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Antegnati of Bellinzona

Existing and forthcoming Hauptwerk instruments, recommendations, ...

Antegnati of Bellinzona

Postby lefranc22 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:28 pm

We waited for so long! since 2015. The demos posted on contrebombarde were numerous and enticing. But nothing was proposed on the publisher's website.
http://www.antegnati.com/hauptwerk.html
But yesterday the surprise arrived and it became possible to request by email this sample set. :)
The publisher having no account on this forum, that's why I'm talking about it immediately.
I hastily asked for it and received this answer.
The sample set is sold 135€ on PayPal and only on a DVD including:
1. Sample set (wet), standard version (45 real stops) + extended version (53 real stops + 3 extended stops)
2. Examples of midi recording on the organ of Bellinzona (10 files noon)
3. Original excerpts of CD recordings of the Bellinzona organ (music by G. Gabrieli, J. Bach, G. F. Händel, D. Scarlatti, etc.),
4. PDF documentation on the Bellinzona organ (in Italian)
5. Free DVD postage worldwide
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Re: Antegnati of Bellinzona

Postby OrganoPleno » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:10 am

lefranc22 wrote:The sample set is sold 135€ on PayPal...


Or for $150 US, or for 150 Swiss Francs.

I found the latest demo on Contrebombarde (Scherzo Symphonique by Cochereau) http://www.contrebombarde.com/concerthall/music/33079
to be quite convincing! Looks like a very promising new Sample Set.
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Re: Antegnati of Bellinzona

Postby lefranc22 » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:21 pm

Some info about this organ:
The organ of the Collegiate of Bellinzona, Ticino, Switzerland is a venerable instrument since it was built in 1588 by Graziadio Antegnati, of Brescia. More than 80% of the pipes of the current organ are of origin and in an exceptional state of conservation. Of all the organs built by Antegnati, it is the best preserved and the most complete. It was originally an eleven stops organ with a single split keyboard, with the traditional staging of mutations of Italian instruments. In the second half of the 17th century (around 1660) the organ was extended, probably by Wilhelm Hermans, a Flemish Jesuit who worked in the Netherlands, including in Braga, then in Italy in various convents of Jesuits, including that of Bellinzona. He added a cornet (of which there are only 12 pipes), an open 24' contrabass (of which remain only 8 identifiable pipes) and perhaps also an 8' bassoon trumpet. The manual range has been extended to the C5. The organ was moved in 1690 from the 4th side chapel at the entrance of the church, then rebuilt in 1791 by Diffendente di Cerro Maggiore (Milan) in its current case. Around 1750 Giovanni Battista Biroldi, from Varese (who had worked in Germany with Riepp and Gabler), added a Ripieno (XXXVI double) and replaced some damaged pipes.
The organ was then enlarged (keeping all the previous sound material) between 1791 and 1793 by the brothers Paolo and Giovanni Battista Chiesa in its current case. The Chiesa brothers added a dozen stops in the classical style (the Chiesa were, contrary to Serassi and Bossi, very related to the great Italian baroque tradition and not to the very orchestral novelty). They extended the keyboard to Sol5.
A second keyboard was added in 1810 by Carlo Bossi. Then the instrument was radically transformed in 1924 by Giorgio Maroni, who made it virtually unrecognizable.
It was not until 1989 that a patient study and reconstruction (by its organist) of the arrangement of the organ as it was in 1810-1816 was undertaken. The instrument was then restored very respectfully in 1997-1998 by the Mascioni organ builder company.
About two years ago, the instrument's owner started to record it and made a sample set for Hauptwerk, which he gave us to hear many beautiful demos on his site and on the contrebombarde, but without proposing it. It was a sample set almost wet, which did not suit him perfectly. He then proceeded to a new record and drew a second sample set, semi-dry (reverb about 2 seconds) with interesting demos. It is an extended version (12 stops have been added). The stops brought by the various builders, as well as those in extension, are identifiable by well-differentiated colors, which allows everyone to play the instrument as it was at a given period of its history, or even as it was built by Antegnati at the end of the Renaissance: a happy initiative that should be imitated by other publishers.
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Re: Antegnati of Bellinzona

