Friday, May 16, 2014

United States: Orchestra Hall, Chicago, IL

To my knowledge this is the only postal product produced by the USPS that includes a representation of an organ. Scott UX152 was issued in 1990 in advance of the 100th anniversary of the hall's construction. The card was part of a long-running series of "Historical Preservation" cards depicting unique or innovative US architectural  features on American buildings. The stamp image shows the stage area obliquely, and includes two of the three tonal egress openings for the organ sound, and the facade pipes of those openings.  This article gives a good summary of the recent history of the organ including  a specification of the current instrument. The original organ in the hall was by Lyon and Healy, installed in 1904. It was rebuilt by Sauter and Sons in 1946. By 1966 that instrument needed repairs, but workers on stage damaged a significant portion of the pipework, making rebuilding unfeasible. An electronic organ stood as replacement for a decade. A new organ by Moller was installed in 1981. Renovation in the hall at the end of the 20th century included a significant amount of work on the organ by the Casavant firm from Canada, beginning in 1994. Work was completed in 1999.

Ukraine: Igor Shamo

Ukraine issued this post card in 2000 honoring composer Igor Shamo (1925-1982). The stamp image itself features various music-related elements, but the image on the lower-left of the card shows the composer with a background of organ pipes. I have not been able to determine what Shamo's relationship to the organ may be. This helpful site goes into some detail about his training and musical career, and an extensive list of compositions, but no clue as to how or why organ pipes might figure into a post card honoring him. I am not sure where or when I got this post card, and it does not appear in my Scott catalog. I would be happy to hear from anyone who can help detail Shamo's relationship to the organ, or why organ pipes feature on the card in his honor.