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.