The organ of
San Giovanni Battista Church was built in about 1750, probably by
the organbuilder of Atri Adriano Fedri of the Family Fedeli Rocchetta di
Camerino. The organ is located in the Choir and was completely restored in
1993 in the workshop of Pier Paolo Donati of Florence. This organ is of
special interest because
it is one of the rare historic Italian organs that has a reed stop in the
front, placed horizontally, as
in Spanish organs, and another reed stop placed in the swell.
The pipes in this organ
are all original and its restoration has allowed us to recover the
instrument as it was designed by the manufacturer in the 1700s. It has a
very low pressure of the wind chest down
to just 48 mm at the water column that gives the organ a very pleasant,
round sound. The temperament
of this instrument is a medium tone (Extended Meantone irregular) with
four pure fifths.
registration of the organ has maintained both the original tuning of 435
Hz and the temperament, so the virtual organ has the same temperament as
the original instrument. For this reason, a set of files were included in
the installation package such as temperament equable at 440 Hz and Vallotti
Tartini, both generated with the software of MidiPipeOrgan,
The organ is placed in the choir of the Church of San Giovanni Battista in
Atri (Vulgar San Domenico). The church was built in 1322 and underwent
several changes until 1758 or so.
The lower part of the facade, still in Romanesque style, is
preserved from the 1300s. The
Convent of the Benedictine monks was attached to church
who had dedicated it to
their saint St. Dominic. Inside the Church
there is a splendid
decoration on the vault, recently restored, which represents the transit
of Blessed St. Dominic.
The Dominican fathers
commissioned the organ in the 1500s and the original base of the
bellows is still preserved. All subsequent renovations, in about 1750 also
commissioned by the Dominican fathers, made it an accompanimental
instrument for the
singing of the friars and people
during the liturgy.
The church is located
in the town of Atri situated on a hill about 10 km from the Adriatic Sea.
Atri is called “the queen of the hills”,thanks to its position 442
metres above sea level overlooking the Adriatic Sea to the mountain group
of the Gran Sasso of d'Italia. Atri is a city which dates back to three
thousand years before the founding of Rome. Its first name was Idria, then
it became Hatria which gave the name to the Adriatic Sea.
In Roman times, in 299
BC, Atri was allied with Rome to defend it against the Gauls,
offering an army of 20,000 pedestrians and 4,000 horsemen.
This gesture garanteed Atri
a form of autonomy which allowed this town to
mint its own coins and
to become a holiday resort for the Romans.
The Dukes of Acquaviva resided in Atri in a
palace which is still preserved today as the Town Hall. The House
of the Dukes of Acquaviva includes the Blessed Rudolf Acquaviva who died
as a martyr in India .
The organ was recorded
at original temperament which is a meantone irregular with tuning to A 435
Hz. The sample set includes
three new temperaments:
The pattern of temperament in the instrument
after discovering the link to midepipeorgan.com on the Hauptwerk homepage and immedeately listening to the demo songs for San Giovanni Batista, I got really fascinated by the instrument right away! This first impression resulted from my permanent search for medium sized organs, where especially virtuous parts of organ music would not get blurred by long duration reverberations and, furthermore, this organ seemed to have an extraordinarily balanced set of stops from both of the important families, pipes and reeds! Allthough even Midipipeorgan itself, as a company in Italy, had only just entered the scene for Hauptwerk instruments and there where no reviews available, I simply placed an order in full confidence to my ears, i.e. the acoustic samples on the web.
Today I can consider myself very happy to have taken this decision and it has become a real desire to thank your small team for this excellent product! (The only restriction to this appreciation might be the fact that the most "relevant" genius to have conceived this instrument has lived a few centuries ago and seems out of reach for a thankful email...)
This doesn't detract from the merits, though, that the recording team deserves: The digital representation of the organ has been created with very high ambitions so that all stops sound in highest audio quality and in a fascinating "live" mannor!
And here I must say that all my first impressions from sound examples on the web were all highly confirmed: The distribution of sounds to the pipe and reed stops seems just perfect to my needs (until today I had owned 3 organs from the franco-iberian tradition and "some Silbermann's"). Not only the number of stops from the two families is in "perfect equilibrium" but the correspondent loudness as well! Combining pipes and reeds is a real pleasure and never results in sounds that get too harsh after a few minutes of playing. On the contrary: the overall impression always remains very delicate even in the presence of multiple reed stops! To mention it separately: Especially the Vox Humana is exquisite!
To come to a conclusion here, I can really say that the San Giovanni Batista is an absolute gem in the world of organs, may that refer to the real or the virtual instrument respectively! Though small, the organ should be adequate for a very large part of classical european(!) organ literature, not restricting the user to the franco-iberian nor e.g. german tradition exclusively. It may be extremely useful to musicians - like I am - who love to play free improvisations on their instruments! Extending the limited possibilities of an ancient instrument by the advanced combination options and the stepper in contemporary Hauptwerk software provides an even greater pleasure, so that the potential for creativity is almost unlimited with San Giovanni Batista!
The sample set have 2 attacks in different sample, 8 loops
for sample and 4 releases for sample . It require:
1) Software Hauptwerk licensed version 4 (Milan
Digital Audio). The sample set is tested with haptwerk Version 4.0.
2) 5300 MB about of Ram for load the virtual Organ with 24 Bit
Uncomperssed with all loops, all attack and all release.
3) Attention: the samples are protected and works only
with hauptwerk licensed edition (Basic Edition or Advanced Edition) and required
the update the dongle Hauptwerk.