Impression of Gert: (translation David Moore)
Rieti is located northeast of Rome at 400 meters altitude in the Apennine.
On the map it appears near Rome, which is about 80 kilometers.
The church of San Domenico is one of the largest buildings of Rieti, but to be honest: I think from the outside 'the most beautiful girl' it is not.
For us that is not important, the building has a tremendous acoustic! The reverberation is around 3 - 5 seconds.
A few years ago it was decided that this former monastery church have a new organ.
The Italian Bartolomeo Formentelli builder has built a giant organ inspired by the book "L'Art du Facteur d'Orgues" (published in 1766-1770) of Dom Francois Bedos de Celles.
Indeed, if you hear the organ, you would date it back several centuries, it really is an 'old sound'.
This is among others reflected in quite 'blowing' flutes, that therefore sound very sweet.
Also special is the original 'box' pedal, but according to an article in artikel uit de Orgelvriend, it can simply be replaced by a 'normal' pedal.
It is noteworthy that the 'low cis "does not sound (not even in the sample set), the pedal reeds sounds here an' extra low '(below low c).
On our forum there are of course various tips get to the low cis.
The organ has a solid foundation in the GO with a Montre32 (it is not entirely to bottom), this is quite unique, only two other European organs are familiar with this concept.
The builder apparently enjoyed his work and regarded it as a prestige project; he has added to the organ at his own cost an extra keyboard and additional data registers.
Since the organ is dedicated to Pope Benediktus XVI, it is also built under the supervision of the Vatican.
This could even affect this sample set: the layout had to be as realistic as possible and it was not allowed to add extensions.
The layout in the sample set is indeed very realistic but in the beginning very difficult to use, as in the original organ.
By means of two colors it is logically divided:
The registers to the right and left 'outside rows' are stops of the Positive (lower keyboard).
The brown registers of the second and next-to-last rows are of the GO (second keyboard).
The 4 yellow top registers of the second and next-to-last rows are of the Resonance (third manual).
The 4 yellow top registers of the innermost rows are of the Récit (fourth keyboard).
The 7 yellow registers at the bottom of the inner rows are of the Echo (fifth keyboard).
The 8 brown registers in the middle of the inner rows are of the pedal.
Further I think the layout is fine: Easily read labels and it looks pretty.
Attention! The stop Soufflerie is the wind engine, so if you turn it off, after a short time you hear nothing!
Attention! The Cornet of the Resonance in the actual organ is not built yet and is therefore not in the sample set.
I would have preferred the button in the sample set were "disabled". Now you can click on it, which is confusing.
Not every sample set that sounds good with headphones, sounds good in my house through the speakers.
In general, the surround sound kits are much better through the speakers, but that is not always the case.
I suspect this mainly has to do with the reverb.
To make a long story short: This set sounds great in my home also with speakers.
A few years ago, very 'direct' (close) sets of Sonus Paradisi had the advantage that the voices sounded very detailed, but the disadvantage of being less well mixed in the selection of many registers.
In my view there is in this set a good mix of direct sound and indirect sound, you hear the details, but the voices mix well.
How the tremulant of the real organ sounds I do not know, but in the sample set, I don't like the tremulant (it can also lie to my taste).
To demonstrate this, I recorded the Cantilena with tremulant.
I love the Chamade Trumpet of the Resonance, so I have used it (too) often in my listening examples.
This direct trumpet has a very nice stereo behavior, some tones sound left, others right.
The function of the Rossignol (Nightingale) escapes me, it's funny, but goes much too fast and too hard to be beautiful.
I love the flutes, the reeds are works great, the diapason slightly less, but yes, finally, it is not a German or Dutch organ ...
Don't use my standard demos as example. I'm usually not use the correct 'standard French Baroque registrations' (see here a description of Dick Sanderman) such as 'Plein Jeu' and 'Grand Jeu'.
I regret that real organists rarely publish their registrations. The Plein Jeu (Mixture plenum) and Grand Jeu (Reeds plenum) can be heard in Psalm 105 of Marco den Toom.
I know the music of Den Toom is generally romantic and not the most obvious to use for this organ.
But the choral book of Marco just came in this week, and they were still good to play on this organ sound.
I love the "Grand Jeu" (with this reverb) on this beautiful organ.
The organ is tuned at an altitude of 415 Hz, the temperament is the mean tone after Formentelli and Jourdan.
It is certainly not a universal organ.
You can pretty much get lost, but it not really romantic, not even with the Equal temperament and a different pitch.
The organ comes into its own in polyphonic music, each voice having its own function (such as trios, fugues).
The clear sound of the organ means you easily hear individual voices.
The computer requirements for this sample set are quite strong: Surround 16-bit: 11.7 GB RAM / Wet 16-bit: 7.2 GB of RAM.
A free demo version of this sample set can be downloaded from: Sonus Paradisi: Downloads - a "free stuff".
It is a pleasure to play on this set, it "feels" just right, I think this is partly because of the beautiful reverb.
There are now quite a few good sample sets in this French Baroque-style appearance, including: