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FULL Hauptwerk - St. Michel Organ (16 Bit Version) ((TOP))

At that time, a Zwolle merchant, in Hamburg on bussiness, met Vincent Lübeck, organist at St. Nicolai, Hamburg, who recommended Arp Schnitger to the Zwolle authorities as builder for the new organ. This resulted in the assignment to construct a new organ in Zwolle. On January 3, 1719, Arp Schnitger signed a contract to make an organ with 46 stops, consisting of Ober Manual (16 feet based), Unter Manual (8 feet based), Rückpositiv (8 feet based) and Pedal (16 feet based). The agreed price was 11.000 guilders, on the condition that the city of Zwolle would deliver the needed materials of stone, wood and iron. The unused Catholic church in Zwolle was given to Arp Schnitger and his sons Frans Caspar Schnitger and Johann Georg Schnitger as a workshop for the construction. Because Arp Schnitger died in 1719, some months after the beginning of the construction, his sons completed the new organ in 1721. It was examined by three well known Dutch organists over the course of 12 days and they found that the Schnitgers had delivered an organ of 63 stops (whereas the contract of 1719 called for only 46 and the second contract called for a fourth manual as a Borstwerk with 11 extra stops), in addition to other improvements. In their report, they were full of praise for the organ, but they also passed some criticism. Some of the voices were not strong enough and others had not been modeled after the best ones in certain other Dutch organs. They also objected to the pitch and temperament with regard to using the organ with other instruments. The Schnitgers had tuned the organ to "chorton", but the examiners asserted that a lower pitch was in general use in the Netherlands. In their letter of October 6, 1721, the brothers Schnitger refuted this criticism, resulting in the cancellation of proposed modifications. Up to his death, in 1729, Frans Caspar Schnitger took care for the maintenance of the instrument. This task was taken over by Albertus Anthoni Hinsz, the successor in the family undertaking, who married the widow of Schnitger. His stepson Frans Caspar assisted him and later on Heinrich Hermann Freytag and his son Herman Eberhard also.

FULL Hauptwerk - St. Michel Organ (16 Bit Version)

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Zwolle Wet - original reverberation icluded. O.R.T.F. stereo recording technique was used to capture the sound of the instrument. The microphone pair was placed about 10 meters in front of the organ. Multiple releases supported for each sample. The reverberation time is about 5 seconds. The wet version of the Zwolle Organ Model is a part of the Surround version, only that the rear portion of the audio is muted in the rank routing dialog box before loading the virtual organ.

The original compass of the manuals is 4 full octaves (49 keys), the compass of the pedal is 27 keys (up to d). The virtual organ extends this in Hauptwerk: the compass of the manuals extends to 54 keys (up to f) and the pedal compass is extended to 30 tones (up to f). This extension works also with the Original Organ Tuning from the version 2.5.

So, let's look at the divisions one by one, and see just what this specification produces. We'll start with the bottom or 1st manual, the Positif. This pipes in this division are behind the player, and the closest to the listener. On paper, I suppose this division doesn't "look" all that different from any other organ of the 18th century, but the sound is quite different from the German ideal. We have two 8' flutes, the Bourdon and the Flute allemande (German flute). The Bourdon, which is sweet and singing, is your main "foundation stop of the division, and it's essentially always used, as there is no other 8' to base the various sounds and choruses upon. The Flute allemande is an exquisite "solo" voice, that has a sound that as been described as "water transparent", and it is of a unique quality. It only goes to "middle D", so it can be used with Bourdon in a "divided keyboard" manner. The Montre 4' is bright and clear, but never harsh or "cutting". It is the only 4' of the division, so, it sometimes must "substitute" for the "missing" flute 4'. Next comes the Nasard 3', which is "full-toned" and blending perfectly with all other stops in the division. The Doublette 2' is bright and goes perfectly with the Bourdon 8' and Montre 4'.. It also has to serve as the 2' flute in the Cornet, and it does this well, although the fact that it is a "principal rank" and not a flute, as we would expect, is sometimes slightly "overly bright" to my taste. Both the Tierce 1 3/5' and the Larigot 1 1/3' are generously voiced and go perfectly with the other ranks to complete the Cornet. The Tierce is of course required, but the Larigot adds sparkle and "optional variety" to the traditional Cornet. The Fourniture III and the Cymbale II are mixtures of a sweet nature, and combine to make a perfect Petit Plein Jeu of shimmering effect. The Cromhorme 8' is a wonderful reed, with much color that lends itself to all "emotions" of the piece at hand. Whether "peasanty" and happy, or sad and sighing, this beautiful example of this essential rank is perfection. The "standard" Positif coupled to Grand Orgue is present, and always used in the full ensemble.

