Wijnand van de Pol Italian organ building since 1960
Het ORGEL 97 (2001), nr. 4, july/august 21-27 [summary]

Battipaglia, Ghilardi, 1996In the 1960s, the influence of the Orgelbewegung began to be felt in Italy. Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini acted as a pioneer by designing new organs following the instruments built by ancient Italian masters such as Antegnati, Callido and Serassi. The success of the three-manual tracker-action organ in Santa Maria dei Servi at Bologna in 1967 convinced most Italian organ builders to follow this new direction.

Barthélémy Formentelli became quite well known when he built the first complete new tracker organs in Northern Italy. He convinced other organ builders, such as Mascioni, Ruffatti, Pinchi, Pedrini, to do this as well. Since 1980, a number of small organ building firms builds instruments in Northern European style in order to meet the demands of a large number of young organists: they want to play Bach and consider the historically oriented Italian organ unsuited to his music.

In the 1990s, the future of Italian organ building was discussed thoroughly at three congresses, called ‘L’organo italiano oggi e domani’, in Imola, Battipaglia and Treviso. But the opinions about this matter are still diverse. A big problem in this respect is also the lack of interest in organ art in the Roman Catholic Church.