth Silberman

This is the third (Scott 1709) in a set of four stamps honoring Silbermann organs in the former East Germany. This organ is found in the town of Fraureuth. Here is a stop list (and gateway to a very helpful Silbermann organ site!).

DDR: Freiberg Cathedral Silberman

This is the second (Scott 1708) in a set of four stamps commemorating important instruments by Gottfried Silbermann (1683-1753). This is one of the remaining Silberman organs in the town of Freiberg. This instrument is of utmost importance because of its size and the fact that it remains largely unaltered. Here is just a little bit more about the town and the instrument. And here is a specification.

DDR: Rotha Silbermann

The first (Scott 1707) in a set of four beautiful stamps featuring organs built by Gottfried Silbermann (1683-1753). Silbermann is renowned as the finest builder of his era. Historic instruments are scattered throughout the former East Germany, this one in Rotha (near Leipzig). These stamps are remarkable because they simply feature the instrument and honor the builder; the church is not named; they were not issued to promote tourism. They commemorate the instrument. This site (which is a promotion for an organ sound canvas) has a wonderful description of the instrument and its history. Beautiful and compelling instruments they are indeed.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Belgium: Europa: Cesar Franck

Belgium issued this stamp (Scott 1199) as part of a set of two in 1985, for its Europa commemoration. 1985 was a "music year" in the Europa program. This stamp includes a profile of Cesar Franck seated at an organ console, with organ pipes in the background. There is a music exerpt included, but I cannot tell what the score is; it's probably not an organ score. The year 1887 is included in the stamp image. It's hard to tell if that's the year of the image of Franck, or if the stamp is issued a couple of years ahead of a centennial! Franck was an incredible composer. Though his organ compositions number exactly twelve, he is closely associated with that instrument, as he was for a years a church organist. Though he was born in Belgium, he is most closely associated with St. Sulpice in Paris.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Brazil: Carmelite Bicentennial

The Carmelite Order has had a presence in Brazil since before 1759. This stamp (Scott 893) commemorates the bicentennial of that presence in 1959. It was issued on July 16 of that year. This site gives some information on the churches in Rio de Janiero, but no details relevant to organs in any of them.

Update (7/15/11): With the help of another blogger I have found this site which is a dissertation on the organ, located in a monestary. The dissertation is quite complete, dealing with various construction details. Sadly it's in Portuguese, however the synopsis is in English.

Israel: Bach

Israel issued this stamp in March of 2000 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Bach’s death. The stamp itself features a Bach portrait. But the tab of the stamp features an organ fa├žade. It is not possible for me to determine what organ this may be. Others maybe can discern it. Israeli stamps are famous for having as much interest in the tabs of stamps as in the stamp itself. This is the only additional information I could find on the stamp, from Israel Post.

Russia: Vilnius Cathedral

Russia issued this stamp (Scott 5915) in 1990 as part of a set of eight exploring Historic Architecture. The stamp features the Cathedral at Vilnius, Lithuania and the organ faced from the interior of the building. The right inscription notes the historical time span (presumably that covered by the architecture depicted on the eight stamps) to be the 13th through the 18 centuries. The center panel reads “Vilnius” in both Cyrillic and English. Worship took place at this location already from 1251. The current building dates from 1779-1783, with the interior completed in 1801. After abuse during the Soviet era, repairs were completed in the 1990’s. This site features a tremendous amount of material on organs and organists in Lithuania, here is information about the Schuke organ installed in 1969.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Russia: Moscow Conservatory

This definitive stamp (Scott 6560) features the organ at the Moscow Conservatory in Russia. This stamp was issued in 1999 (the imprint shows 1998), following currency re-valuation. A similar stamp was issued two years before, with high-denominations, before the currency change. The organ and Piotr was built by the Cavaille-Coll firm of France. A relationship between organist-composer Charles-Marie Widor and Piotr Illyich Tchaikovsky led to the decision to work with Cavaille-Coll. Apparently Widor felt a French builder could best capture the pathos of Russian musical sensitivities in the new organ. The new instrument was built in 1896, but went first to the Paris Exhibition before being installed in the conservatory, an interestingly circuitous route. After work on the instrument three times in the imd- to late 1900's, by the 1990's heating and cooling issued in the hall had damaged the organ such that it was unplayable.

Note: there are 3 versions of this stamp:
1997, 5000 rubles, Scott 6382
1998, 5 rubles, Scott 6433
1999, 5 rubles, redrawn, with micro-printing replacing the vertical lines in the background, Scott 6560
I have the 1998 pictured here, and it's the only version I own.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Belgium: Ninove, Bastogne

These are the third and four in a set of four stamps issued by Belgium in 2000 for tourism. Scott #1824 depicts the exterior of the Church of the Ascension in Ninove and its organ. The last (Scott #1825) depicts the parish church at Bastogne and the organ there. One can find just a bit more inforamtion about each of these four stamps and the church depicted here.

