The Hermans Organ of Collescipoli
The small villages often surprise the visitor for the many “jewels” that can be discovered there. An example is the delightful village of Collescipoli. This small “borgo” in the Terni area boasts beautiful churches and beautiful noble palaces – which is evidence of its important past. But above all it boasts a rare andvaluable organ. In the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, notable for the rich Baroque decorations of the interior, stands one of the few Hermans organs existing in Europe and one of the only two remaining in Italy. The other is located in a church of Pistoia. The one in Collescipol was made by oustanding Flemish organ maker Hermans in 1678. Willem Hermans worked in different parts of Italy, introducing many characteristic elements of Flemish organ making into his works and combining them with those of the traditional Italian organ. The one found in Collescipoli was carried out with the collaboration of a young organ builder from Orvieto- Nicolò Perfetti. On the other hand,the choir,the chest and the façade are due to the skill of some local artisans; just as some of the ornaments were the work of a skilled carver from Terni. In addition to the fine gilded decorations - among which the racemic one on the façade stands out- the instrument has four panels painted with landscapes on the balustrade of the choir,all coming from a Roman workshop. Hermans was also called to Terni to build a new organ in a church in the city but when he arrived on the spot,they had him repair the old one. Out of spite against the Terni,who had made fun of him, after finishing the organ of Santa Maria Maggiore,the master made the “Collescipolani” pay a lower fee than the one agreed.
In 1995 this historic instrument was restored. After that the prestigious Hermans Festival was launched, promoted by the W. Hermans Baroque Academy and dedicated to organ music. It takes place every year and sees the participation of international musicians.