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José Gallardo Alberni

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Posts posted by José Gallardo Alberni

  1. Hi, B)


    This is a not very known subject, and the mecanism is not sophisticated. There were five kinds of swellboxes:


    - An upper lid, completely movable (in the modest organs, perhaps the first used)

    - An upper lid, with a quarter of it completely movable (in the first half of 18th century, and rather rare)

    - A wide stop, in form of a slide with holes (first half of 18th century)

    - Several lids: upper, sides, front (from 1778, Jordi Bosch)

    - Blinds and jalousies (19th centuty)


    The organist used them by means of:


    - Pedal, like the Spanish contras

    - Stirrup (in shoe-shape)

    - Knee button

    - Mushroom button

    - Tilt tablet


    As I said, the actual movement of this swellbox is not known, because this subject was not included in the contracts.



    Best wishes to you and to all one, from Andalucía (Spain)... a sunny land almost all the year. :P



  2. Hi! :)


    I owed you some details about the Spanish swellboxes and their firs time built in 1659. There are the details. I enclose the Spanish text (for those who read this language) and my very very bad translation.


    I apologize for two things: for the delay (I should have post this more quickly) and for my bad translation (I am ashamed of it).


    Thank you very much to all you! :)



    Extrated from Jesús Ángel de la Lama, S.J.: El Órgano Barroco Español, I. Naturaleza. Junta de Castilla y León (1995), p316:


    Se encarga de la obra [el órgano de Tolosa de 1686] Joseph de Echevarría. El diseño, plasmado en dos memoriales firmados en 1683, es obra del organero vasco franciscano Fray Joseph de Echevarrría, de quien su homónimo es discípulo y sobrino. Fray Joseph concibe la estrutura musical del órgano de Tolosa conforme al que hiciera en San Diego de Alcalá de Henares, al que cita repetidas veces, lo mismo que al de San Francisdo de Vitoria y, por otro motivo, al de Eibar. El P.Donostia sitúa así las fechas de construcción de estos instrumentos:


    “El Padre Joseph de Echevarría hizo el órgano de San Diego de Alcalá de Henares, el de Eibar (Guipuzcoa) por los años de 1659… Construyó también, en 1665, el órgano de San Francisco de Vitoria…” (DONOSTIA 1955, 121)


    “Los (registros) que lleva el dicho órgano de San Diego de Alcalá son los siguientes… Síguense los registros que llevan los ECOS… Lo primero lleva dos flautados… y el otro que le corresponde en ECOS muy suspenso. Más lleva medio registro de Corneta Real y otra al símil en el ECO” (DONOSTIA 1955, 123s).


    “Item más (dice en el segundo memoria) ha de llevar medio registro alto de Clarines, los cuales han de tener su eco con su ida y venida, que sólo en el convento de Vitoria lo hay por ser la primera execución” (DONOSTIA 1955, 127)



    La prueba documental no puede ser más concluyente. Fray Joseph de Echevarría, en 1659, coloca en arca de Ecos dos medios registros: una flauta tapada y una Corneta; en 1662 hace lo mismo con una Corneta; en 1665 introduce en el arca de Ecos un Clarín, además de la Corneta. Estos tres medios registros tiples de Ecos son los primeros de ha historia. El organero vasco franciscano se adelantó 53 años a lo que habría Abraham Jordan en 1712.




    The work [1686 Tolosa organ] is commanded to Joseph de Echevarría. The layout, which takes shape in two memorials signed in 1683, is made by the Basque Friar Joseph de Echevarría, of which his homonymous one is disciple and nephew. Friar Joseph conceives the musical structure of the organ of Tolosa as the one made for San Diego de Alcalá de Henares, mentioned several times, and also the same as San Francisco de Vitoria y, for another reason, as Eibar. F.Donostia places the dates of the works:


    “F.Joseph de Echevarría built the organ of San Diego de Alcalá de Henares, and one of Eibar (Guipuzcoa) in the year of 1659… He also built, in 1665, the organ of San Francisco de Vitoria…” (DONOSTIA 1995, 121)


    “The (stops) in that organ of San Diego de Alcalá are the following… The following are those in the ECHO… The first one are two Flutes… and the another one accordingly in the ECHOES. Moreover, a Real Cornet divided stop and the another accordingly in the ECHO” (DONOSTIA 1955, 123s)


    “More (as it is said in the second memorial) it has a Clarines high divided stop, and the have accordingly their Echoes, and they have been built for the first time for Vitoria convent” (DONOSTIA 1955, 127)



    The evidence is conclusive. F.Joseph de Echevarría, in 1659, puts two divided stops in a swellbox: a stopped flute and a Cornet; he makes the same in 1662 with a Cornet; in 1665 he puts a Clarín, and the Cornet. These three high divided stops in Echoes are the first ones of the history. The Basque organbuilder went early in 53 years to what Abraham Jordan built in 1712.