Postby lefranc22 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:31 am

I quickly received the 2 DVDs and installed the sample set. Magnificent. A great success. This could be expected from the one who was the holder of this instrument until 2017 and has been very active in its restoration alongside Enrico Mascioni. The 8 wav recordings of the real organ that are on the first DVD prove unequivocally the fidelity of the model to the original. Several MIDI files on this same DVD are a precious help to the registration, very particular of this typical Italian organ; and that in various styles. Both versions (standard and extended) have been opened without problem, in 24 bits with all loops and releases on my 16 GB iMac. In short I am really satisfied and the asking price does not seem excessive for a such quality sample set. And please don't miss the Bellinzona temperament file: it's important.
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Re: Antegnati of Bellinzona

Postby OrganoPleno » Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:02 pm

Agree with all of the above. A very fine Sample Set, and deserves "Best in Class" for all early Renaissance Instruments!
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Re: Antegnati of Bellinzona

Postby Anto800 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:01 am

I tested the Bellinzona sample set. I honestly don't understand all this enthusiasm for several reasons.
- Antegnati: I live in the land of the Antegnati, my city has many Antegnati instruments.
Bellinzona resembles many organs, except that to a Antegnati organ.
- Extension: many sample sets have extensions, think, reason, useful. The Bellinzona extensions have nothing to do with a "normal Italian organ", it is an almost surreal sample set.
- Sound: I find the sound very artificial (but have you ever heard an Antegnati live?) And poorly cared for. The reeds in particular (... Antegnati did not manufacture organs with reeds ...) are poorly balanced and comparable to a poor Gem organ from the 80s.
- Price: High, if we consider quality. I find Augustine's Naxxar much more beautiful and very "more Italian", despite being a product released at no cost.
- Conclusion: If you want an Antegnati on Hauptwerk platform there is the S. Carlo by Sonus Paradisi that despite being sampled 12 years ago is much more faithful than Bellinzona. If you want a sample set of Italian organ with a similar Bellinzona's sound list there is the fantastic Piacenza by Sonus Paradisi: It costs 3 times as much, but it is also sampled on 3 levels, with a quality and fidelity that few can achieve.
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Re: Antegnati of Bellinzona

Postby OrganoPleno » Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:00 pm

Anto800 wrote:I tested the Bellinzona sample set. I honestly don't understand all this enthusiasm...


Obviously a matter of taste. Many Organs that receive high praise here (including some that you mention) hold no interest for me even after careful testing. If somebody else likes them... fine with me.

And I don't have to justify my own taste, but my judgements are carefully made based on long personal experience.

Welcome to the Forum. If we can all avoid knocking each other down, we'll probably all have a better time here.
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Re: Antegnati of Bellinzona

Postby Anto800 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:39 am

Hy Organpleno,
Absolutely, my intention is not to do free controversy, rather than constructive arguments. If my post may seem offensive, I apologize to everyone. However, the forums also serve third parties who are looking for information on specific products. Without my objectively opposite post, it seemed that the Bellinzona sample set was the product of the year. I think this is misleading news for readers, it's good to read positive reviews and even negative reviews.
Last edited by Anto800 on Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Antegnati of Bellinzona

Postby Anto800 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:44 am

It would also be very nice if you could share the reasons why you like this instrument, perhaps clarifying why two sample sets (Bellinzona and Piacenza both instruments of the Italian Romantic period, not Antegnati ..) the first one arouses your interest and the second does not. These are polite requests not to "justify" your tastes and your certainly long-lived experience, but to make me understand where I can't see and maybe, after a constructive confrontation, make me appreciate products that I didn't consider up to.
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Re: Antegnati of Bellinzona

Postby lefranc22 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:50 am

Without wanting to argue, I propose an interesting comparison: the demos of Padre Davide's Elevazione, played with the sample set of Piacenza and with that of Bellinzona. Both are very different. Which one do you prefer?
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Re: Antegnati of Bellinzona

Postby Anto800 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:01 am

the comparison to my ear is chilling. Leaving aside the musical phrasing of the performer and the choice of the stops, however, I always find the sound of Bellinzona artificial. Personally, and this is my personal opinion, this comparison is equivalent to comparing a Ferrari car with a Ford Fiesta car ..without taking anything away from Ford...
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Re: Antegnati of Bellinzona

Postby Mixtuur4st » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:50 am

I completely agree with Mario (Anto800) in all his posts in this thread.

Listen for instance on the Antegnati website to the soundexample
"J. S. Bach Erbarm dich mein, o Herre Gott".

