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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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“Every road trip needs a playlist, doesn’t it? Well you’ve got ours in your hand. This is what we came up with for the best music to accompany the hours of driving on the dusty highway.”In September 2017, ABC Classic FM’s Russell Torrance takes the trip of a lifetime, travelling thousands of kilometers across Australia with his wife Lauren and their dog Wolfy. In this new album, he presents the musical accompaniment he’s selected for his journey: his favourite classical music, including introducing us to some rarely heard gems, alongside tracks by Australian composers inspired by the land he crosses (Darwin to Sydney via Alice Springs, Adelaide and country Victoria).Russell has themed his collection around two moods:“‘Windows Up’ is for those moments of contemplation, the road shimmering ahead, the horizon barely visible in the glare, big landscapes everywhere you look. You’ve got some sublime Mozart and Philip Glass for that bit. The opening of the Gorecki Three Pieces in an Olden Style is one of my favourites – languid and meditative, just the thing to give you a clear head for your drive.“‘Windows Down’ – well that’s the opposite. It’s when you want to let it rip, crank the volume and give a music lesson to the crows and flies. Give ‘em some Grieg, Shostakovich and Ravel.”Russell will be broadcasting on ABC Classic FM throughout his trip; for more details visit www.abc.net.au/classic
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Songs of Yesterday, the new album from Australian guitarist Matt Withers (Guitar Trek, The Brew Guitar Duo), draws upon the music of the past, conjuring beautiful memories through arrangements of timeless songs and passionate works for the classical guitar. It’s a musical trip down memory lane with works that inspire a heartfelt connection to a time or place of joy in our lives: with friends and family, and the people we love. With works including The Beatles' Yesterday and Don McLean's Vincent (Starry Starry Night), imagine beautiful artworks, the colourful canvases of Van Gogh and drift away with this music.Sit back and let this album take you away somewhere over the rainbow to where dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.TRACKLISTING1. McLEAN Vincent (Starry Starry Night)2. JOBIM Felicidade3. LENNON / McCARTNEY Yesterday4. TÁRREGA Recuerdos de la Alhambra5. HART/RODGERS Blue Moon6. HARBURG/ARLEN Over the Rainbow7. BRELL a Chanson Des Vieux Amants8. PIAF L’Hymne a L’Amour9. DYENS Tango en Skaï10. CARDOSO Milonga11.MYERS CavatinaThree Irish Folk Songs12. MYERS The Harp That Once13. McTELL From Clare to Here14. McPEAKE Will Ye Go Lassie, Go15. SOJO Que No Te Quiera más16. MONTES Preludio de AdiosMORRICONE Selections from Cinema Paradiso Featuring Tim Kain17. Nuovo Cinema Paradiso18. Prima Gioventu19. Tema d’amoreMatt Withers guitarTim Kain guitar (tracks 17–19) 
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Absorbing simplicity, transcendent serenity, deep spirituality. Into Silence, the new album from pianist Tamara-Anna Cislowska, immerses us in the sound world of an extraordinary generation of composers from the Baltics: Henryk Górecki (born Poland, 1933), Arvo Pärt (Estonia, 1935), Pēteris Vasks (Latvia, 1946) and Georgs Pelēcis (Latvia, 1947).As Europe emerged from the horrors of World War II, Górecki and Pärt were children, while Vasks and Pelēcis were soon to be born. All four grew up in Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe, and their music looks back to the trials of the preceding years and speaks with hope of the future, all the while responding to the frost-shrouded landscapes in which it came to life. These composers grappled with cultures in which music was simultaneously highly prized, but bound by strict social and political constraints. From the rare genius of these four men, this set of conditions produced music of astonishing and distinctive beauty, characterised by profound simplicity and a true valuing of the silent.The album interweaves the intimacy of solo piano with concertos and orchestral works, recorded with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra under Johannes Fritzsch – himself brought up behind the Iron Curtain.The music of Georgs Pelēcis is an undiscovered gem, barely recorded and almost never heard in the concert hall. His All in the Past, an elegy for violin and orchestra, beguilingly mixes the influence of tango with the styling of the baroque; but it’s