1776 Tadeo Ortega Organ

Iglesia de San Agustín, Capillas/Palencia, Castilla-León, Espania


Short Introduction and History

This was probably the first instrument built by local organ-builder Tadeo Ortega, and dates from 1776, when he was twenty-seven.

A typical eighteenth-century rural Castilian instrument, it is full of character and produces an immense volume of sound on very low wind pressure.  The flue chorus is particularly fine, and the reeds somewhat rustic and very different from those at Frechilla.

Little is known about the history of the instrument, but it was cleaned and repaired at various times between the mid-nineteenth century and the early twentieth.  By the middle of the twentieth century, it had become a ruin, with some pipes missing and many severely damaged.  In the late1980’s some registers were made playable, and then in 1997 the organ was totally dismantled and taken to the workshop of Alain Faye in the south of France.  He carried out a full restoration, using as much of the original material as possible.  The organ retains its original soundboards and much of the mechanism.  The majority of the pipes were recoverable, but most of the mixtures are new, as is the 8’ internal Trompeta Real. Enough original material did remain, fortunately, for these new pipes to be an accurate re-creation of the originals. The wind is now supplied by an electric blower feeding a parallel reservoir which, to judge from the newspapers glued to it, dates from 1911.  This was probably the time at which the instrument had last received attention before recently being brought back to life

The Castilian Organ-Builder Tadeo Ortega
Tadeo Ortega was born in Burgos in 1749 but moved to the neighbouring province of Palencia before he started working as an organ-builder in 1772.  The Capillas organ is almost certainly the first instrument for which he took total responsibility.  For much of his life, he lived in the neighbouring villageof Fuentes de Nava, where two of his late two-manual instruments survive in original condition.  A full restoration of one of them (in the Church of San Pedro) was begun in October 2005 and is being carried out by the French organ-builder Bernard Cogez. The other (in the Church of Santa María) is still playable, and is to be fully restored once the restoration of the church is completed.

In all, Tadeo Ortega built or rebuilt some 25 instruments during his working life, all the in the Castilian region of Tierra de Campos, the last being in Castromocho in 1821.  He died in Palencia in 1823.  He was the last of the great organ-builders of Castile, although little celebrated during his life.  His instruments, however, are of exceptional quality.  They are both mechanically robust (several are still working reliably in virtually original, unrebuilt condition) and tonally impressive.

Text by Nicolas James, England, 2005

The church room has medium-wet acoustics with about 3.5 seconds of reverberation.

See Location in Googlemaps

Recording technique

The organ was recorded and processed in August 2005 with 48 kHz, 24 bit, multi-channel, using the multi-layer release technique introduced by OrganArt.  All stops were recorded with multiple release levels for short and long key attacks for authentic acoustical mapping.


This project is especially dedicated to organist Francis Chapelet, France, for all his great efforts concerning the restoration of Spanish historic organs.

I would like to thank the parish of San Agustín, Capillas, for enabling and supporting this project. Special thanks to Nicolas James, Southampton, for setting up all the contacts, translations and local help.
Last but not least special thanks to my wife, who assists all projects and is responsible for the photo documentation.

Virtual Console


Organ temperament:

Slightly non-equal

Manual compass*:

C, D, E, F, G, A - c3 (short octave, expandable)

Pedal compass:

Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol (C, D, E, F, G)
Pedal fixed coupled to manual

Stop list:

Bajos (Bass)        



Tiples (Treble)


Flautado 13 



Flautado 13








2  2/3'



2  2/3'




Quincena y Decinovena

2' + 1/3'


1  1/3'












Trompeta Real













Trompeta Magna


Registration Aids:

Cascabeles Bajos (Bells), Cascabeles Tiples
Tambor Do, La (Drum Simulation)

* Expandable with missing semi-tones C#, D#, F#, G# (see Control Page)


Loaded Version

Memory Requirements 3)

Processor Speed 2)

16-bit, compressed1), all loops

950 MB

≥ 2 GHz  DualCore

20-bit, compressed, all loops

1.4 GB

≥ 2 GHz DualCore

24-bit, compressed, all loops

1.8 GB

≥ 2 GHz  DualCore

Lossless compression (no loss of sound quality!)

Recommended: Dual-Core, 4 GByte RAM

3)  To load this organ into Hauptwerk you will need enough free memory in your computer, due to the amount of playable stops, not including the operating system or any other programs that may be running!         

We recommend a professional audio card (e.g. RME-Series) and a studio headphone (e.g. AKG Reference Headphone K701, K712) for optimal sound and room impression.


The following demo pieces were recorded with the Hauptwerk Advanced Edition software and the virtual organ sample set, with no additional effects processing:

Live recorded demos by Francis Chapelet, France/Spain:  Stop List
Improvisation 8:35 min

Live recorded demos by Nicolas James, Southampton, England: Stop List

Antonio de Cabezón (1510-1566)

Tiento de primer tono 1:43min

Francisco Peraza (1564-1598)

Medio registro alto de primer tono 2:55min

Diego de Alvarado (~1580-1643)

Tiento sobre el Pange Lingua español 1:40min

Juan Cabanilles (1644-1712)

Corrente Italiana 4:33min

Actual new recordings please check ConcertHall web site:
Actual recordings (final set)


© OrganArt Media, all rights reserved
No demo sounds may be used or transmitted in any form for public purposes without the prior written permission of the publisher!

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