Saturday, March 20, 2010

Great Britain: Gloucester Cathedral

This is part of the set of six stamps issued in 2008 marking important organs and cathedrals in Great Britain. It's denominated 50p. It features the organ at Gloucester Cathedral, west of London. You can get a history of the music at the cathedral here. There is a helpful page on the organ here, and a specification here. The current organ is a 1971 Hill Norman and Beard, which underwent renovation in 1999 by the Nicholson firm. Mark Jameson has prepared a helpful article on the entire set of stamps in The Organ Club Journal.

Great Britain: St. Anne's Cathedral, Belfast

The organ at Belfast Cathedral is on the 48p stamp. The organ was built in 1907 by Harrison and Harrison, and rebuilt 1969-1976. You can see a stop list here. The cathedral website has a nicely developed page dealing with past and current musicians, including there organists here. This stamp is part of a set of 6 issued in 2008; Mark Jameson has written a nicely detailed article on the stamps and organs in The Organ Club Journal.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Searching the stamps and images

I have been labeling each post with the country that issues each stamp. In some cases I have employed other labels of interest: Bach, Franck, etc. I realized recently that there is another handy label set I can use: the identifiers used by the ATA for the pipe organ stamp topic. The philatelic list produced by the ATA uses a single-digit number to describe what is depicted on the particular stamp:

1. Portatifs (14th and 15th centuries): short keyboards containing 20 to 28 pipes; carried by a shoulder strap and played by depressing keys or levers with one hand while operating bellows with the other.

2. Positifs (14th to 16th centuries): small ones were set on stands; larger ones rested on the floor; performer played with two hands while a helper operated the bellows.

3. Organ cases of identified organs (either on the stamp, or identifiable using other sources)

4. Organ cases of unidentified organs (one simply cannot determine where the instrument is or who built it)

5. Rows of pipes not in organ cases (I include here abstract artistic renderings of organ elements)

6. Organ consoles: often showing a well-known organist at the console

7. Features of organ cases (details of pipes or facade elements)

8. Street organs

So in the future I will use this numbering system as an additional label. It will take some time to go back and catch up earlier posts, but I'll get those done also, eventually.

By clicking on any of the labels in the right column you can get a list of stamps related to that particular label. In the case of country names, you get all the posts for stamps issued by that country.