Friday, September 29, 2017

Cambodia (Kampuchea): St Cecilia

Cambodia issued a set of 7 stamps plus a mini-sheet of one additional stamp in 1985, celebrating the international music year. The stamps are basic representations of art works that feature music and musical instruments. The 2 riel stamp (Scott 607) is "St Cecilia" by Bartolomeo Schedoni (1578-1615). On the left edge of the stamp, behind the saint's right shoulder is a small, anonymous positif organ. The saint's left hand is passing in front of her body and reaching for the keys of the instrument. An winged angel is at her left shoulder. In front of Cecilia are a lute and tambourine. Beneath her foot seems to be another stringed instrument. Schedoni painted this oil on canvas work in 1610. The work now hangs in the Galleria Nazionale di Capidimonte in Naples, Italy.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Evora, Portugal: Cathedral

The first building associated with the cathedral's locale was built 1184-1204. It was revised and expanded 1280-1340. It is the largest of Portugal's medieval cathedrals.

The stamp, horizontally oriented, was issued as part of the 2014 set of 10 cathedral stamps. Like others in the series, it has an exterior image in additional to the interior, and features a cross pattern in the perforations. It is denominated .42 euros. The stamp captures the bottom portion of the gallery in which the organ is located. One must look elsewhere for images of the whole instrument.

The Organs of Portugal site is ambivalent about the builder, but suggests installation took place between 1694 and 1710. It was restored by Flentrop in 1967 is is currently playable. For such a large space, the stoplist looks remarkably small.

Beja, Portugal: Cathedral

The cathedral at Beja was begun in 1590 and is dedicated to St James. It was designated a cathedral relatively recently, in 1925. At that time it was renovated and enlarged, and ultimately rededicated in 1937. As such the organ is likewise relatively new.

The stamp for this cathedral was issued in the 2013 series. It features a long view of the nave, with part of the organ just barely visible. One can home in on the organ using the characteristic red  pipe shades as a guide. It was built in 1996 by Egbert Pfaff of Germany. One may view the stop list here. The view of the nave below seems to have been shot just a bit closer to the east end of the church, and thus shows a little bit more of the instrument.

Coimbra, Portugal: New Cathedral

The New Cathedral in Coimbra, Portugal began as a Jesuit seminary and residence, begun in 1543. In 1759 Jesuits were banned from Portugal (I need to read more about that!) The cathedral had been housed in a Romanesque facility but was moved to the Jesuit church which was deemed more modern and spacious.

The present stamp is similar to others in this expanding series. Issued in 2013 it is in the vertical format. It shows an exterior image of the church and a larger interior image. If one knows what to look for, the organ cases are readily apparent within the chancel area shown.

The Orgaos de Portugal site explains that the original builder is unknown. The organ was refurbished in 2000 by Antonio Simoes and is still used in liturgies. They include this lovely image of one of the organ cases.

Leiria, Portugal: Cathedral

The cathedral church at Leiria was built between 1550 and 1574, having been elevated to a diocese in 1545. It was severely damaged in the 1755 earthquake. In 1811 it's interior was burned by French troops.

This stamp was issued in 2013 as part of a series of eight. This was the second set issued in the "Rota das Catedrais" series begun by the Portuguese postal authority. The stamp shows the interior of the cathedral, a straight shot down the nave toward the east end along with an exterior short. The stamps of the 2012 set were all in a landscape format; those in the 2013 set are oriented vertically. One can discern the altar in the center of the image. Harder to see are the two Baroque organ cases within the chancel area. The very top of the cases are only slightly seen in the stamp image. However, one does not see that these cases are essentially empty, with the pipe openings in the facade covered shut. A new organ stands in the south transcept, facing west. It is not visible in the stamp. The image below of the cathedral interior makes this all more plain.

According to the Orgaos de Portugal site, this new, unseen, instrument was built in 1998 by Georges Heintz. That site also includes a disposition. I have not been able to find any information about the older instrument whose cases are still in the chancel area.

