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CD reviews

Organs from Latin America

[I] "Fiesta andina - Orgues historiques d'Andahuaylillas"
Francis Chapeleta, Juan Capistrano Perccab, Uriel Valadeauc, organ
El Coro de Niños y la Danza Cápac Quolla de Qolla de Andahuaylillasd, Musicians from 'Conservatorio Itinerantee/Judith Pacqier, Jennifer Vera, Fabio Pérez
rec: 1965b, Oct 31 - Nov 3, 2008 (partly live)acde, Andahuaylillas (Peru), Iglesia San Pedro
K617 - K617214 (© 2008) (78'37")
Liner-notes: F/S
Cover & track-list

Francisco CORREA DE ARAUXO (1584-1654): Canto llano de la immaculada Concepciónac; Tiento de medio registro de 4° tonoa; Tiento lleno de 6° tonoc; Francis CHAPELET: Improvisation on the Epistle organ; Improvisation on the Gospel organ; Peter PHILIPS (1560/61-1628): Fantasiaa; Jan Pieterszoon SWEELINCK (1562-1621): Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein (attr)a; Engelse Fortuyn (Von der Fortuna werd' ich getrieben) (SwWV 320)a; trad: Hanaq Pachap Kusikuininacde; Prayer and ritual dance of the Qollasd; Villancicob; Ruggier TROFEO (c1550-1614): Canzon XIX a 8ac; Domenico ZIPOLI (1688-1728): Toccatac

[II] "L'orgue au Nouveau Monde" (The organ in the New World)
Norberto Broggini, organ
rec: Sept 18 - 20, 2011, Metz, Arsenal (Grande Salle)
K617 - K617235 (© 2012) (65'12")
Liner-notes: F/S
Cover & track-list

anon: Cinco Diferencias sobre Las Vacas (c1550); Discurso de mano derecha para corneta y ecos; Alonso AVILA (fl c1495): [instrumental piece]; Juan BERMUDO (c1510-1565): Del modo primero con resabios de quarto; Del modo quarto; Antonio DE CABEZÓN (c1510-1566): Tiento IX; Francisco CORREA DE ARAUXO (1584-1654): Canto llano de la immaculada Concepción; Tiento de 4° tono, medio registro; Tiento tercero de 6° tono sobre la primera parte de la Batalla de Morales; Diego FERNÁNDEZ (14??-1551): [instrumental piece]; Hernando FRANCO (1532-1585): Verso de IV tono; Francisco GUERRERO (1528-1599): Missa Beata Mater (Kyrie); Estacio LACERNA (c1570-after 1616): Tento de 6° [modo] por gesolreut, fazendo ut e fa no mesmo signo; Alonso MUDARRA (c1510-1580), arr Luis VENEGAS DE HENESTROSA (c1510-1570): Fantasia IV de vihuela sobre fa, mi, ut, re; Fantasia X de vihuela; Fantasia XVIII de vihuela; Francisco DE PEÑALOSA (c1470-1528): [instrumental piece]; Francisco DE PERAZA (1564-1598): [Tento de] 8° modo (attr); Jerónimo DE PERAZA (c1550-1617): Medio registro alto, tono I (attr); José DE TORRES Y MARTÍNEZ BRAVO (c1670-1738): Batalla de Torres; Obra de 1° tono bajo

Music which was written and/or performed in the New World from the 16th to the 18th century is quite popular these days. The discography of recordings with this kind of repertoire is continuously growing. Less attention is paid to the organs which can be found here and there in the various countries of Central and South America. One probably doesn't expect to find organs there, and many may be in a pretty bad state. That was certainly the case when the French architecture student Claude Koenig visited the church of San Pedro in Andahuaylillas in Peru in 1965. He recorded one of the organs played by the then organist Juan Capistrano Percca - still the incumbent of the two organs - which shows the bad quality of the instrument. It is included in the disc which K617 released under the title of Fiesta andina. In the years 2007/2008 the French organ builder Jean-François Dupont restored these two organs, allocated on the two opposing balconies of the church. They are assumed to be the oldest organs of the New World, dating from 1606-1610 and 1626-1630 respectively.

This disc was recorded at the occasion of the inauguration and blessing of the restored instruments on 31 October 2008. This event turned into a village festival. The children of the village, with less than 4,000 inhabitants, participated in the concert, with instrumentalists from various Latin-American countries who were present because of a gathering of young performers of baroque music. The second track - after the old recording of 1965 - is a prayer and ritual dance. This is followed by a number of organ pieces, played by Francis Chapelet and Uriel Valadeau on the two organs, both independently on one of the organs and simultaneously on both organs. These tracks were recorded during the days after the concert, under studio conditions. After that we return to the live event, with a procession song, performed by children's voices, baroque instruments and the two organs. The disc closes with a 19 minute report from Radio France Internationale. I don't doubt that this is very interesting, but for those who don't understand French this is a bit of a disappointment.

It doesn't make sense to review the performances. They are quite good, although not all the pieces are most suitable to these particular organs. But there is every reason to be happy about this disc, as it documents two great instruments and the reception of their heritage by the village population. One would wish that in Europe the inhabitants of villages and towns were just as proud of their musical heritage, including historical organs. Nobody interested in the music of Latin America should miss this disc, and organ aficionados will certainly like to add this disc to their collection.

The second recording is connected to the first in that the Argentinian-born organist Norberto Broggini plays an organ which was built by Jean-François Dupont as a copy of the organs in Andahuaylillas. At the time of the recording this instrument was placed at the Arsenal in Metz in France. Broggini plays a programme with music which suits this instrument best, by Spanish and Portuguese composers from the 16th, 17th and early 18th centuries, some of whom have also worked in Latin America. Although some items are quite well-known, such as the Canto llano de la Immaculada Concepción by Francisco Correa de Arauxo, this recording is interesting because Broggini has largely avoided the well-trodden paths. He has selected several pieces from little-known sources, including transcriptions and arrangements.

The programme offers a good survey of the repertoire played at organs of Iberian design which were also built in Latin America, as we just have seen. A characteristic part of the repertoire are pieces which require a manual split into two halves with their own registers. This is referred to in the titles as medio registro. Examples are the piece by Correa de Arauxo which was already mentioned before and the Medio registro alto, tono I, attributed to Jerónimo Peraza. The disc begins with three pieces without a title which have been found in the northwest of Guatemala and which are now part of the so-called Lilly Library of the University of Indiana in Bloomington (USA). These pieces have no text - hence there is no title - and are likely meant to be performed by an ensemble of instruments. As this kind of repertoire was also commonly played on keyboard instruments there is no objection against a performance at this organ. Many pieces of the 16th century could be played on either keyboard or vihuela or harp. That is expressed in the title of the Libro de cifra nueva para tecla, harpa y vihuela by Luis Venegas de Henestrosa, in which he included arrangements of pieces for the vihuela by Alonso Mudarra.

This disc is interesting for its repertoire and the character of the organ. Organs of Iberian design are still not very well-known, but as this disc proves they produce a very characteristic sound, and when the appropriate repertoire is performed the result can be quite exciting. Norberto Broggini plays very well; the tempo of the above-mentioned piece by Correa de Arauxo seems a bit too fast, though.

It is unfortunate that the liner-notes of both discs are only in French and Spanish, in particular because of the relative obscurity of the music and the Iberian organ type. If you master one of these languages, you will be able to read the fascinating story of the two organs of Andahuaylillas in the first booklet, and extensive notes on the composers and the music by Broggini in the second.

Johan van Veen (© 2012)

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