Label: Maria de Alvear World Edition
The double CD Improvisaciones is an homage to the Iberian baroque organ. Germán Valverde Usano’s music reminds one of the rich music tradition of the autonomous community of Castile and León as well as its rich cultural heritage with over 100 conserved Iberian baroque organs. The recordings took place in 2016 in San Agustín in Capillas not far from the capital city Palencia (Spain).
Germán Valverde Usano’s passion for the Iberian organ as well as his extraordinary musical talent are expressed here in a unique manner and they let the long Iberian organ tradition liven up in Spain.
What struck me most during my visit to Castile and Leon in 2016 was seeing how almost all the churches contained Spanish baroque organs (also known as Iberian organs), many of which were in perfect working order, though some unfortunately were not. It was in one of these villages, Capillas, that I had the great pleasure of meeting a man named Germán Valverde, an agricultural mechanic by profession and self-taught musician, and listening to his improvised performances on the organ at San Sebastián church, where he is the guardian of the historic archives. His knowledge of the church’s history is extensive, and he has an exceptional gift for improvising tunes on the organ.
Germán Valverde’s creativity left such an impression on me that I decided to record these CDs, because I think it is essential to recognise the amount of talent we have in Spain, and to draw attention to those who go unrecognised. It was important for me to record these CDs, not just to showcase Germán Valverde’s innate musical gift, but also as a document which serves to spark greater encouragement and appreciation of this region’s intrinsic musical values. I hope that, listening to this mini miracle, you all enjoy and learn just as much as I myself have enjoyed and learnt.
I also believe it is essential for the Spanish baroque organ to regain its status as an icon of our musical traditions. As such, I wish to express my gratitude to volunteer organisations such as the Tadeo Ortega Cultural Association, along with the Diocese of Palencia and other public and private institutions which are doing all possible to maintain this organ-music heritage. - Maria de Alvear