Faro, Portugal: Cathedral

The cathedral in Faro, Portugal has a long and colorful history. The edifice became cathedral for the region in 1540. In 1596 the exterior was destroyed by the ravages of war. In 1755 an earthquake caused considerable damage. Thus much of what is seen today is from the rebuilding that took place in the late 1700's.

The organ barely seen in this stamp was built in 1715-1716 by Johann Heinrich Hulenkampf and Caetano Oldovini. It was most recently restored by the DA Flentrop firm in 1974. The organ is in a small gallery at clerestory level in the nave. The stamp includes just a small portion of the front of the instrument, including some of the horizontal reeds. One may read a fairly detailed history here. This site on Portuguese organs gives a disposition and photo.

Portugal began a sizeable series of stamps featuring its cathedrals in 2012. A few stamps in the series include glimpses of the organs in the interior images that comprise the stamp. The 2012 set included 10 stamps. Notice the cross included in the perforations.

Note: I was rooting around the website of Flentrop Orgelbouw this evening (two days after the initial post) looking for another instrument and in their works list saw two listings for Faro, Portugal. One was for the great organ! (The other was for the choir organ also in the cathedral.) Not Schnitger as proposed in some places, but according to Flentrop rather Uhlenkampf, in 1716. Flentrop did restoration work in 1974. Flentrop also provides a complete stoplist using modern formatting.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Masevaux, France

I got this cover several years ago, not really knowing what I was getting. The stamp is a common French regular issue, unremarkable with a likewise unremarkable cancellation. I liked the cachet. It shows an organ facade, a church tower and mentions the Masevaux International Organ Festival.

St Martin Church in Masevaux burned in 1966, destroying an historic Callinet organ from the mid-1800's. The church committed to rebuild, including two instrument (choir area and rear gallery) for the new facility. The 2016 season was the 40th of this august festival series.

The gallery organ was built by Alfred Kern and completed in 1975. This is the instrument shown on the cover.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Ukraine, Odessa Music Academy

Ukraine issued this postal envelop in 2013 to mark the 100th anniversary of the national music academy in Odessa. The facility is named for Antonia Nezhdanova, a very famous soprano singers in the early years of the last century.

The Academy has a well fleshed-out website that translates into English. The page describing the history of the academy is fascinating reading, even in translation. It seems that Alexander Manilov, a professor at the school 1968-1971 was instrumental in getting the Sauer organ installed in 1970. I could find no more information about the instrument.

The envelop shows an exterior shot of the Academy as the stamp image. The cachet shows the interior of the main hall stage, with organ (partially shrouded by drapes) and piano.

Today I was able to find more information about the organ including a stoplist.

Диспозиція органа Державної музичної академії
W. Sauer, Frankfurt/Oder, op. 1909, 1970 рік, 22 рег.
Pedal C—f’
Hauptwerk C—g’’’
Swellwerk C—g’’’
Subbas 16’ Holzgedackt 8’ Quintade 16’
Gemshorn 8’ Rohrflöte 4’ Principal 8’
Rohrpommer 4f   Principal 2’ Spillpeife 8’
Fagott 16’ Sifflöte 1’ Oktave 4’
Posaune 8’ Sesquilter 2f   Spitzflöte 4’
    Scharf 3f   Rohrnasat 2 2/3’
    Krummhorn 8’ Nachthorn 2’
Mixtur 5-6f  
      Zymbel 3f  
      Trompete 8’
ManualKoppel, I/P, II/P, II/I, PedalKoppel

Russia, Moscow Academy

Russia issued this postal envelop in 1991 to mark the 125th anniversary of the Moscow Academy. The Academy's rich history includes many names familiar to musicians around the world. Tchaikovsky's name is associated with the building, though he is but one of several important Russian (and indeed world-renown) musicians to have exerted influence here.

The envelop features a piano trio (violin, cello, piano) superimposed on an image of the main hall, with its organ, as the "stamp" design. The cachet area shows the exterior of the building with a statue of Tchaikovsky super-imposed on it. Both images are in color. The Russian text mentions the anniversary and Tchaikovsky's name.

