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ABC Classics

ABC Music is one of Australia’s largest independent music labels and the most highly awarded and critically acclaimed in its key genres.

ABC Music operates under the commercial arm of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, with all profits made going back into funding the great content the ABC is known for.

The roster features many of Australia’s top entertainers including The Audreys, Jeff Lang, Tim Rogers, Ben Salter, Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Mojo Juju , The Snowdroppers, Chris Lilley, Born Lion, Lee Kernaghan, Sara Storer, The Wiggles, Justine Clarke, Giggle and Hoot, Play School, Bananas In Pyjamas and many more.

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“We’ve always been drawn to music with great melodies and interesting harmonic progressions. As guitarists we want to ‘sing’ as much as possible when playing.” Globally renowned for their superlative musicianship, Slava and Leonard Grigoryan have decided to get personal for their latest album. Performing arrangements made by their father Edward, the brothers have chosen songs that are particularly close to their heart, and as well as a few new discoveries – including timeless songs by Tchaikovsky (Chanson Triste, None But the Lonely Heart), Rachmaninoff (Vocalise), Elgar (Chanson de Nuit, Chanson de Matin), Bach, Ponce, Fauré and others. The Grigoryan Brothers, individually and as a duo, are counted amongst the finest musicians of their generation. Between them, they have clocked up an incredible 21 ARIA Award nominations and their recording and performing careers – and popularity – continue to flourish. Slava recently broke the record for the longest stretch at number one in the Classical Charts for an Australian artist, when his latest solo album Bach Cello Suites Volume I spent 13 weeks at the top. Reflecting on their musical relationship with their father, Slava and Leonard comment: “He has developed a unique style of writing and arranging for two guitars – always democratic, extraordinarily detailed and with complete awareness of what we as individual players can, and cannot do. We’re so lucky to have this inspiring collaborator and mentor working as prolifically as he does!” During their careers, the Grigoryans have developed a reputation for enthralling audiences with the sheer energy of their performances, and the breadth of their repertoire – from classical to jazz and world music. In addition to a global touring schedule, their collaborations at home include performances with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and baritone José Carbó, and in 2017 they will support Grammy Award-winning Canadian singer k.d. lang’s Ingenue Redux tour.
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World-class opera in a spectacular setting.Opera Australia’s Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour touches millions every year through the tragedy and triumph of great opera, with the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge as a backdrop and fireworks lighting up the night sky.Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: The Collection celebrates this unique experience with complete recordings of five of the world’s best-loved operas. From the stirring majesty of the ‘Triumphal March’ in Aida to Madama Butterfly’s tender love song ‘Un bel dì’, and from opera’s favourite femme fatale Carmen to Turandot’s iconic aria ‘Nessun dorma’, this 5DVD set showcases the power of opera to move the heart and stir the soul.Featuring complete performances of:Carmen • La Traviata • Madama Butterfly • Turandot • Aida
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“This album covers the gamut of expressive musical possibilities – from extreme anguish and despair to heart-aching simplicity, from intellectual rigour and pure consonance to shattering dissonance. It is everything.” – Richard TognettiHot on the heels of their ARIA-nominated recording of Mozart’s Last Symphonies, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Richard Tognetti showcase two works of genius by Beethoven and Bach. Recorded live in concert, these seminal works are given a new lease of life, opening up new soundworlds through the vitality and virtuosity for which the ACO has become globally renowned.Both Bach and Beethoven wrote these pieces towards the end of their lives. Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge was originally conceived as the final movement to his last string quartet; in it, the genre moves away from salon music into what Tognetti describes as “hyper-controlled cacophony, rousing responses ranging from rapture to despair”. This was too much for Beethoven’s contemporaries, and the quartet was soon given a more orthodox ending. In this album the Grosse Fuge is returned to its original place, and is presented in an arrangement for string orchestra by Tognetti which, in his words, is “careful not to exploit the greater dynamic capabilities at the expense of the innerlich heart of Beethoven’s uniquely powerful music”.Bach’s The Art of Fugue was left unfinished at his death, and is a work shrouded in mystery: it is unclear for what instrument it was originally written. A masterclass in the fugue – a form in which a single musical theme repeats and weaves around itself – the first four movements are presented here using strings, winds and even the voices of the orchestra to bring out the polyphonal parts which, in Bach’s hands, speak as one.Critical acclaim for the concerts at which this album was recorded include praise for the ACO’s “uncanny blend of muscularity and airiness” (The Daily Telegraph) and “restless dynamism” (Sydney Morning Herald).TRACKLISTINGJOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH 1685–1750The Art of Fugue, BWV1080 (selections)1. Contrapunctus I2. Contrapunctus II3. Contrapunctus III4. Contrapunctus IV LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN 1770–1827String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 130 (with Grosse Fuge, Op. 133)5 I. Adagio ma non troppo – Allegro6 II. Presto7 III. Andante con moto ma non troppo (poco scherzoso)8 IV. Alla danza tedesca: Allegro assai9 V. Cavatina: Adagio molto espressivo10 VI. Grosse Fuge Australian Chamber OrchestraRichard Tognetti director and violin
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For her third ABC Classics album ‘Cello at the Opera’, Sally Maer (aka Cello Diva) gives emotional and breathtaking performances of the great opera tunes on the instrument closest to the human voice: the cello. Maer and her cello take the starring roles in the world’s most popular arias for all voice types – soprano, mezzo, tenor and bass – creating a new studio recording that is unique and exquisite. From triumph to tragedy, Maer celebrates the grandeur and brilliance of great opera, with her eloquent cello accompanied by the rich sound of the full orchestra. By turns intimate and majestic, the cello proves the perfect vehicle for some of the greatest melodies by Verdi, Puccini, Mozart, Handel, Faure and many others. “The passionate music from Opera has always won my heart,” says Maer. “The dramatic tales magnify everything we feel in life from tragedy to ecstasy and the cello marries perfectly with these ingredients. In great opera, the meanings of love and loss are exquisitely captured, and for me, singing them through the cello gives the music its own new entity.” On this album, the cello sings of love, from Carmen’s seductive Seguidilla to Madama Butterfly’s great aria Un bel di, and from the beloved Pearl Fishers Duet to Monteverdi’s Pur ti miro. It tells of heartbreak, with the baroque masterpiece Dido’s Lament and the exquisite Song to the Moon. And it embodies some of the most memorable characters in opera, from the Spanish bullfighter in Toreador’s Song to the resolute Nessun Dorma and O mio babbino caro. Maer plays solo arias, duets and, for Mozart’s famous trio Soave il vento, regarded as one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written, Maer plays all three voices in a brilliant new arrangement.
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Passionate and powerful, bold and beautiful: the music of Russia is as vast as the land itself.This collection showcases the most popular masterworks and hidden treasures from a rich musical heritage, and accompanies ABC Classic FM’s focus on Russian music over the 2017 Easter weekend.
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Music of rapture and beauty, from the rugged hills and cosy firesides of Scotland, Ireland and Wales: Celtic Swoon is the ultimate celebration of ancient serenity.Some of the very first Swoons to captivate Australia over 20 years ago were from the Celtic tradition; on this album they join new Swoons as intimacy rubs shoulders with grandeur. Be embraced by the rich sound of the full orchestra in Danny Boy, and relish the tender majesty of the choir in My Heart’s in the Highlands and Rutter’s Deep Peace. Then marvel at the sheer beauty of the Scottish fiddle tradition, and join the harp, cello and accordion as they spin stunning melodies.Released for the very first time on this album, baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes sings the beloved tunes Raglan Road and Loch Lomond. Alongside original folk tunes, we feature stunning arrangements by Benjamin Britten, Percy Grainger and others; and the tradition is brought up to date with the ethereal choral music of James MacMillan and Michael Nyman’s Gloomy Winter, imbuing ancient sounds with the timbres of today.For decades, Swoon has touched the lives of millions of Australians with moments of musical bliss. Featuring over two hours of music, Celtic Swoon presents a tartan-clad parcel of rapture that will make your world stand still.TracklistingCD11 Mary Scott, the Flower of Yarrow2 A New Song3 Rorate4 Bushes and Briars5 Suo Gân6 Annie Laurie7 The Last Rose of Summer8 Raglan Road9 Loch Lomond10 Ye Banks and Braes11 The Night Gently Waits12 My Heart’s in the Highlands13 The Cradle Song14 The Connacht Mother’s Slumber Song15 Irish Tune from County Derry (Danny Boy)16 The Hebrides (Fingal’s Cave) CD21 O Waly, Waly2 The Salley Gardens3 Ca’ the Yowes4 Unst Bridal March5 Scots Song6 A Child’s Prayer7 A Gaelic Blessing8 Wild Mountain Thyme9 Deep Peace10 Bovaglie’s Plaid11 The Harp That Once Thro’ Tara’s Halls12 Danny Boy13 Skye Boat Song14 Gloomy Winter15 As He Moved Through the Fair16 When Irish Eyes Are Smiling
