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Valvasone (1533) Sample Set From Sonus Paradisi

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Valvasone (1533) Sample Set From Sonus Paradisi

PostTue Mar 23, 2021 3:41 am

I am delighted to present the Valvasone sample set to you. The organ was created in 1533, it is one of the oldest organs of Italy. The distinctive characteristic of the early Italian organs is the sweetest possible tone of the principal ranks. Valvasone sample set offers the fluffiest imaginable sound of the Tenori and Ottava. One can experience the most tender sounding pipes ever. Perfect for the early music. The Tenori (Principal 16') stop is given for free to everyone, download it from the web and enjoy.

The organ is composed of 8 stops in total, the original compass is typical for the Renaissance, extended virtually in Hauptwerk to four and half octaves (if necessary). The sample set works in HW 4.2 as well as in Hauptwerk 5 or Hauptwerk 6. It is an unencrypted sample set. The sample set consists of 10 channels: the semi-dry, direct, diffuse, distant and rear recording perspectives. Using the built-in mixer, it is possible to achieve any desired mix of perspectives. Or, if preferred, it is possible to choose only one or only several perspectives out of the many and mute the others. The pipe coupling feature is included. Let me mention 5 release levels of the Tenori (experience all the levels in the demo set, too) and Flauto, two attack levels reacting to the MIDI velocity (for mild vs. firm keystroke).

See all the features listed on my website.

A free demo sample set is available.


Jiri Zurek



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Re: Valvasone (1533) Sample Set From Sonus Paradisi

PostTue Mar 30, 2021 12:11 pm

I bought this sample on the same day it was published. This sample is simply wonderful. As I'm not enough trained in italian baroque style (Frescobaldi, Storace, ...) I just begin to work the Fiori Musicali ( old dream..).... and this work sounds very impressive on this sample. It's for me a great discovery with a great precision in recording of the pipes. Thanks for this very great sample !
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Re: Valvasone (1533) Sample Set From Sonus Paradisi

PostWed Mar 31, 2021 8:35 am

I agree. The sample set is wonderful. It's astonishingly expressive. The registrations are very flexible - many gapped registrations give a great variety of sound (and are recommended in in contemporary sources), and the keyboard is beautifully responsive.

Modern makers report that organ voicing was similar in 16th-century Italy, Iberia and England. I've been happily playing some of the early Tudor repertoire as well as Spanish and Portuguese works in addition to the obvious Italian ones.

The keyboard range of the original is interesting. The bass went down to F with no F# or G#. That's standard European, and it fits the vocal music of the time. When it was felt necessary to extend the range down to C, a single natural key was added below the F to soundr C, and keys in the F# and G# positions were added to sound D and E. We now call this the "short octave," but historically it's really a "long octave." (England mostly extended the keyboard down to C chromatically.)

What's more interesting is the upper range to f3. This was peculiar to Italy - most other European instruments only went up to a2 and later to c3. Italian harpsichords also went up to f3. Nobody knows why the keyboard went up so high. There's no extant music that calls for notes up there. Presumably the high notes were used in improvisation but whether as part of a melodic range or just for a register shift we don't know. And right around 1600, when the instruments started being used for continuo parts, the upper notes disappear. Existing harpsichords were rebuilt to eliminate the notes above c3 and extend the bass down to GG (with a short octave arrangement). But

Anyway, I wish I could play well enough to post examples from the various repertoires, but the examples on Jiří's website are very beautiful and should do more to convince people of the beauty of this organ than my words ever could.
I still have a very small website

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