North of the Yarra - Organs of Melbourne

Gordon Atkinson plays 7 of Melbourne's finest organs, including the giant organ in the Melbourne Town Hall, the organs of St. Patrick's Cathedral, The Scots' Church, St. Paul's Cathedral and St. Mary's Star of the Sea church, West Melbourne.

The River Yarra continues its major role in the development of Melbourne. The Wurundjeri people called it 'birrarung' - 'river of mists and shadows.' When asked the name of the small rapids in 1835 by members of an exploration party, the local Aborigines replied "Yarro Yarro" meaning that 'it flows.' This mishearing led to the name by which it is now known.

The city developed quickly on the north side of the river: commerce and business flourished. Homes, stables, stores, arcades proliferated. Churches, theatres, the town hall, all indicated sudden and continuing growth.

Late in 2007, when driving through the north-western suburbs of Melbourne, I came upon the nave of what was planned to be a large church. It was never completed. On looking through a glass and steel structure filling the intended crossing arch, a small single manual organ was seen. With further enquiries, I found that this instrument is considered to be the oldest surviving organ built in the early days of the city, c. 1855.

Certainly the wood pipes were made in Melbourne, and it can be assumed that the metal pipes came from England. That this organ should be recorded came to mind, so the chance viewing of St Linus' Church, Merlynston, led to thoughts that some of the city's organs should be included, from the oldest to the newest

Artist

Gordon Atkinson

Although born in Melbourne, Victoria and retiring there in 2005, Gordon Atkinson spent much of his life in England and North America. Following study in Melbourne with A.E.H. Nickson, he attended the Royal College of Music in London from 1950 to 1953, where Harold Darke, Patrick Hadley and William Lloyd Webber were among his teachers.


Audio previews

Track Listing

  1. Petite Suite Introduction, Intermezzo, Finale Gerald Bales
  2. Fifteen Pieces for Organ I am black, but comely, O ye Daughters of Jerusalem Marcel Dupré
  3. Gavotte (from a Concerto) Matthew Camidge
  4. Ten Tunes for Clay's Musical Clock George Frideric Handel

  5. A Voluntary on a Flight of Angels
  6. Sonata: (Allegro), (Allegro moderato), Menuet
  7. Communion, Op 8 Louis Vierne
  8. Pastorellen für die Weihnachtszeit Nos 1 and 7 Johann Valentin Rathgeber
  9. Variations to the Sicilian Hymn Benjamin Carr
  10. B-A-C-H fugue No. 2 Robert Schumann
  11. La Nativité du Seigneur Desseins Éternels (Eternal Purposes) Olivier Messiaen
  12. Adoro Te Gordon Atkinson
  13. Trois Impressions Harmonies du Soir Sigfrid Karg-Elert
  14. Fanfare Nodrog Nosnikta
  15. Pastourelle Fela Sowande
  16. Sonata da Chiesa Paean on "Lasst uns erfreuen" Barrie Cabena

Performers

Composers

Olivier Messiaen

Olivier Messiaen (1908–1992) was a French composer, organist and ornithologist, one of the major composers of the 20th century. His music is rhythmically complex (he was interested in rhythms from ancient Greek and from Hindu sources); harmonically and melodically it is based on modes of limited transposition, which he abstracted from his early compositions and improvisations.

George Frideric Handel

George Frideric Handel was a German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, and concertos. Handel's music was well known to such later composers as Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.

Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann was a German composer, aesthete and influential music critic. He is regarded as one of the greatest and most representative composers of the Romantic era.


Where to buy

North of the Yarra - Organs of Melbourne can be purchased online through Buywell Just Classical or the Australian Music Centre which both offer secure online ordering.

This title is also available in (or can be ordered through) many fine music retailers across Australia, including Thomas’, Discurio and Readings.

Product details

List price
$25.00 AUD
Contributor
John Franklin
Engineer
Martin Wright
Editing
Rhys Boak
Thanks to
Christopher Trikilis
Lachlan Redd
Organ Historical Trust of Australia
Release date
2009
Copyright
© 2009 Move Records
Phonogram
℗ 2009 Move Records
Categories
Australian, Keyboard, Organ
Catalogue number
MD 3333
Alternate catalogue number
MD3333
Barcode
EAN 9314574333329