Sunday, August 9, 2015

Santo Domingo, Yanhuitlan, Oaxaca (Mexico)


This is one of two high-value stamps from the set of six, $13.50. It shows the organ in the Santo Domingo, Yanhuitlan. the church was built in 1548 and the organ in 1700. Like many instruments of this locale and era, the instrumenthas a single keyboard of 45 notes and no pedal division. The instrument was work done in 1886 (an inscription inside the instrument), and again in 1996-1998 by Pascal Quoirin from France. View more information about the instrument at the IOHIO site here.

Mark Jameson's article gives this specification:

Left hand
Flautado mayor 8'
Flautado bardon 8'
Octava 4'
Tapadillo 4'
Docena 2 2/3'
Quincena 2'
Diez y novena 1 1/3'
Veintodosena 1
Cimbala 2/3'
Lleno
Trompeta real 8'

Right hand
Trompeta real 8'
Clarin claro 8'
Flautado mayor 8'
Flautado bardon 8'
Octava 4'
Tapadillo 4'
Docena 2 2/3'
Quincena 2'
Diez y novena 1 1/3'
Veintidosena 1'
Cimbala 2/3'
Lleno

("Lleno" seems to refer to a sort of combining stop of several pitches.)

San Andres, Zautla, MEX (IOHIO)


One of two middle-value stamps from the IOHIO set, this shows the organ in San Andres Church in Zautla, Oaxaca. The church dates from the 17th century and the instrument from 1726. The IOHIO site divides organ history in Oaxaca into four periods; this instrument is placed in the first/earliest. The site also reports that there are faces painted on at least some of the facade pipes, making it a polychrome example. The case was restored in 1990 and the rest of the instrument in 1996 by Susan Tattershall. This stamp also has an "error" stamp associated with it. On some copies of the stamp the final "s" is missing for the word "Instrumentos."

Mark Jameson gives this specification of the instrument in his OCJ article. As with many smaller instruments this one has no unison pitch stop; the lowest register is a 4' flute. The single, 45-note, keyboard is divided. There is no pedal division.

Left-hand
Flautado 4'
Tambor
Veintidosena 1/2' - 1'
Diez y novena 2/3'
Quincena 1'
Octava 2'

Right-hand
Flautado I 4'
Pajaritos
Octava I 2'
Docena/Octava 1 1/3' - 1'
Flautado II 4'
Octava II 2'

An excellent summary article by David Warren Steel has includes information about each of the organs in the 2013 set of stamps, as well as photos.


IOHIO: Mexico


Mexico leaped into the organ-stamp world in 2010-2013. First came a mini-sheet celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National University of Mexico; one of the stamps showed an auditorium with an organ on the stage. On December 20, 2013 came a set of 6 stamps honoring the 10th anniversary of the Historical Institute of Organ based in Oaxaca. The sheet of stamps had 5 of each design. A pair of articles in the Organ Club Journal provides much of the information I have about the stamps and the organs shown. Dr. Barbara Owen's article discusses the history and work of the IOHIO; Mark Jameson's article gives very helpful details about each instrument shown on the stamps. Organs in Oaxaca are unique in that so many remain unused presently but capable and worthy of being restored. The organs reflect Spanish musical models, but incorporate distinctly Oaxacan artistic elements. This issue warrants individual posts on each stamp in the series.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Religious Buildings: Baptist Church (Russia)


This stamp was issued by Russia in 2001 as part of a set of 14 stamps showing religious buildings in that nation. The present stamp shows what is the the Baptist Church in Bryansk Oblast. Klintsy is the largest city in this district in western Russia. The stamp shows the church facility in full color, with smaller images in monochrome on either side. The right side image is of an organ facade. I have not been able to find more information about the organ yet. Several Baptist churches in the US are in partnership with the Russian church. Thus there are several sites that mention visiting the Bryansk Baptist Church for study and mission work.I was able to find a couple of indoor images to confirm, for me at least, that this is indeed the church depicted on the stamp, with its organ. Scott 6651 was issued 12 July 2001. The stamp notes that the image is of the facility in 1996.





Tuesday, August 4, 2015

St Vincent: Mendelssohn


This stamp was issued by St. Vincent & the Grenadines in 2009 the bicentennial of the birth of Felix Mendelssohn. The stamp was part of a mini-sheet of six stamps (Scott 3658) depicting various aspect of the composer's life and work. The present stamp depicts a sketch made by Felix Mendelssohn himself of an organ in Heidelberg Germany. Other stamps depict a painting of a scene from "A Mid-Summer's Night Dream"; a portrait of Felix Mendelssohn; a portrait of Cecile Jeanrenauld Mendelssohn, the composer's wife; a musical score; the orchestra hall where Mendelssohn conducted, and the present stamp. There would be no direct connection between the issuing country and the subject matter.



The organ shown in Mendelssohn's sketch is long gone. This site tells us 13 instruments have existed in the church over the course of its history. The location has changed too: south wall, west gallery, and a unique instrument that was situated on a sort of rood screen between the nave and choir, which could be played from both sides of the partition! The present organ is by Steinmeyer was constructed between 1980 and 1993 as their opus 2354. It has 61 ranks. The church's website doesn't give very much more information.


After considerable searching I was able to find some information that sheds light on the sketch shown on the present stamp. Here is the entire passage, minus footnoted material:

In their honeymoon diary Cecile Mendelssohn noted on 8  May 1837 that "before lunch Fritz [Schlemmer] played for us in the church," and later Felix sketched the scene into the diary. Even though Cecile did not identify the church, it has long been assumed that the church in question was the Heiliggeist-Kirche since "it is the principal church of Heidelberg," as as Peter Ward Jones has pointed out, "it was just around the corner from [their] hotel." On the other hand, as Ward Jones has also noted, Mendelssohn's sketch does not depict the interior of either the Heiliggeist-Kirche or any other identifiable Heidelberg church. Moreover, the organ on which Schlemmer is playing in the sketchappears to have but a single manual, although very clearly there is a Ruckpositiv behind him. The figure beside Schlemmer, serving as registrant, appears to be Mendelssohn, and certainly if Schlemmer played, then it can be assumed that Mendelssohn also played. Altogerh, Mendelssohn's sketch presents a number of problems, but as Ward Jones has reasonably concluded, "it may well be that the details were imperfectly recollected."

Mendelssohn and the Organ, William A Little, Oxford University Press, July 1, 2010 ISBN 0195394380 Pages 352-353. Accessed via Googlebooks. Little's helpful book is still in print and available.

Little begins this portion of the Appendix A by noting the location and the instrument, Liborius Muller: III/41 (1815). I have not been able to find information in English about this building nor a catalog of instruments.

Religious Music Festival (Spain)



This stamp commemorates a religious music festival in Cuenca, Spain. It seems the event has been going on for more than 50 years. I say "seems" because while their website is full of event information, there is very little information about the history of the event or who sponsors it. Being in Spain, I would assume it spring out of the Catholic hierarchy, but I really cant' tell. The event began in 1962; this stamp was issued in 1986, so perhaps it was a 25th anniversary commemoration. The stamp shows a stylized organ facade, and indeed, there are a few instruments to be found in the photo gallery of the website. The facade does not seem to depict a specific instrument. Scott 2472 was issued March 26, 1986, with a denomination of 17 pesetas.