First Four CDs of the series “Historic Organs of Oaxaca, Mexico” released by IOHIO
Organ enthusiasts may now hear the Spanish-style baroque pipe organs of Oaxaca, Mexico in a series of live recordings that not only demonstrate the unique and brilliant character of the instruments but also provide exciting performances by distinguished organists. Experts have long recognized and appreciated these organs for their particular design as well as their distinctive sound. The seven organs that are now playable (out of 69 extant instruments or their remains in the state) have been featured variously in the eight International Organ and Early Music Festivals sponsored by the Instituto de Órganos Históricos de Oaxaca (IOHIO). However, except for Festival attendees, few organ lovers outside of Oaxaca have heard their voices.
The IOHIO has remedied this situation by launching a new series, “Historic Organs of Oaxaca, Mexico,” which brings the sound of these remarkable 18th-century instruments to the general public. Recorded live during the highly regarded International Organ and Early Music Festivals, the first four of these CDs transport the listener into the baroque churches of San Jerónimo Tlacochahuaya (Vols. I and IV) and the Oaxaca Cathedral (Vols. II and III) and reveal the arresting tone characteristics of their meantone-tuned organs, masterfully restored during the 1990s by organbuilder Susan Tattershall. All disks include a 20-page booklet in English and Spanish with essays by Barbara Owen about the Oaxacan organs and by Cicely Winter about the organ of Tlacochahuaya or the Oaxaca Cathedral. We highly recommend these unique recordings to aficionados of the Spanish organ repertoire and of the organs of Latin America, Mexico, and Oaxaca.