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Pipe organs

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biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Johnny Walker, a frequent Forum contributor, is the organist at the church next to the marche in Santiago.
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
I am a musician and would love to play the occasional pipe organ in one of the many churches along the way. Has anyone heard pipe organs being played, and if so where? Any other organists out there who have played organs along the pilgrim route? I hope to walk in October 2021 or May 2022.

Hi James and welcome here on this forum.
What an interesting question. I hope you will be able to practice underway.

The church @biarritzdon mentions is the San Agustin church.

A good idea to know where there are available pipe organs ( and open churches ! ) is asking one of the older ladies in the village ( after this Covid mess is under control! ) . Most of the times they have a key to the place or they know someone who knows someone.... :cool: .

Good luck!
 
Last edited:

James van Hemert

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Hi James and welcome here on this forum.
What an interesting question. I hope you will be able to practice underway.

The church @biarritzdon mentions is the San Agustin church.

A good idea to know where there are available pipe organs ( and open churches ! ) is asking one of the older ladies in the village ( after this Covid mess is under control! ) . Most of the times they have a key to the place or they know someone who knows someone.... :cool: .

Good luck!
Sabine, that sounds promising! Thank you kindly.
 
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biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Thank you. There is hope for music on the journey!
If you pass through Moratinos, Rebekah Scott at Peaceable Kingdom is very knowledgeable about many things msic between Burgos and Lyon. She also knows a guitar maker nearby. I don't know if he lives there year round but he does concerts during the summer at various local churches in Castille-Lyon and Palencia.
 

James van Hemert

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
If you pass through Moratinos, Rebekah Scott at Peaceable Kingdom is very knowledgeable about many things msic between Burgos and Lyon. She also knows a guitar maker nearby. I don't know if he lives there year round but he does concerts during the summer at various local churches in Castille-Lyon and Palencia.
Yes, my journey includes Moratinos. Day 18 in John Brierly's guide which i hope to follow as my physical condition, weather and encounters allow. Thank you. I am pleasantly surprised to have received such positive responses so soon.
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Yes, my journey includes Moratinos. Day 18 in John Brierly's guide which i hope to follow as my physical condition, weather and encounters allow. Thank you. I am pleasantly surprised to have received such positive responses so soon.

Please follow your own pace. No one says you have to follow Brierley's book , or any other guide for that matter. Some days you will feel stronger and want to walk longer, other days you will want to stop earlier.
Those " designated " stops from Brierley are sometimes bottlenecks when it comes in finding non fully booked albergues ( of course before Covid ).
Ha, is it clear by now that I'm not a fan of Brierley?
 

Arn

Veteran Member
Johnny Walker, a frequent Forum contributor, is the organist at the church next to the marche in Santiago.
Johnny Walker has become a good friend. When he heard I was considering entering consecrated life, he traveled to the Basilica in Pontrevedra and played “Here I am Lord!” as the processional following Mass.
I can not thank him enough.
Thank you JR!
Arn
 

James van Hemert

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Please follow your own pace. No one says you have to follow Brierley's book , or any other guide for that matter. Some days you will feel stronger and want to walk longer, other days you will want to stop earlier.
Those " designated " stops from Brierley are sometimes bottlenecks when it comes in finding non fully booked albergues ( of course before Covid ).
Ha, is it clear by now that I'm not a fan of Brierley?
Yes, indeed. Good advice about own pace. It was Brierley's book on the French Way that convinced me to plan a pilgramage. "Don't pack more than 10 kilos" he writes. I had given up backpacking years ago....but i can handle 10 kilos as a wandering pilgrim!👣
 