The melody consists of long holded notes.
That sound is absolutely sterile and has nothing to do with the sound of organpipes.
In fact, it is like the sound of an analog electronic organ from 40 years ago.
And yes, this is my personal opinion of course.
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Re: Antegnati of Bellinzona

Postby Anto800 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:44 am

Mixtuur4st wrote:I completely agree with Mario (Anto800) in all his posts in this thread.

Listen for instance on the Antegnati website to the soundexample
"J. S. Bach Erbarm dich mein, o Herre Gott".

The melody consists of long holded notes.
That sound is absolutely sterile and has nothing to do with the sound of organpipes.
In fact, it is like the sound of an analog electronic organ from 40 years ago.
And yes, this is my personal opinion of course.



thanks Mixtuur4st, I thought my hearing had softened ...
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Re: Antegnati of Bellinzona

Postby OrganoPleno » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:15 am

Anto800 wrote:it's good to read positive reviews and even negative reviews.


Hello Mario,

Yes, indeed. I was just a little concerned about the "tone" of your post. Let's chalk it up to "language differences" and there let it be.

> but have you ever heard an Antegnati live?

This sounded like a "challenge". No, actually not. I have heard lots of good recordings, though, and the sound quality is typically not to my taste.

> The Bellinzona extensions have nothing to do with a "normal Italian organ", it is an almost surreal sample set.

As it happens, I REALLY LIKE "surreal"!

> Antegnati did not manufacture organs with reeds...

That's fine too. The Bellinzona instrument has been re-worked by many hands through the centuries. While a solid core of "Antegnati" remains, the over-all impression now is very different unless you restrict yourself to playing only those original stops remaining... basically the Principal Chorus. The reeds have been added by others, and I really enjoy them.

> It would also be very nice if you could share the reasons why you like this instrument, perhaps clarifying why two sample sets (Bellinzona and Piacenza both instruments of the Italian Romantic period, not Antegnati...) the first one arouses your interest and the second does not.

Fair enough. I like it because it is rich and bright and full, and can give a wide variety of satisfying sounds. A pleasing development built on a solid historic core of early Italian character.

You mentioned some other sample sets for comparison. Now that we are "naming names", here goes...

I find the Naxxar set from Malta to be thin and flat in character, with no sense at all of "spatial presence"... which is very important to me on my particular Sound System. Nothing against the original Organ (which everybody agrees the Sample Set does not sound like), or against any of the Producers... who have done other good work and will no doubt continue to improve in quality as their respective Projects continue.

I find the San Carlo set by SP to be thin, overly-bright, again lacking in richness and spatial presence. Perhaps it is true to the original, I do not know, but I do not personally enjoy playing on it.

> the fantastic Piacenza by Sonus Paradisi: It costs 3 times as much, but it is also sampled on 3 levels, with a quality and fidelity that few can achieve.

Now HERE we are in full agreement! The Piacenza Organ is TRULY "surreal", with a rich and wonderful Spatial Presence and an amazing variety of beautiful sounds. It ranks as one of my very favourite Sample Sets overall, and is a masterpiece both of Organ Building and of Sample Set production.

Wherever the Bellinzona Organ departs from the original Antegnati, it is moving strongly in the direction of the Piacenza! When Padre Davide da Bergamo was designing that Organ... perhaps he was inspired by what had been done so effectively with the Organ of Bellinzona!

In selecting Sample Sets for personal use, we must bear in mind all our personal taste and preference, and also consider how it all works out on our own particular Sound System. An organ that sounds great on one Sound System may fail on another, and vice versa.

So we can all enjoy the Organs that we like, according to our own Taste and Preference... while learning about the ideas of others by reading free discussions... both positive and negative. And allow the same freedom for all others.
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Re: Antegnati of Bellinzona

Postby Anto800 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:16 am

OrganoPleno wrote:
Anto800 wrote:it's good to read positive reviews and even negative reviews.


Hello Mario,

Yes, indeed. I was just a little concerned about the "tone" of your post. Let's chalk it up to "language differences" and there let it be

thanks Organpleno for your interesting speech. yes, I admit, the tone of my post might have seemed controversial, and I repeat, I apologize to everyone if this idea has passed. I share everything you've written, with the only exception that I think I consider other variables: st. Carlo is flat and has little space: yes! but it is also a sampling of 12 years ago. technology is making great strides, it is practically prehistoric 12 years ago. Naxxar: it is flat and with little space: yes! but it is released for free. However, tastes are tastes, it is good (this applies to all purchases) to always monitor the quality / price ratio. That said, good music to everyone, with your favorite sample sets
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