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.
Ton Koopman explores the thrills of battles and also the gentler side of the Iberian organ.
Arnau Reynés I Florit introduces the Grenzing organ in the Franciscan Convent church of Palma de Mallorca, incorporating a late-gothic case and Bosch pipework.
Organist Pier Damiano Peretti plays organ works of Bruna, Arauxo, Froberger and others from Spain's Golden Age. Peretti plays the organ at the St. Johannis Church in Hannover, Germany, which was completed in 2001 by the firm of Patrick Collon. The one manual instrument is based on the organ at the Iglesia Colegial in Lerma, Spain, and is tuned to meantone temperament (A=415).
Esteban Elizondo Iriarte plays works of José María Beobide and Beobide's favorite student, Antonio José on the 1905 Mutin-Cavaillé-Coll organ at the Iglesia de La Merced in Burgos. (Beobide was organist for the Jesuit college there). The organ suffered severe damage in a 2001 fire, and was restored using as many original parts as possible by the Gerhard Grenzing company.
Esteban Elizondo Iriarte performs works of José María Beobide (1882-1967) and his contemporaries on the modest 1890 Stoltz-Frères (Paris) organ at the Parish Church San Pedro Apostal in Beobide's hometown of Zumaia, Spain. Iriarte is joined by soprano Arantza Ezenarro on several works.
Luís Urteaga (1882-1960) organ works are played by Esteban Elizondo Iriarte on the 3 manual 1868 Cavaillé-Coll of San Vicente, San Sebastián, Spain. Ofrenda al Beato Pio X: Pastorela en mi mayor; Allegro Maestoso en mi menor; Tu gloria Jerusalem. Meditación en do menor. Pastoral en forma de Canon en la menor. Marcha Religiosa en fa sostenido menor. Responso en mi mayor Final en re menor
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Felipe Gorriti y Osambela (1839-1896) brought Spain into the modern world of Romantic organ composition in 1882: he composed the first piece written in Spain of fully Romantic character and with the pedal noted separately. From 1867 until his death, he was organist at St. Mary’s Church in Tolosa (Guipúzcoa, Basque country) and played and composed for the Romantic organ supplied in 1885 and heard on Volume 2 of these CDs played by organist Esteban Elizondo Iriarte. Click the headline for descriptions of the two CDs devoted to Gorriti and to order.
Guridi (1886-1961) has great repute as a Basque and Spanish composer of the 20th century. A pupil of Vincent d’Indy and Joseph Jongen, his style can be situated in late romanticism with nationalist traits. His “feeling for the organ” may be characterized by two aspects: that of the religious servant he was and that of an outstanding harmonic craftsman.
The masterpiece by an unknown builder in Ataun is ideal for organist Esteban Elizondo’s selection of battle pieces that demonstrate its many reeds.
Iberian organ music from the 16th until the 18th century was very closely linked to the liturgy of the Spanish church. The composers heard here represent the full spectrum of characteristic styles of the Spanish and Portuguese schools from every major epoch. The famous organs (“Evangelio” and the larger “Epistola”) played by José Luis González Uriol are in the Cathedral of Santa Maria in Ciudad Rodrigo, Salamanca, and were built by Pedro Livorno Echevarría in 1725-27 and restored by the Swiss builders Carmen and Hans Späth in 1994-2001.
Guy Bovet plays mostly Spanish repertoire on the 1696 organ built by Jorge de Sesma and Tiburcio Sans and restored by Flentrop 1975-77.
Guy Bovet tours seven very old Mexican organs, some restored and some not, and some recorded in compromised conditions. Bovet’s elegant playing prevails throughout.