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BedDavid

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Portugues, Primativo, Baztán
Historic Spanish organs are unique in (normally) having divided keyboards, so you can draw different stops for the treble and bass halves, and can therefore play treble or bass solos playing the accompaniment on the same manual. In 2019 I was allowed play the enormous baroque organ in the 12th century fortified church of San Nicolás in Pamplona, by kind permission of the sacristan—only for 20 minutes as it was almost time for mass, and then the church would be closed.
A week or so later the organist of Burgos Cathedral allowed me to play the historic Organo de Cabezón in the Chapel of the Constables. I had met the organist the previous time I was in Burgos, in 2011, but he could not allow me to play then as it was a Sunday and another mass was about to begin. This time I made enquiries at the cathedral reception and they contacted the organist for me. He remembered me from 2011(!) and made arrangements to meet me in the cathedral the next afternoon, also a Sunday. In the chapel he opened a secret door in the choirstalls, and we went up stone steps inside the wall to a little room where the console was behind the organ case. It is the oldest organ in the cathedral, built in 1530 by Fernán Giménez de Vitoria, who was the master of the organs in León cathedral. It is the oldest and best preserved renaissance organ in Spain, with a single manual of 45 keys, 8 pedal keys, and 15 divided stops (519 pipes). The tuning is ¼ comma meantone. I played some Tientos by Cabezón I had brought, for about 45 minutes. I didn’t want to keep him any longer as he had played for four masses that morning. I thanked him warmly for the experience and he said he was delighted to welcome someone who appreciated the instrument. I wish I could remember his name. Also in Burgos Cathedral in the chapel of San Enrique there is a small baroque organ built in 1674 by an unknown builder, restored in 1999 by Gerhard Grenzing of Barcelona.
In Castrojeriz, in the church of St John the Baptist, there is a a medium sized baroque instrument with a single divided keyboard and plenty of reed stops. The hospitalero at Albergue Ultreia obtained permission from the priest for me to play. I played the entire repertoire of pieces I had brought, including Aguilera’s Ensalada Obra de 8º tono alto which sounded splendid. There is a fantastic looking organ in Los Arcos but I could not contact anyone who could let me play. I was refused permission to play a small chapel organ in Pamplona Cathedral. And in the Monastery of Santa María Real de las Huelgas I was told that only the king could give me permission to play and this might take several months!
On the Primitivo I met the organist of Lugo Cathedral who showed me the two organs in the choir gallery and allowed me to play there also.
 

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James van Hemert

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Historic Spanish organs are unique in (normally) having divided keyboards, so you can draw different stops for the treble and bass halves, and can therefore play treble or bass solos playing the accompaniment on the same manual. In 2019 I was allowed play the enormous baroque organ in the 12th century fortified church of San Nicolás in Pamplona, by kind permission of the sacristan—only for 20 minutes as it was almost time for mass, and then the church would be closed.
A week or so later the organist of Burgos Cathedral allowed me to play the historic Organo de Cabezón in the Chapel of the Constables. I had met the organist the previous time I was in Burgos, in 2011, but he could not allow me to play then as it was a Sunday and another mass was about to begin. This time I made enquiries at the cathedral reception and they contacted the organist for me. He remembered me from 2011(!) and made arrangements to meet me in the cathedral the next afternoon, also a Sunday. In the chapel he opened a secret door in the choirstalls, and we went up stone steps inside the wall to a little room where the console was behind the organ case. It is the oldest organ in the cathedral, built in 1530 by Fernán Giménez de Vitoria, who was the master of the organs in León cathedral. It is the oldest and best preserved renaissance organ in Spain, with a single manual of 45 keys, 8 pedal keys, and 15 divided stops (519 pipes). The tuning is ¼ comma meantone. I played some Tientos by Cabezón I had brought, for about 45 minutes. I didn’t want to keep him any longer as he had played for four masses that morning. I thanked him warmly for the experience and he said he was delighted to welcome someone who appreciated the instrument. I wish I could remember his name. Also in Burgos Cathedral in the chapel of San Enrique there is a small baroque organ built in 1674 by an unknown builder, restored in 1999 by Gerhard Grenzing of Barcelona.
In Castrojeriz, in the church of St John the Baptist, there is a a medium sized baroque instrument with a single divided keyboard and plenty of reed stops. The hospitalero at Albergue Ultreia obtained permission from the priest for me to play. I played the entire repertoire of pieces I had brought, including Aguilera’s Ensalada Obra de 8º tono alto which sounded splendid. There is a fantastic looking organ in Los Arcos but I could not contact anyone who could let me play. I was refused permission to play a small chapel organ in Pamplona Cathedral. And in the Monastery of Santa María Real de las Huelgas I was told that only the king could give me permission to play and this might take several months!
On the Primitivo I met the organist of Lugo Cathedral who showed me the two organs in the choir gallery and allowed me to play there also.
Oh, these are lovely and encouraging encounters! I will gladly take 15 minutes here and 45 minutes there! I plan to learn some music by Spanish composers in advance. I will do as you did: simply ask wherever the opportunity arises and expect some yeses and some nos. Thank you for your detailed notes, which i will save for reference on the journey.
 