his sublime Concertino bianco (literally ‘Little White Concerto’) for piano and orchestra, which opens the album, that is set to take its rightful place as a gem of 20th-century music in this stunning new recording from Cislowska.Inspired by Gregorian Chant and Orthodox Christianity, the music of Arvo Pärt reaches towards the ancient at the same time as forging new paths in serenity. The use of simple rhythm and stepwise melody that he called ‘tintinnabuli’ (Latin for ‘bell ringing’) produced the exquisite Spiegel im Spiegel, and its almost addictive repetitions are shared by his other solo piano works on this album, Pari intervallo and Für Alina.The landscape of his Latvian homeland underlies Pēteris Vasks’ music, finding comfort he was never afforded as the son of a clergyman in a strictly secular regime. In his music for solo piano, the simple gestures of White Scenery evoke the calm of a snowbound landscape, while in Music for a Summer Evening – written in 2009 – we feel the serenity of dusk. In Cantabile, for string orchestra, we move from the contemplative to ecstatic climaxes.Henryk Górecki became a household name in the 1980s after the phenomenal success of his Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, which made him the highest-selling classical composer of modern times. His Three Pieces in Olden Style shares the luminosity of that chart-topping work, while his Piano Concerto finds a more urgent sense of movement, echoing the rhythmic impulse of baroque dances.Tamara-Anna Cislowska’s recordings have won, amongst others, the 2015 ARIA Award for Best Classical Album and Gramophone Magazine Editor’s Choice. She recently toured as a soloist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
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‘Lux Aeterna’ – ‘eternal light’ – the struggle of light and darkness: an ancient concept, inspiring music-making for centuries.The new album from Australian composer Paul Stanhope brings this search for light into the present day, setting texts from across cultures and ages: Arabic poetry, Old Testament verses, liturgical chants, and present-day words from Australia and South America. By turns elegiac and urgent, serene and rapturous, Lux Aeterna lives out themes of optimism, humanity and empathy.Stanhope’s music is recorded here with the choir he has collaborated with over the past decade, Sydney Chamber Choir, resulting in a uniquely satisfying depth of understanding of Stanhope’s musical language and the text which he sets.About Paul StanhopePaul Stanhope is an award-winning Sydney-based composer, former Musical Director of Sydney Chamber Choir and currently a Senior Lecturer in Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney. Previous releases on the ABC Classics label include Songs for the Shadowland – an album of song cycles for combinations of voices and instruments. About Sydney Chamber ChoirFormed in 1975, Sydney Chamber Choir, under founding director Nicholas Routley, quickly established itself among Australia’s finest performers of Renaissance choral music, especially the works of Josquin des Prez. The Choir was also a pioneer in revitalising performances of Baroque masterpieces by Bach and Handel. At the same time, it began a program of commissioning new music from Australian composers – a tradition which flourished under the leadership of the Choir’s second Musical Director, Paul Stanhope, and continues to the present day, with 20 world premieres in the past ten years.TRACKLISTINGPAUL STANHOPE (1969–)1. Fiant Luminaria2. Agnus Dei / Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep3. Lux Aeterna4. Ubi Caritas5. Lament to Saint Cecilia6. The Land Is Healed. Ban.garay!Exile Lamentations – Three Choruses7. Eykhah8. Deserts of Exile9. Lament10. Cherubic HymnSydney Chamber ChoirPaul Stanhope conductor 
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ABC Classics is delighted to partner with Arcadia Winds for the release of their debut self-titled EP. Acknowledged as one of the finest Australian chamber groups of the new generation, Arcadia Winds are Musica Viva’s inaugural Futuremakers – the new artist development programme from the world’s largest presenter of chamber and ensemble music.The album traces Arcadia’s journey as an ensemble thus far, bringing light to the music they love and the values they uphold. “The title Arcadia Winds is as much a manifesto as it is our name. It’s an album that celebrates the fun and energy that inspires our collective music making, our passionate advocacy for new Australian music and our role as ambassadors for wind