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The "Association de l'Orgue virtuel des Eaux-vives" was founded in October 2016 in order to promote and disseminate the Swiss organs sample sets,  produced in Hungary by Takáts Augustine (Augustine's Virtual Organ), The Association also hopes to raise funds and contribute to the maintenance of the organs, thanks to user donations. Its head office is located in Geneva (Switzerland).

After the sample-sets of the Eaux-Vives Tempel's Grenzing , and , the AOEV was able to finance, thanks to user donations, the sampling of the Église Saint-Georges in Hermance, in the canton of Geneva. Once again, the sample set was provided free of charge by Augustine Takáts. We are deeply indebted to him for his masterly work.

The church

click to enlarge

Hermance is an old border town on the shores of Lake Geneva, with a beautiful view of the right bank and a small marina. The Église Saint-Georges replaced an old wooden church probably built by Aymon II of Faucigny in 1247 against the wall, between the town’s two boroughs. In the late thirteenth century, Aymon’s granddaughter, Beatrice de Faucigny, had a stone church larger than today's building built against the enclosure, commensurate with the size of the new town. The three windows of the choir are remnants of this construction. The smaller nave and the bell tower were rebuilt in 1679, using some of the old walls. The bell tower received a new crown, with bulb and pinnacle, in 1836, and the site was excavated and restored between 1971 and 1974. The funeral chapel of the Visitation, a fine example of rural Gothic architecture that was built in 1471 for Isabelle de Menthon, was restored between 1953 and 1955. (Département des travaux publics et de l'énergie / Service des monuments et des sites. Répertoire des immeubles et objets classés. Chęne-Bourg / Geneva: Georg, 1994, pp. 136-137)

About the organ

This small organ was built in 1987, in the genuine Italian neo-baroque style by the Mascioni company which has been building organs for six generations in Cuvio and has shipped about 1,200 organs worldwide. Two of them, Azzio and Giubiasco, are available as beautiful sample sets thanks to Piotr Grabowski's mastery. The Hermance organ is a creation inspired by an imaginary Neapolitan organ of the late seventeenth century. Italian by its Savoyard lineage and Sardinian by its Hermance location, the organ is made of rot-resistant chestnut, which Hermance used to import over the southern route to build galleys and other ships in its large medieval port. These features, combined with the Italian technique of the ripieno, the mastery of  Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini, and a slightly uneven temperament highlighting the baroque interpretation, make the organ a small masterpiece that is much sought after by concert players (according to  l'Association des Orgues d'Hermance).
It is an 8’ stop organ, with one split keyboard coupled to short pedals. With its "pyramidal" registers, so typical of the Italian organ, it lends itself magically to the interpretation of this most particular repertoire. The composition is the following:
Principale (bassi/soprani)  8' - Vox humana (Soprani) 8' - Flauto VIII (bassi/soprani)  4' - Ottava 4' - Quinta decima 2' - Flauto XII (soprani) 2' 2/3 - Decima nona XIX 1' 2/3 -  Vigesima secunda 1' - Tiratutti (all the stops on the right, mixed; when it is pushed back the Principale continues to be heard). This composition is a typical italian ripieno, without any mixtures. The organ temperament is Valotti-Tartini 440. A temperament file is given with the sammple set
3 Scarlatti's sonatas played during the recording of the sample set, by Norberto Broggini. And
a demo of the surrond sample set. Also by István Nagi.

About the sample set

The sample set can be installed using  Hauptwerk, version 4.2 and later. It is neither encrypted nor protected by a licence. Reuse of the samples nevertheless requires the authorization of the AOEV.
The sample set is available in wave format 48kHz/16-bit (to be used by every one), stereo, multiple loops (1- 2) and multiple releases (3 levels). The long natural reverb 4 s reflects the original acoustics of the church.
For purists there is a version that is strictly compliant with the original organ. For others an extended version, made from the original recordings, opening the way to a wider repertoire. The extended version has two variants, in different tabs.
RAM requirement:

Original version
- Stereo version  (wet or semi-dry):
16-bit, multi. loop & releases: 0.6 GB (can be used with Hauptwerk Free)
- Surround 6 chanels:
16-bit, multi. loop & releases: 2.0 GB (can be used with Hauptwerk Free loading only Near and Far channels)

Extended version
- Stereo version  (wet or semi-dry):
16-bit, multi. loop & releases: 1.3 GB (can be used with Hauptwerk Free)
- Surround 6 chanels:
16-bit, multi. loop & releases: 4.4 GB

Accessing the sample set

The sample-set can be request by filling a form on the Augustine's Virtual Organ web site or by email from the AOEV (see the address at the top this page). The complete trial version can be downloaded free of charge. These files can be installed using Hauptwerk version 4.2 and later. They install a 6-channel surround version with adjustable near, far and rear. We encourage to make a donation whose guideline amount is €35. Donations can be sent to our PayPal account at the AOEV email address or using this direct link. We are thus counting on your understanding and your support to continue our work. Other, similar projects are on the drawing board, if we can fund them.


Thanks to Augustine Takáts who made this sample set, with the local help of Dominique Dantand, Alain Grandchamp, Yves-Noël Denis, Laurent Dami, Norberto Broggini, Jean-Marie Curti, Suzan Mutti - Grandchamp, Gérard Lefranc, Jean-Marc Noyelle for the pics and the parish of Hermance. Their assistance has been invaluable. Our gratitude also goes to all the AOEV donors, who allowed us to make the sample set.

plan of the church