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The Star of the Sea

A superb programme of Italian and French organ favourites designed to exploit all the resources of this justly famous Grandfather Fincham organ in St. Mary's Star-of-the-Sea, West Melbourne.

The organ at St. Mary's Star-of-the-Sea Church was built between 1898 and 1900 by the leading colonial organ builder George Fincham at his factory nestled in the Melbourne suburbs. It was the first pipe organ in Australia to be classified by the National Trust and is regarded as an instrument of national importance: it remains the largest organ built in Australia during the 19th century to remain essentially intact.


Sergio de Pieri

Born in Treviso, Italy, well-known organist Sergio de Pieri emigrated to Australia in the 1960s and was chiefly responsible for reviving local interest in the organ and its true repertoire. He was organist at the Basilica of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne, Chief Study Organ Lecturer at the University of Melbourne and still regularly performs throughout Australia, Europe, USA and Canada.

Press quotes

“magnificent sound ... all of this, and the soaring music, demonstrate the organ's range and versatility, and the virtuosity of the performer.”

— Lynn Wells, Radio News 3BBB-FM

“it's stirring, reflective, rousing, thoughtful ... Turn your volume up and listen to those bass pedals.”

— Kim Lockwood, Herald Sun

“an interesting program of delights”

— Bruce Steele, Organo Pleno

“quite beautiful to listen to ... Sergio de Pieri's playing ... is musical, sensitive and accurate ... breath-taking.”

— Lindsay Hutchinson, The Melbourne Anglican

“The recital makes immensely enjoyable listening.”

— John Maidment, 3MBS FM Libretto

Audio preview

Track Listing

  1. Variations de Concert, Op. 1 Joseph Bonnet
  2. Canzoncina a Maria Vergine Marco Enrico Bossi
  3. Pièce Héroïque César Franck
  4. Il Natale in Sicilia (Christmas in Sicily) Pietro Alessandro Yon
  5. Prelude and Fugue in G Minor Johannes Brahms
  6. Chorale Prelude, Op. 122 Johannes Brahms
  7. Noël Jean-François Dandrieu
  8. Le Banquet Céleste Olivier Messiaen
  9. Noël Claude Balbastre
  10. Litanies Jehan Alain



Jehan Alain

Jehan Ariste Alain (1911 – 1940) was a French organist and composer. Alain was born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye in the western suburbs of Paris, into a family of musicians. His father, Albert Alain (1880–1971) was an enthusiastic organist, composer and organ-builder who had studied with Alexandre Guilmant and Louis Vierne.

Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms (1833–1897) was a German composer and pianist, and one of the leading musicians of the Romantic period. In his lifetime, Brahms' popularity and influence were considerable; he is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the Three Bs.

Marco Enrico Bossi

Marco Enrico Bossi was an Italian organist, composer, improviser and pedagogue. Bossi was born in Salò, a town in the province of Brescia, Lombardy, into a family of musicians.

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.

Jean-François Dandrieu

Jean-François Dandrieu was a French Baroque composer, harpsichordist and organist. Dandrieu's harpsichord oeuvre is, after those of François Couperin and Jean-Nicolas Geoffroy, the most important in terms of sheer quantity of pieces.

Where to buy

The Star of the Sea is available for download from the iTunes Music Store.
It's available for streaming through Apple Music.

The Star of the Sea is available as as CD. It can be purchased online through Buywell Music or the Australian Music Centre which both offer secure online ordering.

Move CDs can be ordered through music retailers across Australia including Readings.

Product details

List price
$25.00 AUD
Martin Wright
Vaughan McAlley
Release date
© 2000 Move Records
℗ 2000 Move Records
Classical, Organ
Catalogue number
MD 3228
Alternate catalogue number
EAN 9314574322828