This is a rare recording of the largest of ten surviving John Avery Organs, fully restored to it's 1779 specifications and found in Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand. The earliest organ to be dated in Australasia, it was imported to New Zealand in 1859 by Bishop Selwyn, originally for St Paul's Anglican church. John Avery (1755-1808) was a highly colourful character, falling foul of the law on occasion, and having a reputation as a 'shocking drunken character'. Despite this he was a signifi cant organ builder, responsible for some important organs, including those in King's College Cambridge and Winchester Cathedral. In this recording, James Tibbles, a prominent figure in New Zealand's Early Music scene and a well-known specialist in Early Keyboards (harpsichord, fortepiano and organ) presents core repertoire by Handel, Stanley, Blow, Corelli and Nares.
This Organ is the oldest organ in Australasia where the makers name can be readily established. The façade of the organ has the original inlay "Johannes Avery Londini fecit 1779". Avery was born in 1755 and died in 1808. He had a reputation for being a shocking, drunken character and often ... in prison for debt.But he was a well known organ builder of the time responsible for important organs eg in Kings College Cambridge and Winchester and Carlisle Cathedrals. Only 10 organs have survived and this is the largest example. It is a chamber organ probably built for use in a house (hence it can be closed to appear like a piece of period furniture) as a solo instrument or to accompany small ensembles in the music of Handel and his contemporaries.