Moving up to the 2nd manual, the Grand Orgue, we find the backbone of the instrument, as we would expect. There is a complete flute chorus with Bourdon 16', Bourdon 8', Flute 4', and the Quarte de nasard 2'. The Bourdon 16' is the ONLY 16' on the entire organ, so, you aren't going to find this organ to be producing too much "thunder from down under," so to speak. The "Quarte de nasard 2' " is just a 2' flute, and only refers to pipe length. It has nothing to do with the Nasard! The flutes, together, or in any combination of stops are smooth and full in sound. There is nothing "hooty" or "rough" about them, but they all have a beautiful speech and articulation. Drawing the Bourdon 8' , Flute 4', Quinte 3' , Quarte de nasard 2' , and the Tierce 1 3/5' will produce a wonderful cornet separe, which is completely different from the noble and declamatory Grand Cornet V (which speaks only from "middle" C), and makes a perfect contrast to the Positif Cornet described above. The only thing missing is the Grosse Tierce 6', which is unfortunate, but not something that diminshes the quality or effect of the instrument. (The Grosse Tierce is an "odd and unique" sound used in mostly Duos and Trios. In essence it is like a "bass Cornet".) The mixtures, the Fourniture IV and the Cymbale III are like "big brothers" to the similar ranks on the Positif. The Fourniture is really a "Grande Fourniture", meaning that it really requires the Bourdon 16' to be used with it, or some odd effects may occur, as I believe it has the 6' series in it. The reeds are truly marvelous, and are outstanding examples of the period sound. The Trompette 8' is fiery and full-bodied, but still "smooth" enough to be used in a "lyric" manner. Like all French reeds (well, ALL reeds!), it is MUCH bigger at the bottom, and really "thins out" in volume and character in the higher registers. The Trompette 8' has a real "splat" to it, and is at its best in the Basse de Trompette. The Clairon 4' is colorful, and balances well with the Trompette. It is not "dominant," nor does it overwhelm the Trompette or the entire Grand jeux (Full organ). The Voix humaine 8' is a really fine example of this unique sound. Depending on your likes and taste, it either sounds beautiful or raucous. It is NOT like an E. M. Skinner Vox humana! On the real instrument, the coupler, Grand Orgue to Pedale is ALWAYS on. While it is "on by default," you can turn it off by the push of a virtual button... It's obviously more "historically accurate" to have it always on, but having it "off" gives you a lot more flexibility. Since I'm into "realism," I keep it on... ;-)

Last update: 8th June 2020Downloads:Full version 1.02 Demo version 1.02Release notes:1.01 - Added separate organ definition file for Hauptwerk 6.0.2 and higher, which improves release realism of the Campane stop. Loading and saving audio levels presets can be controlled now via MIDI. Minor bug fixes.1.02 - Added detuning feature. Now key/stop action noises and blower/ambient noises are stored in presets, as well as the detuning level values.

The graphical interface of this organ was carefully modeled by employing hundreds of photographs and measurements in full 3D and the interface was implemented in a non-orthographical, perspective console view that is fully photo-realistic and operational at the same time. The keys move while you play, and every button responds appropriately to your actions. Both multiple- and single-screen operation is possible: the large number of stops can be operated conveniently from a wide choice of interface pages displayable on multiple touchscreens. Alternatively, 4K resolution landscape and FHD portrait graphical interface provided for 16:9 displays in Hauptwerk 4.2 and later. Alternatively, convenient single screen operation is also provided.

Hauptwerk loads all samples in the computer's RAM, with several loading options available according to your computer's specifications. For wet sample sets offering built-in long reverberation, most of the RAM usage is due to the release samples. If you have convolution or other reverberation technology available, less RAM and polyphony will allow you to load and play the full organ. If you have more RAM, you can load the full organ with the release samples and enjoy the original sound. We recommend using Hauptwerk's built-in lossless memory compression to reduce the loading size. Below we have summarised the RAM requirements with their corresponding quality options.

This instrument is a typical historical Italian organ, which normally has one manual and a small pedalboard compass, serving only as a bass fundament. Italian historical organs normally serve especially for liturgical purposes and accompaniment of the choir, thus being not a special solistic instrument . There are no combined stops, such as mixtures with a common repetition scheme found in other European organs. The overtone stops are realized as separate Principal ranks (very often up to 1/8 ') which only repeat in high keys, such having the ability to built very special tonal structures and mixture-like sounds. A typical stop is the "Voce umana", which is not a reed stop, but a special slightly detuned pipe rank for chorus like effects. Italian organs are based on sonouros and warm Principal ranks and additionally have high and powerful overtone ranks for harpsichord like sounds. The organ has relations to Antegnati sound characteristics, having bright and rich overtones (compare the Venetian Callido 18th type). Another special feature is the "Terzo mano" (third hand), an intra-manual octave coupler, which leads to an extraordinary full sound, but which was probably first added in 18th or 19th century and shouldn't normally be used for 17th century music.


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