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.