The Academy's organ has figured on a handful of Russian stamps. Use the label links in the right column to navigate to them.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Argentina: Kirchner Cultural Center

Argentina issued this stamp in 2015, celebrating the Kirchner Cultural Center in BA. The mini-sheet is actually comprised of a single stamp with 4 colorful labels included. The Kirchner Center began as a Postal center when it was constructed (1911-1928). It was converted to a residence (1946) for the nation's president, but was recently re-invented as an arts facility (2005-2015). Included in the building is a large concert hall, The Blue Whale, which includes a pipe organ. The $20 stamp shows the interior of the concert hall including the organ. The labels show various other aspects of the facility. One of them shows some details of the organ: pipes, drawknobs and keyboards. The four-manual and pedals (56 ranks) instrument was built by Klais in Germany.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Russia: Glazunov postal envelop

Russia issued this postal envelop in 1990 honoring the 125th birthday of Alexander Glazunov, a famous Russian composer and teacher. Mark Jameson gave me this envelop recently. The stamp image shows the composer and what appears to be an open book. There is nothing particularly musical about it. The cancellation notes the day of issue and the fact that it is indeed the 125th anniversary. It also shows a pair of dancers and some organ pipes and a piano.

The left side of the face of the envelop show a pair of ballet dancers (in color) superimposed on an image of the organ (with a piano) in the hall of the Leningrad Consevatory (in black and white). Text indicates this is the Glazunov Hall at the Conservatory. The couple are presented in a scene from Glazunov's ballet, "Raymonda," of 1898.

I have not been able to find a stoplist for the organ, nor information about the builder yet.

Russia: Taneyev postal card

Mark Jameson recently gave me this card. I had to think for a moment whether to include it on my postcard blog or here. I decided that since it was a postal card issued the the Russian postal authority, it really didn't belong on the postcard blog. Picture postcards form the heart of that other blog; this item is not such.

Russia issued this card in 2006 to celebrate the 150th birthday of Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev, a very famous Russian composer, teacher and pianist. Taneyev was long associated with the Moscow Conservatory. The stamp image shows a portrait and some musical notation. The cachet area of the card shows the main auditorium at the conservatory, including the Cavaille-Coll organ. A group of singers is on risers in front of the organ, with a conductor, presumably Taneyev himself. The other side of the card is totally blank, as is customary with postal cards in general.

The Moscow Conservatory instrument has figured prominently on stamps issued by Russia. Use the label listing at right to find the posts related to those stamps.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Monaco: Salle Garnier

Monaco issued a set of six stamps in 1979 celebrating the 100th anniversary of their opera house, the Salle Garnier. Five of the stamps show scenes from various operas produced in the theater. The sixth (Scott 1172) shows a painting which is above the stage. The painting shows various musical instruments and players. Among them is an organ and organist. It wasn't until I was examining the image on the card that I looked more closely at the stamps and discovered the organ tie-in on this particular stamp. What a find! This is a first day of issue card. The image printed on the card replicates the painting: the organists and pipes are quite clear. With the postcard and stamp images in mind, one can just barely discern the details in the photos below. I couldn't find any images that showed the instruments, let alone the organ, any more clearly.

France: music boxes

France issued a mini-sheet of six stamps in 2015 featuring elaborate music boxes. Among the very creative and fanciful devices is one that looks like a pipe organ and includes a clock. While the design may represent a specific instrument, I suspect it is a generic representation to suit the creator's artistic desires. My copy of this stamp sheet was a gift from Mark Jameson. I have tagged this as "5 ATA" as it may be considered an artistic form of an organ, but I suspect it is essentially non-organic. Each of the music boxes shown on the sheetlet are marvelous works of art and clever machines to boot!

