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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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The art of the nude is fascinating because it is all about what is revealed: the glimpse of skin, the body in full, the things we don’t usually see. But the nude in art is also gets us thinking about big questions at the heart of who we are today: questions about beauty, desire, truth, mortality and power.From the tenderness of a solo violin to the raw emotion of a symphony orchestra, this album showcases music of total intimacy and wild abandon, giving glimpses into human emotion – and our responses to those questions – from the Baroque to the present day.A musical companion to the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ exhibition The Nude.The Nude runs at the Art Gallery of New South Wales from 5 November 2016 to 5 February 2017. Visit http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/exhibitions/nude/ for more details.
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Sugar plums and snowflakes, dreams and spells – The Nutcracker is one of the most enchanting stories ever told.In this new CD from The Australian Ballet and ABC Classics, favourite moments from Tchaikovsky’s beloved music are combined with the evocative story-telling of legendary Australian actor Geoffrey Rush. This album is both the perfect introduction to this charming tale, and essential listening as a new take on an ageless classic. Geoffrey Rush narratorThe Australian BalletOrchestra VictoriaNicollette Fraillon conductor
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Guitarist Slava Grigoryan embarks on a major new recording series surveying the music of JS Bach, beginning with the beloved Cello Suites.This album is the result of Grigoryan’s decades-long love affair with the Suites, music which has accompanied him throughout his life. Reflecting on Bach’s music, he says: ‘I’m constantly staggered by the universe of ideas in each movement of every Suite. The simplicity, the elegance, the structure and the spirit are simply breathtaking’.Bach’s Cello Suites were composed around 1720, and contain some of the most popular music ever written – but much of their history, including the instrument for which they were originally intended, is shrouded in mystery. What we do know for certain is that Bach arranged one of the Suites for the lute, a fore-father of the guitar.This is believed to be the world-premiere recording of the Bach Cello Suites on baritone guitar, whose lower pitch allows the Suites to be played in their original keys. ‘The moment I picked up a baritone,’ says Grigoryan, ‘I thought of Bach’s Cello Suites. The resonance and sustain were so entirely different to what I was used to on a regular instrument – it was impossible not to play lyrically. I was immediately smitten and full of ideas.’ The use of the guitar also allows a fresh perspective on these baroque masterpieces, including bringing out some of the rhythmic grooves inherent in the music – an aspect that has led to Bach being described as the original inspiration behind jazz.Grigoryan is renowned as one of the world’s most talented, sought-after and versatile instrumentalists. He collaborates with orchestras globally, and forms a long-standing duo with his brother Leonard. He has won ARIA Awards for Best Classical Album, and has also received significant acclaim for his performances in world and jazz music.The album was recorded at the UKARIA Cultural Centre, the state-of-the-art new concert hall in the Adelaide Hills founded by Ulrike Klein. Future albums in Slava Grigoryan’s Bach series include volume II of the Cello Suites, and an album of concertos with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACHCello Suites · Volume I1–6. Cello Suite No.1 in G major, BWV10077–12. Cello Suite No.2 in D minor, BWV100813–18. Cello Suite No.3 in C major, BWV1009Slava Grigoryanbaritone guitarDownload the album booklet here
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Australian period-instrument Ironwood shines new light on two of the most popular chamber works of the Romantic era, revealing the passion, power and intimate beauty of Brahms as they perform on the instruments the composer knew and loved.Ironwood’s interpretation of these popular works is the culmination of several years of cutting-edge research and painstaking experimentation. The results bring vividly to life the expressive practices of Brahms and his circle, which has been clearly documented in early recordings from the turn of the 20th century and contemporaneous written texts. Performing on gut-string instruments and a replica of Brahms’s much-favoured JB Streicher and Sons Viennese-action grand piano (parallel strung and with leather-coated hammers) dating from 1868, Brahms’s music is here imbued with the spirit, expressivity, rhythmic and temporal flexibility and soundscape that the composer undoubtedly expected to hear in performance.The Op.25 Piano Quartet – the first of three that Brahms wrote – is book-ended by movements so large in soundscape, ideas and development as to feel symphonic. The third movement begins with a heart-on-sleeve song-like melody that is contrasted with a series of powerful themes which propel the music towards a dazzling finale, a tour de force that emulates the Hungarian gypsy style favoured by Haydn. The Op.34 Piano Quintet, Brahms’s most famous chamber work, combines Beethovenian explosiveness with the lyrical qualities of Schubert’s music, producing an unsurpassed level of musical expression.JOHANNES BRAHMS1833–1897CD11-4 Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25 CD21-4 Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34 Robin Wilson andRachael Beesley (CD2) violinsNicole Forsyth violaDaniel Yeadon celloNeal Peres Da Costa historic pianoforte
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When Grammy-nominated mandolinist Avi Avital made his debut with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, the magic was instant. A musician of electrifying virtuosity, Avi’s sensitivity drew audiences towards the emotional heart of his music, and created a palpable chemistry with the musicians on stage.Now this extraordinary music-making can be re-lived with a stunning high-definition recording, filmed live at City Recital Hall in Sydney. Avi, the musicians of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and their Artistic Director Paul Dyer celebrate the music of baroque greats Vivaldi, JS Bach, Albinoni and Pachelbel, revel in the Bulgarian folk music of Bartok, and thrill the audience with the Spanish dances of de Falla.