Belgium: Grimbergen, Mons

These two stamps are a set of four issued by Belgium in 2000 for promotion of tourism. All four stamps depict a rendering of the exterior of the church building, plus a view of the organ. The first (Scott 1822) stamp features the organ at the Norbertine Abbey in Grimbergen. The second (Scott #1823) is that of La Collegiale Sainte-Waudru. Here is a nice article on the builder, Delmotte.

Belgium: Flor Peeters

This stamp (Scott #1631) was issued in 1996 as part of a set of four stamps honoring musicians and writers. Flor Peeters (1903-1986) was a church musician and prolific composer of music, including many works for organ. The organ in the stamp is that of the church most closely associated with Peeters, that in Mechelen. Also shown here is a photo of the interior of the church looking down the nave toward the west (rear) gallery.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Austria: Catholic Church Music Congress

This stamp (Scott 596) depicts the organ at the St. Florian abbey, of Anton Bruckner fame. The stamp was issued in conjunction with the Second International Congress for Catholic Church Music, held in Vienna in 1954.

Austria: Albrechtsberger

This stamp was issued Janury 31, 1986 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Johann Georg Albrechtsberger. Albrechtsberger was born in Klosterneuburg, near Vienna in 1736. As church musician he worked in Raab and Maria Taferl. He ultimately was kapellmeister at the St. Stephen's Dom in Vienna. It is hard to determine which organ is depicted in the background of the stamp. The stamp depicts only part of the facade of an instrument. However it looks very much like the complete facade shown below. It seems to be the instrument in Klosterneuberg, built by Freundt in 1642.  The abbey is an Augustinian house on the Danube river.

Notes from 2012: This site has a nice history of the facility and the organ. (The developer of the site sadly died in February 2012; his site is wonderfully detailed, with many videos of the organs he covers.) Here is a specification since 1990 after work by Kuhn of Manndorf, Switzerland:

Ruckpositiv (I)
Nachthorn        8
Prinzipal          4
Klein Copl       4
Spitzfloeten     4
Octave             2
Superoctav       1 (3)
Cimbal scharf  ¼ (3)
Krummhorn     8 (2)

Hauptwerk (II)
Principal          8
Principalfloten 8 (6)
Copl                 8
Quintadena      8
Octav               4
Octav Copl      4
Dulcian            4 (3)
Offne Floeten  4
Quint               3
Superoctav      2
Mixtur             4, XII-XIV (3, 6)
Cimbel gross   2/3 (3)
Dulcian          16 (1, 6)
Pusaun             8 (1, 6)

Brustwerk (III)
Coplfloeten      4
Prinzipal          2
Spitzfloeten     2
Regal               8
Tremulant (4)

Prinzipal          16 (5)
Subbass           16 (6)
Octav               8
Choralfloeten   8
Superoctav       4
Mixtur              4, VII-VIII
Rauschwerk     2, III
Grosspusaun    16 (1, 6)
Octav Pusaun   8 (1, 6)
1990 Installation: 1
1984 Installation: 2
1950 Installation: 3
1934 Installation: 4
With an extra key B below low C: 5
Activated/Deactivated ventil stop “Wind Hinterladen”: 6

Austria: Music Academy

Austria issued this stamp (Scott 864) on June 5, 1970. It depicts the organ in the Great Hall at the Vienna Music Academy. 1970 was the centenary of the building's construction. This site gives several pictures of the organ, but does not give a stoplist, nor the name of the builder.

Update as of 4/2011: Reiger has built a new organ within the pre-existing case. They have a specification here. This discussion board reveals that the original organ was by Ladegast, completed in 1872. The new instrument has 84 ranks at a cost of $1.8 Euros. If the board information is correct, the inaugural concert should have been held recently. The work has been going on since 2010.


Friday, March 30, 2007

Austria: Bruckner Organ

This stamp was issued 26 April 1996 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Anton Bruckner (1824-1896). Bruckner was long associated with the St. Florian Abbey in Linz. The organ there is today lovingly called the "Bruckner Organ." The organ dates as far back as the 15th century. The current instrument was begun by Franz Xavier Krismann in 1770. At its completion then, the instrument had 74 ranks of pipes. Work continued over many years with several builders adding their imprint to the instrument. It currently has four manuals plus pedal and includes nearly 100 ranks of pipes.

Austria: St. Stephen's

Issued on 12 December 1946, this stamp is from a set of 10 semi-postal stamps. The additional price paid for each stamp aided in the reconstruction of the St. Stephen Cathedral in Vienna. There are actually currently three organs in the Dom: a choir organ from the 1950's; the west gallery instrument most recently updated in the 1960's, and a large instrument from 1991 in the nave. The instrument shown on this stamp is an older version of the west gallery organ, originally built in the 1880's by Walcker.  The organ is located in the west gallery and was re-built by the Kauffmann firm in 1960.
Shown at the bottom is the nave organ built by Rieger.