music.”Ligeti's Six Bagatelles for wind quintet headlines the EP. A seminal work in the development of the wind quintet repertoire, it explores a series of deceptively simple musical ideas that take the listener on a rollercoaster ride through a breathtaking landscape of wind sounds. Lachlan Skipworth's new work, Echoes and Lines, is next. In this work Skipworth challenges the conventional wisdom that winds are more difficult to blend than strings, combining the five instruments of the wind quintet in a truly groundbreaking way. Flute and oboe become "floboe", horn and basson become "bassorn" in a way that simultaneously befuddles and enthralls the ears. Percy Grainger's Walking Tune, a stunningly beautiful stroll through the English countryside, and Julio Medaglia's Choro em Berlin, a racous and thrilling South American tango, round out the EP. TRACKLISTING1–6. LIGETI Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet7–15. SKIPWORTH Echoes and Lines16. GRAINGER Walking Tune17. MEDAGLIA Choro em Berlin from Suite popular brasiliera
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A true story. Unfortunately.After a reckless lie sets off a catastrophic chain of events, Ali, the son of a Muslim cleric, finds himself caught between his sense of duty to his family and following his heart. An irreverent and warm-hearted comedy, Ali’s Wedding is an affectionate and entertaining story of love and duty.A film with such emotional scope requires a soundtrack to match, and so Nigel Westlake – composer of beloved scores including Babe and Paper Planes – was approached by the film’s director Jeffrey Walker. This album brings together highlights from the score, and boasts a line-up of musical artists that together have won over a dozen ARIA Awards.As well as bringing the film to life, Westlake’s music explores some of the more complex and subtle aspects of Ali’s adventures. As the composer says, “Although the score is firmly planted in the symphonic language of the ‘romantic comedy’ genre, it also seeks to provide musical context to the deeper and contemplative aspects of the story, particularly Ali’s insecurities concerning his past, culture and religion.”The oud – a short-necked lute-type instrument (and a pre-cursor to the guitar) – lends a distinctively middle-eastern flavour to the score, and is played here by acclaimed oud virtuoso Joseph Tawadros. Guitarist Slava Grigoryan also appears on this album, on the track ‘In Loving Memory’, an expansion of a musical moment from the film. And singer Lior completes the trio of stellar guest soloists, with a new recording of a movement from Compassion, the hugely acclaimed song cycle he co-composed with Westlake.The Ali’s Wedding Original Soundtrack was recorded by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the composer. The film is on general release from 31 August 2017.www.aliswedding.com.auTRACKLISTINGThe Date Seed ParableMinaret In MoonlightLet The Journey BeginA Lie Begins In The SoulIn Loving MemoryAs Fire Burns Through WoodThe Tea CeremonyTrain Station WeddingYou Deserve To Be LovedThis I KnowI Want To Be The Son You DeserveThe Rocket Will LaunchThe Streets Of BasraMa Wadani Ahadun – Until The End Of TimeSydney Symphony OrchestraNigel Westlake conductorwithJoseph Tawadros oudSlava Grigoryan guitarsLior vocals 
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ABC Classics presents A Night at the Movies: a 4CD set of favourite movie themes and soundtracks, evoking the passion, romance and thrill of the silver screen.CD1 – Great Movie ThemesThe very best film composers in their most inspired music: John Williams (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Superman, Catch Me If You Can), Ennio Morricone (The Mission), James Horner (Braveheart), Michael Nyman (The Piano), Nigel Westlake (Babe), John Barry (Octopussy), Bernard Herrmann (Psycho), Mark Knopfler (Local Hero) and more.CDs 2 and 3 – Classical Music in the MoviesTimeless classical music has become inseparable from our memories of the great movies, from 21st-century blockbusters such as Ocean’s Eleven (Clair de lune), 50 Shades of Grey (Spem in alium) and About Time (Spiegel im Spiegel), to the golden age of cinema: Picnic at Hanging Rock (Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ Concerto), A Room with a View (O mio babbino caro) and Brief Encounter (Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto).CD4 – Movies on the PianoFamous movie themes in lyrical arrangements for solo piano, including Cinema Paradiso, The Godfather, The Man from Snowy River, Schindler’s List and Doctor Zhivago.
