MACHADO E CERVEIRA
Igreja de Nossa Senhora, Livramento Mafra
The organ currently to be found in the high choir of the church of Our Lady in Livramento was built by António Xavier Machado e Cerveira in 1787. An inscription above the keyboard identifies it as his sixteenth instrument.
The instrument has an unusual chest, with the vertical pipes on the façade surrounded by an oval frame. The painting on the insides of the lateral doors suggests that they were intended to be left open when the organ was played, in order to allow it to be better heard. The keyboard of fifty‐one keys and the disposition of the stops is characteristic of Machado e Cerveira’s work at the beginning of his period of activity. Noteworthy is the presence of a Voz humana (a register of Italian origin, made popular in Portugal during the second half of the 18th century), as well as pedals to cancel the plenum stops (present on all instruments built by him).
This organ, until recently to be found in the church of São Pedro dos Grilhões, is mentioned in an inventory of goods belonging to the Parish, dated 1911, as well as another, probably belonging to the church of Our Lady in Livramento, whose whereabouts are currently unknown. Though the inventory does not mention the condition of either of the organs, the fact is that only one of them has come down to us, and, even so, in deplorable condition. Owing to decades of neglect and vandalism, the organ lost almost all its pipes, and all the rest of its components were in very bad condition. The analysis of the surviving pieces and knowledge of other instruments by Machado e Cerveira allowed the organ builder Dinarte Machado to undertake a complete restoration and reconstruction of the instrument, which was finished in 2007.
Inscription above the keyboard:
ANTONIO XAVIER MAÇHADO E CERVEIRA / O FES EM LISBOA NO ANNO D' 1787, Nº 16