Naxxar (Santucci-Bergomi) Organ from Malta                          
                                                                                     History
Naxxar (Maltese: In-Naxxar) is a town in the Northern Region of Malta, with a population of about 13,443 people.   

According to legend and the Bible, the people of Naxxar were amongst the first to help the shipwrecked, including Saint Paul, when the ship he was on went aground on the rocks  


The Naxxar parish church was one of the ten parishes found to be existing by Bishop De Mello in 1436 and the villages of Mosta and Għargħur were subject to it. De Mello listed it as one of the ten parishes of Malta and it was the first parish dedicated to Our Lady after that of the old cathedral in Mdina.

The present church was built between 1616 and 1630 when there were 1200 inhabitants in Naxxar and it was felt that a larger church was needed. The design was made by Tumas Dingli, one of the best architects of the time. The church also has two transepts and a nave and is 130 feet (40 m) long. The width of the transept is 94 feet (29 m) and the nave 30 feet (9.1 m)


In 1775, Sicilian organbuilder Santucci completed a one manual organ for the parish church of Naxxar. After many repairs by various organbuilders the organ was rebuilt in 1899 by Giuseppe Bergomi of Brescia, Italy. Bergomi completely redesigned the organ. Thus, the organ's functionality improved somewhat, but lost its Sicilian-Baroque character.

The historically credible, professional restoration was performed by Robert Buhagiar in 2001, restoring the original character of the organ.


Dr. Mark Bugeja MD recorded the organ in 2012. The 2-channel stereo recording is made close to the organ, with Rode NT5 microphones in the afternoon period. This recording is part of a project presenting Maltese historic organs from which Balzan and Fontana organs were made by M. Bugeja and Panos K. Ghekas. This work was interrupted by Panos's death in 2015.  


I was commissioned in spring 2019 to process raw recordings and make a Hauptwerk sample set. According to the request, I made not only the semidry stereo sample, but I also made a wet and 4 channel surround version using the impulse-response file of the temple.  


Special thanks to Gérard Lefranc and Dominique Dantand. They continually supported my work and effective assistance provided to all phases of making of sample set. The artistic audiodemos created Dominique Dantand and István Nagy.   

Features
Sample quality 
The sample sets are available in wave format 48kHz/24bit, stereo, multiple loops (2-12) and one release. Equal, a=440 Hz.

The sample sets are made in two forms.        

  1. The original stereo mix 'semidry'. The reverb is 1 s, reflects the original acoustics of the church, close to the organ. The 4-channel version made with a 4.5 s artificial reverb and wet/dry ratio can be controlled and 3 (artificial) releases.
  2. In the surround version you can adjust the perspective by setting the volume of the near, far and rear recordings. (Suitable HW loading and channel settings can be used to give near or far stereo modes or 4 channel surround mode too).   

Hauptwerk v4.2 or v5 supported for the Organ Definition Files.

Keyboards, Pedal 
The organ compass of the manuals are 53 keys , the compass of the pedal is 17 keys.  

RAM requirements (GB)

original stereo

4-channel surround

 

16 bit

24 bit

16 bit

24 bit

Naxxar

1

2

2

4

The values given are for reference only and depend on the operating system of the computer and the utilities used. 
The sample set can be used equal tuning of Hauptwerk or original Vallotti temperament, which made Gérard Lefranc
Specifications  

Naxxar specification

Pedal  17 keys

Contrabasso 16’, Basso 8’, Rinforzi 4’

Great – right column (53 keys; b:24 keys, s:29 keys)

Principale 8' bassi

Principale 8' soprani

Principale 8' 2 Do

Ottava 4' bassi

Ottava 4' soprani

XV bassi

XV soprani

XIX

XXII

XXVI e XXIX

Great - left column (soprani: 29 keys)

Voce Umana 8'              

Flutta Reale 8'                           

Flauto in ottava

Flauto in XII    

Cornetta 1 3/5'

Couplers

I/P - Turns on permanently

Ripieno: inserts all the Right column stops                           

Terza Mano: Octave coupler of Right column soprani           

Tremulant: only Manual-left column

Volume of Front/Rear control slider (Only surround version)

Screenshot
Pictures



Audio demos

Playing Dominique Dantand, Júlia Krespay, Nagy István and Jean-Pierre Silvestre
Free download

My sample is based on the recording of Mark Bugeja in 2013. According to Mark, the sample does not give the real sound of Naxxar organ. Therefore, he plans to build a new, four or six-channel recording of Naxxar organ. 


The sample can be requested in two forms, or just the semidry version or the semidry and surround versions together. When installing the surround version, the installation order is important (first 01pack and then 02pack) 


I would be happy to receive any feedback. I can give you the help you may need to solve technical issues you may experience during installation or use of the sample-set.