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|Bambusorgel (Bamboo Organ)
José XIMENEZ (1601-1672)
Batalla de 6° tono [5:55]
Juan CABANILLES (1644-1712)
Tiento de falsas de 4° tono [2:29]
Pedro DE SAN LORENZO (17th
Obra de 1° tono de registro de mano derecha [3:06]
Juan CABANILLES (1644-1712)
Pasacalles I [2:4]
Canción: Revuillis vous [0:37]
Antonio de CABEZÓN (1510-1566)
Tiento de 1° tono [1:47]
ANTONIO (16th century)
Fabordón Glosado: Dic Nobis, María [1:27]
Francisco CORREA DE ARAUXO (1575-1663)
Tiento de Medio registro de baxon de 1° tono [4:30]
Sebastián AGUILERA DE HEREDIA (1561-1627)
Salve de lleno de 1° tono [1:48]
Frei Diego DA CONCEIÇÃO (17th
Meio registro de 2° tono accidental [3:15]
Pablo BRUNA (1611-1679)
Tiento Pange Lingua de 5° tono [1:37]
Narcís CASANOVAS (1747-1799)
Sonata in F [1:40]
Padre Rafael ANGLÉS (1730-1816)
José da MADRE DE DEUS (18th
Fuga I [2:34]
Carlos SEIXAS (1704-1742)
Sonata in A [6:33]
Félix Máximo López (1742-1821)
Verso de 2° tono [1:30]
Pablo BRUNA (1611-1679)
Tiento de falsas de 2° tono [4:54]
Francisco GUERAU (17th
Bamboo Organ, Parish Church of St. Joseph, Las Piñas,
rec. no date given.
SINUS CD 4003 [54:12]
is a rare and distinctive treat. Whether you want to
savour the sounds of a unique organ, or whether you are
an admirer of the Iberian music of the early modern period,
this is a CD guaranteed to give you a great deal of pleasure.
organ to be heard here is one made in the nineteenth-century
organ - to a much older pattern - and made wholly from
bamboo; only the trumpet stops are made of metal. It
was the creation of Father Diego Cera de la Virgin del
Carmen, born in Graus, in the Spanish Pyrenees. Late
in the 1780s he joined the order of the Augustinian Recollects.
A talented musician, he spent four years as organist
at an Augustinian monastery in Barcelona and travelled,
with twelve other priests, to take up work in the Philippines.
In December of 1795 he took charge of a poor parish in
Las Piñas, near Manila. A man of impressive energy,
Father Diego set about teaching his parishioners new
ways of dyeing the cotton they grew, so as to increase
its marketability. He also set about replacing their
bamboo church with one made of stone. In 1816, while
the stone church was still under construction, he began
to build an organ made of bamboo. The pipes had to be
cut and then buried in sand before they could be used,
a procedure designed to make them absorb sand, which
would protect them against the depredations of insects.
By 1821 the organ, with 747 bamboo pipes was in a playable
condition. In 1824 Cera added the 121 metal pipes for
the ‘Spanish trumpets’.
the years a whole series of natural disasters – from
earthquakes to typhoons – did extensive damage to both
church and organ. Father Cera died in 1832. From the
1880s onwards the organ seems to have deteriorated to
the point where it was unplayable. Sporadic attempts
at restoration achieved only temporary successes until
in the 1970s the Bonn firm of Johannes Klais was awarded
a contract for the full restoration and the instrument
was shipped there in 1973. It was returned to Las Piñas
in March 1975, amidst much celebration. Since then the
organ - declared a ‘National Cultural Treasure’ by the
National Museum of the Philippines in 2003 - has hosted
many festivals, and recitals by distinguished visiting
organists. The booklet contains the specifications of
the organ - using the relevant Spanish terms:
Bajon cillo 4'
Clarin Campaña 2'
Flautado Mayor 4'
Flautado Violon 8'
Octava 1a 2'
Octava 2a 2'
Docena 1a 11/3'
Docena 2a 11/3'
Quincena 1a 1'
Quincena 2a 1'
Clarin Claro 8'
Clarin Campaña 8'
Flautado Mayor 8'
Flautado Violon 16'
Octava 1a 4'
Octava 2a 4'
Docena 1a and 2a (2) 22/3'
Quincena 1a and 2a (3)
Travizera (2) 8'
Corneta (5) 8'
booklet also contains a list of the registrations employed
in each piece.
documentation of this present CD provides no recording
date, but the back inset carries the information “(P)
and © 1990”, so it is obviously not terribly recent.
But the sound (DDD) is fine and clear – clear enough
to pick up the occasional accompaniment of a choir of
crickets; the booklet notes (author unnamed) charmingly
observe that “the church of St. Joseph at Las Piñas also
houses a colony of crickets, who were allowed to participate
in this recording, as it was thought that father Diego,
too, would not have turned away those congenial musicians”.
Swiss organist Albert Bolliger has made many recordings
on historic instruments and, unsurprisingly, has chosen
a programme which shows off the organ to its best. The
sound is relatively small but vivacious, attractively
reedy and clearly articulated. The instrument sounds
particularly good in the brief tiento (a kind
of ricercare) by Cabezon and allows interesting
effects in the characteristically Spanish ‘battle’ piece
by Ximenez. Its clarity of articulation brings out the
dancing patterns of Guerau’s Canarios (from a
collection published in 1694), in which a delightful
touch is added by the use of the ‘pajaritos’ - remember
that pajarito is the Spanish for “baby bird” and
you’ll get the idea.
truth there isn’t a dull piece here – or at any rate
none of them sound at all dull played by Albert Bolliger
on this charming instrument with a unique sound world.
A delight from beginning to end.
Gerard Hoffnung CDs
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