Day four of the Pipe Dreams Tour started on the beautiful Island of Palma de Mallorca which has one of the few remaining pipe organ by organbuilder Jordi Bosch. Everyone else was heading to the beach in this tropical paradise, but NO not the group of 40 American organists–we were heading off to hear pipe organs in church on the island. Just think none of us had to pack sunscreen! We had to have our bags out at 6am, mind you, this blogger was up until 2am posting photos and videos to the internet.
Our bus drove along the beach, it was bright and sunny out, we drove past the very impressive Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma de Mallorca (396 feet long, 180 feet wide and 144 feet high), on our way to Saint Augustine of Palma. The pipe organ here was built in 1703 shortly after the church was finished in 1699. In 1755 the organ underwent an important modification the addition of the chamade reeds. The organ was demonstrated for us by organist Arnau Reynes. He told the group there are 120 pipe organs on the island, of those 60 are in good working condition. Mallorca is my kind of island – the pipe organ per capita is what the rest of the world needs to emulate.
After this we walked a short distance to Saint Francis. Another incredible Gothic church completed in 1499. The oldest recorded organ in the church is from 1536. Jordi Bosch built a stunning organ which survived unchanged until the 1950s. At which time the Spanish Dictator Franco’s organbuilder threw out the organ to make a new one – yes, I am about to get sick. All that remained was the case the horizontal trumpets. In 2008 Grenzing built a new pipe organ to reflect the organ of the past, but also being modern so all of the literature can be played. It is an excellent organ.
For our last organ of the day we heard what is likely the most important pipe organ of the trip. It is an organ in the tiny town of Santanyi on the eastern part of Palma de Mallorca, Saint Andrew’s – here is an organ by Jordi Bosch that has had little changes since it was built in 1765. In 1985 after a great deal of study the Grenzing workshop made a painstaking restoration of this pipe organ. This instrument Isnard Organ in France, blazing reeds, big cornets – Bosch had to have been visiting Southern France and hear Isnard’s organ, or maybe it was the other way around as the organ at St. Maximin in Provence was completed 10 years after the Bosch organ we heard.
Then it was off to the airport in Mallorca for the next leg of our journey, Basque Country.
The trip has been fantastic. I hope you are enjoying the updates.