    DONOSTIA, José Antonio de: “El órgano de Tolosa (Guipúzcoa), del año 1686”. In AM X (1955) 121-136

  3. Elsewhere on this forum MM posed what I think is an unanswerable question: what is the greatest non-Bach organ-work ever written? I provocatively responded by suggesting MM should first put his cards on the table and indicate what he considered to be JSBs greatest organ work. Answer: the Trio Sonatas.


    What do others think?


    For me, "Tocatta, Adagio and Fugue in C major" BWV 564 and "Prelude and Fugue St.Anne" BWV 552.

  4. Even the british could have herited the Swellbox from Spain or Portugal, where it

    existed probably before 1712 (St-Magnus London).


    As I wrote some months ago, as far as I know the first swellbox was built in 1659. Specifically, by Fr. Joesph de Echevarría for the organ in San Diego de Alcalá Church in Eibar (Guipuzcoa)... again the Basque country.

  5. I have come across few lady organists.  Are there any at Cathedral level?  Or is it mainly a male preserve?  Why are there not many females?  Surely all-male choirs could do with a few young ladies to keep them on their toes... well at least to watch the conductors.  I'm not looking for one by the way.  I'm not made that way.  So please tell me.



    In Spain, the organ music has blown from the Cathedral and the Church. I mean, although there are organis in the chapters, both males and females only play concerts (mainly). Even the choral tradition is lost... only guitars and another "modern" instruments... By the way, in my humble opinion, the best Spanish organist is a female, and she is called Monserrat Torrent.

  6. Now where can we get copies of organ-music by Manuel Torres?




    Did you mean Eduardo Torres? If so, you can purchase some of his organ works here:




    At least, some of his most famous works, such as "Saetas" (I sent them to one member of this forum some time ago).


    If you have some issue related to Spanish language or similar, do not hesitate to ask me. Ok? ;)

  7. My source is the books of Jesús Ángel de la Lama, S.J. called "El órgano barroco español" (something like a bible...)

    It seems that the first swell box was built, as I said, by Fr. Joseph de Echavarria in Eibar (Guipuzcoa) in 1659. He did this task since this year to 1692 (when he died). He put in this swellbox two stops: a stopped flute and a cornet (another bad known stops outside and inside Spain).

    The web site could be interesting, but... I am not scholar in organbuilding (only an amateur) and my english is very very bad.

    Do you want to see an astonishing organ? Look at this:




    it is from San Hipolito's Church, Tamara de Campos (Palencia). But the post impressive fact is that it is of a column :


    http://users.servicios.retecal.es/sanhipol...navecentral.htm (below right)

  8. According to my acounts, the first horizontal reed stop in Spain was built in 1659 (built by Josep Echevarría in Alcalá de Henares) and in the same year (1659) and the same organbuilder built the first swell box (in spanish, more or less "echo box").

  9. Well, for example you have the following organists:


    Joan Cabanilles (1644-1712)

    Gabriel Menalt (1657-1687)

    Josep Elies (1687-1755)

    Miguel López (1669-1723)


    and many more...


    Cabanilles was organist at Valencia Cathedral. His organ was this one:




    nowadays destroyed. As you can see, it had reed stops. In any case, it's likely that Cabanilles's organ would have chamades. Take into account that one of the first reed stops of Spain was built at Huesca's Cathedral in 1588. And yes, perhaps French music (baroque) is more suitable in a Spanish organ, but not much more.

  10. It is supposed that if you go to the cathedral no sunday morning (moreover at 12 o'clock) you should hear the organ. But if you go there in August, it could be hard (seasons are seasons!)

    About what did the organists play... not only Cabanilles but Correa and much more. These reed stops are "very Spanish" (or Iberian) and the composers wrote a lot of pieces. For example, the Tientos (both left and right hand).

    Moreover, I almost think that spanish baroque organs are only suitable for this music. If you heard a Franck piece in a iberian organ, it looks horrible.

    The three main features of iberian organ are:

    - batalla reeds

    - swell boxes

    - divided keyboard

    (and perhaps the iberian cornet)


    I don't know whether this is what you are asking.

  11. As far as I know, they are twin organs nowadays, both inside and outside. But, Epistle side is the organ which is played normally. The one in Gospel side needs a restoration also. (Granada's cathedral have twin cases but the contents are different.)

    Yes I have listened to this organ and its sound is really astonishing. The reeds are powerful. It is a shock when you hear Cabanille's "Batalla Imperial"!

    Though Goggle translation is amuzing, as you realize it is "a bit" different. Basically, a "Octava tapada" is a eight foot stop which is stopped.


    I apologize for my poor english. Wishes!

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