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The Classic 100 is a highly anticipated annual musical phenomenon on ABC Classic FM. Each year Australians are asked to vote for their favourite pieces within a given theme, and in 2017 they were eager to champion their top classical music of ‘love’.The Classic 100: Love was broadcast on ABC Classic FM over one weekend extravaganza in June 2017, revealing a brilliant selection of favourites alongside some great surprises. Listeners were treated to the drama of opera and the grace of the ballet, the tenderness of a love song and the soundtracks from our favorite romantic movies, and the countdown culminated with the announcement of Australia’s favourite music of love: ‘Au fond du temple saint’ from The Pearl Fishers, which received the most votes by a mile.This 2CD set compiles the top ten works, and unmissable highlights from the remaining 100 of the world’s favourite music of passion and heartbreak. From the Pearl Fishers Duet – the unanimous crowd favourite –  to Barber’s evocative Adagio for Strings, and from the stillness of  Dvořák’s Song to the Moon to the rousing Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen, there’s something for everyone to love and enjoy!
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Erin Helyard – acclaimed internationally as a leading light in the new generation of baroque music specialists – presents his debut solo album, surveying the keyboard works of George Frideric Handel.Acclaimed as “Australia’s most engaging soloist” by Limelight Magazine, Helyard is a virtuosic and expressive performer as well as a dedicated scholar of historically informed performance practice. This album was recorded shortly before Helyard was awarded the 2017 Helpmann Award for Best Music Direction, for Handel’s opera Saul, the latest in a long line of accolades for his work.Whilst Handel is celebrated mostly for his oratorios and operas (such as Saul), in his lifetime he was also known as a brilliant harpsichordist. His music for the instrument – surprisingly little of which survives –  is full of virtuosity, dynamism, and supreme lyrical colour.The Great Suites, as they have become known, were first published in 1720 when Handel was 35. Written over the preceding few years, they are remarkable for their eclectic and wide-ranging idioms: French-style overtures, Italian sonatas and arias, and the dance elements of the Franco-German keyboard suite. As Helyard puts it, “the suites give us the impression of a performer and composer who was highly sophisticated, well-travelled, open-minded, and cosmopolitan.“The Chaconne which opens the disc is an example of a genre beloved of both music-masters and amateurs. The repetitive form allowed both technical and expressive skills to be showed off: Helyard plays from a 1730s score with handwritten ornamentation that demonstrates how musicians at the time would have risen to the challenge. The album closes with a set of variations on Handel’s opera arias by William Babell, a violinist and harpsichordist in George I’s private band. “Inventive, difficult, showy, and glittering, they are entirely reflective of the grandeur of opera under Handel at its most splendid.“Helyard also performs the outstanding virtuosic arrangement by Babell of Handel’s aria “Vo far guerra" from Rinaldo, available as a digital exclusive – one of the most flashy harpsichord solo works from the period, on a par with Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5.Helyard plays a harpsichord made by Jacob and Abraham Kirckman in London in 1773, one of very few instruments from the time that have survived unaltered from their original state. This harpsichord is particularly remarkable for its ‘machine stop’, allowing the player to produce diminuendo and crescendo effects without lifting his hands from the keys. GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL 1685–17591-4 Harpsichord Suite No. 2 in F major, HWV4275-9 Harpsichord Suite No. 4 in E minor, HWV42910-13 Harpsichord Suite No. 5 in E major, HWV43014-17 Harpsichord Suite No. 6 in F-sharp minor, HWV43118 Chaconne in G major, HWV435WILLIAM BABELL c.1690–172319-25 The Most Celebrated Lessons: Suit[e] No. 1 [Rinaldo]Erin Helyard harpsichord
