I am at the end of a fantastic week in Andalusia: since last Tuesday, I spent 5 full days in recording organ pieces written by Francisco Correa de Arauxo some 400 years ago in Seville.
Since more than forty years, I’ve been incredibly attracted by his music, I played it regularly in concert and made several trips in Spain in search for the best possible organs to perform it. In 1988 and 1991, I recorded two CDs. I am now coming back to this wonderful heritage, thanks to the generous support of Vincent Meyer, a passionate music lover and a very good connoisseur of Correa.
Correa’s organ does not exist anymore, but thanks to Andrés Cea Galan, I discovered two remarkable instruments, one in Castaño del Robledo, a small village in the mountain situated in the North of Andalusia, and the other in Marchena, a lovely city not far from Seville.
In the period of Correa, the main organs in Seville were built by Flemish organ builders. Almost all of them have disappeared, unfortunately. But in the middle of the 18th century, the organ builder in charge of the Seville Cathedral built an organ in Castaño, re-using all pipes in the Flemish style. This instrument, beautifully restored by Gerhard Grenzing, gives us a unique flavor of the kind of sound that Correa had heard in the Cathedral of Seville as well on his own instrument at the church of San Salvador.
The bigger organ in Marchena has been built in the middle of the 18th century, but has preserved polyphonic qualities that are exceptional, and very precious for this repertoire.
Living and working day after day in this environment has been a great experience. Aline Blondiau did a great job in recording these organs in the best possible way. Lambert Colson joined me in Marchena to record a few pieces: we got the opportunity to create a dialogue between his cornetto and the register of the same name on the organ.
In June next year, we will go to Lerma in Castilla where there are two instruments built in 1616/1617, beautifully restored/rebuilt by Joaquin Lois. Six musicians of the ensemble InAlto will join me in order to play there some pieces with or without the organ. I hope this project will allow a larger audience discovering this wonderful composer.
All this will be published by Ricercar at the end of 2020. I can’t wait to hear and share the final result!