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Santa Maria degli Angeli - Bisenti [Back to Library]

Producer: MIDIPipeOrgan
Builder: Bevilacqua
Country: Italy
Manuals: 2
Pedalboard: No
Audio Ouput:
Date Built: 1985


The Organ of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Bisenti (Te) was built in 1985 as a replacement for an antique organ of the Venetian school of the late 18th century. The original one had only one manual and pedalboard at a lectern and was in a terrible state. In fact, after various alterations only a few old stops and a minimum part of the mechanics remained and it became impossible to restore. For this reason the new organ was built and the composition of the stops was taken care of by the organist Claudio Di Massimantonio. He took into consideration the performance practices of the best European organ literature but also the restricted space which housed the organ.

The Organ was built by the organbuilder Ponziano Bevilacqua. The first and second keyboard are completely with mechanical transmission while the pedal board is with electric transmission. The pedal board was built by electric transmission because the space where organbuilder could build the organ was too small

The second keyboard has all the pipes placed in the swell where work the stop of the tremulant. The keyboards are made of boxwood and ebony while the pedal is concave radius. The first 12 main front pipes are copper while the other rods are 60% alloy of tin and 40% lead, with the exception of the horizontal rods of the trumpet that are copper.

The windchests are within range and have a pressure of 48 mm at the water column for the first keyboard (Great), 45 mm for the second keyboard (Swell) and 55 mm for the pedal board.

The choice of stops to be included in the organ was made by considering the execution of the best European organ literature and by maintaining the harmonization characteristics of the Italian tradition of organ building, particularly that of central-southern Italy.

In this organ, the stops of the families of Principals, Flutes and Trumpets are present. There are also three mutation stops, Sesquialtera, nazardo and third. The Sesquialtera mutation (preferred by Bach) was introduced in Italy in the 17th century and it is composed by the XII and the XVII pipe of the Principal family. The Third and Nazardo, combined together at two feet of piccolo, give rise to the "tierce", very popular with French composers, and are the basis of the formation of the cornetto.

The horizontal facade trumpets is in Spanish style. In fact, The influences of Spain were felt in Italy from the 1700s onwards (See the organ of St. John the Baptist Church). The pipes of the pedal board are placed on either side of the organ with pipes of 16, 8 and 4 feet, and reeds and bordone give body to the organ.

The mixture is typically Italian because the refrain is in Italian style. There is also a log swing, dear to the Italian tradition, the Human Voice or Fiffaro, present in almost all Italian organs of the 17th century. The temperament is equable, and the organ is pitched at A = 440 Hz.

The organ can be found in the parish church of Bisenti, a town with about 2000 inhabitants, in the Province of Teramo, in the Abruzzo region. Bisenti is an old town, behind the mountain of the Gran Sasso, about 40 km from the Adriatic Sea, probably of Greek or Italic origin. Formerly it belonged to the "Vestinia" when the capital of Teramo was "Pretuzio". According to a legend, Bisenti was the birthplace of Pontius Pilate, but it is considered only a legend because there is no historical proof of it. Nevertheless, in Bisenti there is a house which allegedly belonged to the Roman consul Pontius Pilate, with a well inside that dates back to Roman times. A typical tradition of this village is Patronal Festival and the Wine Festival which takes place in September.

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