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
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
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.
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
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