2 Sep 2012

The Concert Hall organ

From Composer of the Week, 9:15 am on 2 September 2012

Martin Setchell looks at the concert hall organ, secular counterpart to the cathedral organ. He celebrates the entertainment value of this ‘King of Instruments’ and the way this can be magnified by the personality of an organist such as the late Carlo Curley.

As well as some notable instruments from around the world, we’ll hear recordings of the Town Hall organs of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Christchurch town hall organ

Image: Christchurch Town Hall organ. Photo: Jenny Setchell Photography

'Norma' Dunedin Town Hall organ

Image: 'Norma', the Dunedin Town Hall organ. Photo: Jenny Setchell Photography

Inside organ case Auckland Town Hall

Image: Inside the Auckland Town Hall organ. Photo: Jenny Setchell Photography

We used music from the following recordings in the programme:

ELGAR: Pomp and Circumstance March No 1 - Gillian Weir (organ of the Royal Albert Hall, London) (Priory PRCD 859)
LEMARE: Andantino in Db Op 83/2 - Thomas Trotter (organ of Birmingham Town Hall) (Regent REGCD 265)
SAINT-SAENS: Danse Macabre - Simon Preston (organ of the Methuen Memorial Music Hall) (Argo 421 731)
FARRINGTON: Giraffes, from Animal Parade - Christopher Herrick (organ of the Melbourne Town Hall) (Hyperion CDA 67758)
SPICER: Kiwi Fireworks - Christopher Herrick (org) (organ of Wellington Town Hall) (Hyperion 66778)
POULENC: Concerto for organ, strings and timpani - Thomas Trotter (org), Auckland Philharmonia/ Arvo Volmer (new Klais Organ in the Auckland Town Hall, March 2010) (Atoll ACD 116)
KETELBEY: In a Chinese Temple Garden – Hans Hielscher (organ of Dunedin Town Hall) (IFO Records ORG 7211)
GRISON: Toccata in F - Martin Setchell (org) (organ of Christchurch Town Hall) (Priory PRCD 1031)