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The Australian Haydn Ensemble follow their acclaimed debut album with a new studio of recording of Haydn’s early string quartet, Op.20 No.4.This quartet is one of a set composed in 1772, nicknamed the ‘Sun’ quartets because of the picture of a rising sun on the cover of an early edition. It was these works which earned Haydn his reputation as ‘the father of the quartet’, re-defining the quartet for centuries to come and placing it firmly amongst the most popular musical forms. In Haydn’s hands, the quartet becomes an equal and dynamic dialogue between four musical voices, reaching a new depth of expression.The Australian Haydn Ensemble have rapidly developed a name as a leading interpreter of classical repertoire in styles and on instruments the composers would have known. They have been praised for their “ravishing sound” by the Sydney Morning Herald and named as “one of Australia’s finest period ensembles” by Limelight, who also selected their debut album The Haydn Album as Editor’s Choice. The Haydn Album also reached number one in the ARIA Classical Charts when it was released by ABC Classics in July 2016.HAYDN String Quartet in D major, Op.20 No.41. I. Allegro di molto2. II. Un poco Adagio affettuoso3. III. Minuetto: Allegretto alla zingarese4. IV. Presto scherzandoAustralian Haydn EnsembleSkye McIntosh violinMatthew Greco violinJames Eccles violaAnthony Albrecht cello
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In October 2016, the award-winning comedian and writer John Clarke – a regular on Australian television and a household name thanks to his satirical interview series Clarke and Dawe and the mockumentary TV series The Games – made his debut appearance as guest presenter on ABC Classic FM’s Saturday Morning program.Clarke relished the opportunity to turn his comic genius and brilliant wit to music he adored: orchestral favourites by Vaughan Williams and Dvořák, piano classics by Liszt, Satie and Beethoven, and iconic opera moments such as ‘O mio babbino caro’, the Habanera from Carmen, the Flower Duet from Lakmé, and the Pearl Fishers Duet. Audiences loved the show and were eagerly asking for the next instalment.Sadly, there were to be no more, as John Clarke passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in April 2017. When the first show was re-aired on Classic FM as a tribute, the audience response was again extraordinary, and the ABC was inundated with requests for a CD release of the program. Thanks to this public outpouring, and to the enthusiasm of John’s own family, the full program is presented here as a tribute to this brilliant, beloved Australian icon: three hours of glorious music and classic Clarke commentary.CD1LISZT Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2BIZET Carmen: HabaneraSATIE Gymnopédie No. 1GLUCK What is Life?VAUGHAN WILLIAMS The Lark AscendingBEETHOVEN Moonlight Sonata: First movementBIZET The Pearl Fishers: DuetSCHUBERT Hungarian Melody CD2HILL Trumpet ConcertoPUCCINI O mio babbino caroBACH Goldberg Variations: AriaVERDI Va’, pensieroDVOŘÁK New World Symphony CD3SCHUBERT Ave MariaWAGNER Siegfried IdyllDELIBES Lakmé: Flower DuetBRAHMS Hungarian Dance No. 5WIDOR ToccataPlus John Clarke’s original commentary interspersed throughout each CD.
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The Proms represents the very best of classical music: favourite tunes and roof-raising choruses, brilliant virtuosity and the sheer joy of music-making, enjoyed live in concert by thousands, and by millions more the world over.The Last Night has become a cultural icon, and this 2CD collection presents over two hours of the music that defines it, and much more.English favourites including The Lark Ascending, Crown Imperial, The Enigma Variations (Nimrod), The Dam Busters and On Hearing the First Cuckoo in SpringAll-time classical masterpieces such as Zadok the Priest, Jupiter (The Planets), Boléro, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and the 1812 OvertureSing-along choruses: You’ll Never Walk Alone, Land of Hope and Glory and JerusalemAnd those staples of the Last Night: Rule, Britannia!, God Save the Queen and Auld Lang Syne.