AncientMariner

Anticipate Spring 2022 Lisbon trek
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Many decades ago my organist friend did an organ tour in/around the Netherlands, focused primarily on the Arp Schnitger instruments. This was a bus tour, not a hiking one. He returned believing this to be one of the high points in his life. Not relevant but FYI.
 

James van Hemert

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Many decades ago my organist friend did an organ tour in/around the Netherlands, focused primarily on the Arp Schnitger instruments. This was a bus tour, not a hiking one. He returned believing this to be one of the high points in his life. Not relevant but FYI.
Oh but this is relevant ! An example of walking and playing as a sojourner. Thank you.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
If you like Spanish pipe organs, Palencia is a great place to be, especially in late July/early August, when the Organ Festival is on. Here's some ad copy about it:

"One more year we love to inform of the celebration of the Festival of Organ of Palencia, held between July 16th and August 18th. These organs represent one of the main attractions of the artistic heritage of the region: most of them are Baroque from the S-XVIII, and have unique characteristics that make up the “Iberian organ” , very different from those we see in the rest of Europe. Palencia conserves some extraordinary examples, and it also is the occasion to know these wonderful churches, distributed by all the province.
The Festival attracts musicians from all over the world who come to our region to play and listen to these organs, which date back to the eighteenth century, and are unused for most of the year. The festival is organised by the Diputación de Palencia, Asociación Cultural Tadeo Ortega, linked to Fundación Chapelet and Asociación Amigos del Órgano de Palencia. This last one has more than 20 years offering Master Classes with invited famous and skilled professors from all over the world and students, it is called Academy Fray Joseph de Echevarría and it is directed by Roberto Fresco, titular organist of the Cathedral of the Almudena in Madrid. "

I have been to several of the concerts, often in the enormous stone churches that tower over tiny rural villages; the Fundacion Chapelet is the rural home of a French organist/organ historian and it's got several playable cabinet organs that were rescued from other locations. There is an organ builder in Torquemada as well... and a bell foundary in Saldana... and a series of guitar concerts in Camino churches. Not sure what the Covid-19 challenge will do to them all this year, or next.

...and should you choose to walk the Via de la Plata, I can tell you about some extraordinary Dutch-style organs moldering away in the churches of Extremadura!
 
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James van Hemert

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
If you like Spanish pipe organs, Palencia is a great place to be, especially in late July/early August, when the Organ Festival is on. Here's some ad copy about it:

"One more year we love to inform of the celebration of the Festival of Organ of Palencia, held between July 16th and August 18th. These organs represent one of the main attractions of the artistic heritage of the region: most of them are Baroque from the S-XVIII, and have unique characteristics that make up the “Iberian organ” , very different from those we see in the rest of Europe. Palencia conserves some extraordinary examples, and it also is the occasion to know these wonderful churches, distributed by all the province.
The Festival attracts musicians from all over the world who come to our region to play and listen to these organs, which date back to the eighteenth century, and are unused for most of the year. The festival is organised by the Diputación de Palencia, Asociación Cultural Tadeo Ortega, linked to Fundación Chapelet and Asociación Amigos del Órgano de Palencia. This last one has more than 20 years offering Master Classes with invited famous and skilled professors from all over the world and students, it is called Academy Fray Joseph de Echevarría and it is directed by Roberto Fresco, titular organist of the Cathedral of the Almudena in Madrid. "

I have been to several of the concerts, often in the enormous stone churches that tower over tiny rural villages; the Fundacion Chapelet is the rural home of a French organist/organ historian and it's got several playable cabinet organs that were rescued from other locations. There is an organ builder in Torquemada as well... and a bell foundary in Saldana... and a series of guitar concerts in Camino churches. Not sure what the Covid-19 challenge will do to them all this year, or next.

...ancheckd should you choose to walk the Via de la Plata, I can tell you about some extraordinary Dutch-style organs moldering away in the churches of Extremadura!
Thank you! I will certainly visit some of these places whenever I can walk the pilgrimage. I am now intrigued with Spanish organs. Didn't know anything before my post. Except for a bamboo organ i played in the Philippines built by Spanish folk in the 19th C.
 

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