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Carl Orff brings the Middle Ages into the modern era with Carmina Burana, one of the best-loved choral works of the 20th century, and an exuberant celebration of the power of music’s simplest yet most versatile building blocks: beautiful melody, and raw rhythm.This album is part of 1000 Years of Classical Music – a series of 100 volumes charting the history of music to be released on ABC Classics. More information can be found at the project’s website; www.1000YearsofClassicalMusic.com.CARL ORFF 1895–1982Tracks 1 – 29. Carmina buranaEdition for voices, two pianos and percussionCantillationSara Macliver sopranoPaul McMahon tenorJonathan Summers baritoneSynergy PercussionAustralian Virtuosi (Michael Kieran Harvey & Bernadette Harvey)Sydney Children’s ChoirAntony Walker conductor
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Music of profound sorrow and exceptional beauty: Elgar’s Cello Concerto is a phoenix rising from the ashes of a world at war, an elegaic lament for an England lost forever.This album is part of 1000 Years of Classical Music – a series of 100 volumes charting the history of music to be released on ABC Classics. More information can be found at the project’s website; www.1000YearsofClassicalMusic.com.EDWARD ELGAR 1857–19341-4 Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85 Li-Wei Qin cello5-9 Sea Pictures, Op. 37Elizabeth Campbell mezzo-soprano10 The Kingdom, Op. 51: Prelude   Adelaide Symphony OrchestraNicholas Braithwaite conductor
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‘The flute of the faun brought new breath to the art of music’ (Pierre Boulez): Debussy’s masterpiece provoked a revolution in music – but one brought about by subtlety and intimacy, dwelling on the sheer beauty of musical timbre.This album is part of 1000 Years of Classical Music – a series of 100 volumes charting the history of music to be released on ABC Classics. More information can be found at the project’s website; www.1000YearsofClassicalMusic.com.TRACKLISTINGString Quartet in G minor, Op. 10 Australian String Quartet  Prélude à ‘L’Après-midi d'un faune’ (Prelude to ‘The Afternoon of a Faun’) Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Jorge Mester conductor  La Mer (The Sea) Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Gianluigi Gelmetti conductor LIVE RECORDING
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‘I have grown accustomed to composing in our garden…Today or tomorrow I am going to dream there A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. From the pen of the 17-year-old Mendelssohn sprang into life Shakespeare’s magical world of fairies, misguided lovers, rustic actors and a royal wedding.This album is part of 1000 Years of Classical Music – a series of 100 volumes charting the history of music to be released on ABC Classics. More information can be found at the project’s website; www.1000YearsofClassicalMusic.com.TRACKLISTINGFELIX MENDELSSOHN 1809–18471 A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Overture, Op. 21  Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 ‘Scottish’ 2 I. Andante con moto – Allegro un poco agitato3 II. Vivace non troppo4 III. Adagio5 IV. Allegro vivacissimo – Allegro maestoso assai 6 The Hebrides (Fingal’s Cave) – Overture, Op. 26 7 Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90 ‘Italian’: IV. Saltarello (Presto)  Tasmanian Symphony OrchestraSebastian Lang-Lessing conductor 8 A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Incidental Music, Op. 61: Wedding MarchWest Australian Symphony OrchestraBenjamin Northey conductor
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At the dawn of the Romantic era, Schumann’s rich musical imagination takes flight in enchanting works for solo piano.This album is part of 1000 Years of Classical Music – a series of 100 volumes charting the history of music to be released on ABC Classics. More information can be found at the project’s website; www.1000YearsofClassicalMusic.com.TRACKLISTINGROBERT SCHUMANN 1810–1856Scenes from Childhood  1–13 Kinderscenen, Op. 1514–16 Fantasie, Op. 1717–28 Papillons, Op. 229 Novellette in D major, Op. 21 No. 2 Stephanie McCallum piano
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Taking advantage of the new expressive possibilities opened up by improvements in the design of the clarinet, Mozart created a concerto of exquisite beauty – one of the last works he would ever write.This album is part of 1000 Years of Classical Music – a series of 100 volumes charting the history of music to be released on ABC Classics. More information can be found at the project’s website; www.1000YearsofClassicalMusic.com.TRACKLISTINGWOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART 1756–1791 1-5 Eine kleine Nachtmusik (Serenade No. 13 in G major), KV5256-8 Clarinet Concerto in A major, KV6229-10 Adagio and Fugue in C minor, KV54611-13 Horn Concerto No. 4 in E-flat major, KV495