Niger: Handel homage, 2015

The African nation, Niger, issued a mini-sheet of 4 stamps in 2015 honoring George Frederick Handel. The four stamps each include a  different portrait of the composer and a varying background. Three of the four stamps identify the background as representative of UR: the opera Ottone; LL, the opera Orlando; LR, the oratorio Messiah. The UL stamp show an unidentified pipe organ facade. Not knowing all the instruments associated with Handel all that well, I cannot identify the organ shown. Indeed, it may be an artist's rendering of a generic instrument. The selvage shows yet another image of the composer, at work on the score of Messiah. My copy of the mini-sheet is unused, a gift from Mark Jameson.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Aland: Jomala Kyrka

This cover is related to the Jomala Kyrka in the Aland Isands, near Finland. The stamp (Scott 8) shows a nice exterior shot of the historic church. The cachet however shows a somewhat enigmatic representation of the church interior. A little digging demonstrated for me that the cachet includes a bit of the organ in this famous church.

There is an annual organ festival in the Alands, I learned. Looking at the program for 2015 and cross-referencing artists and images I found what to me seems to be the organ inside the church shown on the stamp. Important markers for me were the historic crucifix, and the unique light fixture. I wish the photo below included the remarkable ship model hanging from the ceiling shown in the cachet! Lines in the cachet convince me that it includes a portion of the organ.

My friend Mark Jameson gave me this FDC. It's dated August 26, 1988, the day the stamp was issued in Mariehamn, Aland Islands.

The Aland Islands Organ Festival site was quite helpful. Under "ovrigt" near the bottom of the left column click on "orglarna" and scroll down the center section just a bit to get details about the Jomala Church's instrument.

Czech Republic: Jakub Jan Ryba

The Czech Republic issued this stamp in 2015, honoring Jakub Jan Ryba (1765-1815). He spent most of his career teaching music and composing. His most famous composition is a Christmas cantata which is still performed in Bohemia. Using the clue "Rozmital" in the Wikipedia source I have been able to track down a little information about the organ shown. The Church of the Holy Cross in "Old Rozmital" seems to be the locale. It is part of a small group of churches including the other where Ryba was employed, in Nepomuk. The organ shown on the parish website seems to match. Some plowing through Czech websites on the organ (varhany) revealed this information about the instrument: I found a bit of information here, including the original (?) specification from 1751. I have not had a chance to explore other Czech resources yet. The church website devotes quite a bit of space to Ryba and some history of the organ. Reading a translation of the website gives some hint of the information available, but organ jargon doesn't translate well! The site suggests that about 75% of the original Martin Palecek instrument (from 1750-1751) remains to this day.

I have a mint copy and a postally used copy of the stamp. I also have a first day of issue cover for the stamp. The cancellation seems to have Ryba's signature included. The cachet shows a line drawing of the exterior of the Holy Cross church and the keydesk of the organ. The FDC is dated 14 October 2015 which is the date for neither Ryba's birth nor death. 

Central African Republic: Composers, 2011

In 2011 the postal agency for the Central African Republic issued a mini-sheet of three stamps featuring three classical music composers. The three are Mendelssohn, Bach, and Brahms. Mendelssohn is shown with a piano-forte, Brahms with a music score, and Bach with the famous portrait of him at the console. The stamps are denominated 1000 francs; two are horizontally formatted; the Brahms stamp is vertical. The background/selvedge of the mini-sheet shows a French horn and the neck of a stringed instrument. Typical of many nations these stamps' topic has no real connection to the people or life in CAR, and this "wallpaper" issue was designed as a cash grab by the postal authority.

Netherlands: Mozart in Netherlands

Netherlands Post issued this stamp in 2016, part of a set of two commemorating the visit of Amadeus Mozart to Haarlem in 1766. While there the ten-year-old music prodigy played the organ in the Grote Kerk. The same instrument had been played by GF Handel when he visited the city in 1740 and 1750. The stamp shows a portrait of Mozart and the console of the organ. (The other stamp shows Mozart and a music manuscript.)

The Mueller organ was completed in 1738 and is generally acclaimed as one of the finest instruments to this day. The last major repairs were complete 1959-1960 by the Marcussen firm. Flentrop now takes care of the instrument. Ninety percent of the original pipework is still in place.

My stamp was a gift from Mark Jameson; it is unused. It pays the first-class postage rate.