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The finest young pianists from around the world are chosen to compete in the Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia, and this double album showcases some of the most dazzling solo performances from the Sydney International Piano Competition 2016.Outstanding not only for their technical brilliance, but also for the depth of emotion in their interpretations and their mastery of a breathtaking range of musical styles, these are exceptional artists, displaying the very best of their talent.18 competitors in all are represented, playing music from the Baroque (Rameau and Scarlatti) to the 21st century (Lindberg), taking in along the way not only music by Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and Rachmaninoff, but also Sibelius, Dutilleux and Zaderatsky as well as sizzling arrangements of Liszt by Horowitz and Tchaikovsky by Feinberg.Piers Lane, himself a competitor at the very first Sydney International Piano Competition and now its Artistic Director, contributes the introductory notes.The 2016 competition was not only broadcast in its entirety by ABC Classic FM but also live streamed, so already has an international audience. A further album of Australian piano music heard at the competition is due for release in early 2017.
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Frederick Septimus Kelly was one of the great cultural losses of World War One. An Australian who spent much of his life in England, his legacy has been neglected until now – the centenary of his death, killed in action at the Battle of the Somme at the age of 35.Kelly’s music – crafted entirely in his head, and only committed to paper once perfected – displays touching lyricism and profound invention. When he died, his compositional output matched that of Ralph Vaughan Williams at the same age for its sheer quality and range.Kelly, or ‘Sep’ to his friends, was also a renowned pianist whose virtuosity was met with acclaim in both Europe and Australia. He was a close friend of the poet Rupert Brooke, present at his death and burial in Gallipoli. In his lifetime, he was best known to the general public for his prowess as an oarsman, winning an Olympic gold medal.A Race Against Time is the result of a decade-long project to research and uncover Kelly’s genius. It provides for the first time a major survey of his astonishing music, from his early songs to the scores he sketched as he served in the war that would cut short his astonishing talent.
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The Australian Chamber Orchestra is a national treasure, and a world-beating musical force. This album celebrates the ACO’s history of superlative and ambitious music-making, presenting the recordings that have thrilled music-lovers for decades.The album opens with Irkana IV by Peter Sculthorpe, recorded in 1996 and drawn from one of the most highly award-winning recordings in Australian classical history. Two other Australian composers with whom the ACO has a close history – Elena Kats-Chernin and Joseph Tawadros – are also represented. The album showcases the stunning breadth of the Orchestra’s music-making by delving back into the Baroque (Bach’s beloved double violin concerto), the Classical (Mozart’s ‘Jupiter’ symphony), and into the Romantic era (Brahms, Wagner and Tchaikovsky). Each work is introduced in the booklet by the ACO’s Artistic Director Richard Tognetti.Celebrating 40 Years is a companion to ACO40: The Fortieth Year, a large-format prestige book that beautifully captures the ACO in pictures and words, on stage, in rehearsal, and in their private lives. With revealing text by Margaret Throsby and deluxe photography by Anthony Browell, ACO40 is a sumptuous souvenir of Australia’s national orchestra’s 40th Anniversary year together, offering fascinating insight into the busy lives and music-making of Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. To find out more, visit www.aco.com.au/aco40.
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"The recorder player Genevieve Lacey and the Baroque bassoonist Jane Gower gave a performance that swept away dourness in favour of light precision and breathlessly agile sequences in the fast movements and elegantly balanced ensemble in the slow.” – Peter McCallum, Sydney Morning HeraldThree of the finest baroque musicians performing today celebrate the music of one of the most prolific – and most neglected – composers.George Philipp Telemann (1681–1767) was a friend of both JS Bach and Handel, and in their lifetime was considered to be the finest composer of the three. He was at the forefront of new stylistic developments, drawing on influences across Europe – including French, Italian and Polish music – and moving music forward from the baroque to the classical era.Whilst his 1,000-plus church cantatas brought Telemann to eighteenth-century ears, it was in his chamber music that his invention and wit could flourish. He wrote sets of Fantasias for solo instruments – on this album we hear two for harpsichord and one for flute – and stunning Sonatas and Sonatinas for bassoon and recorder, accompanied for harpsichord.Telemann shaped the course of music, but also of the music industry. He was one of the first composers to publish his own music, and therefore to assert his authorial ownership of its ‘intellectual property’. All of these Sonatas, Sonatinas and Fantasias were published in the 1730s – in the short term, at least, as part of a money–making venture intended to mitigate his wife’s gambling debts!Genevieve Lacey, Jane Gower and Lars Ulrik Mortensen are close musical friends and collaborators. Lacey is an ARIA-winning virtuoso whose repertoire spans centuries, and has performed at venues from the BBC Proms to a prison in remote Western Australia; her fellow Australian Jane Gower is one of the world’s most sought after bassoonists, and a frequent collaborator with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Anima Eterna. Lars Ulrik Mortensen is a harpsichordist, conductor and teacher who specialises in period instruments. He is Artistic Director of Concerto Copenhagen and the European Union Baroque Orchestra.
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Featuring: Lior, The Idea of North, and Elena Kats-CherninA Piece of Quiet is an album of unrivalled musical delight: a collection of songs featuring the words of Australian children, set to music and performed by Lior, The Idea of North and Elena Kats-Chernin.A Piece of Quiet is the 16th volume in Hush’s acclaimed album series. Originally developed by Dr. Catherine Crock AM to reduce stress and anxiety felt by both patients and their families in hospitals, the Hush music collection is now played in hospitals, homes and shared spaces across the globe.The album is inspired by stories of young children – both sick and well. Singer-songwriter Lior and vocal quartet The Idea of North, along with renowned composer and pianist Elena Kats-Chernin, consulted Australian children for lyrical guidance; questions posed about their lives spawned responses filled with humour, wonder, excitement and surprising wisdom. From these conversations grew a collection of music that conveys the children’s feelings, hopes and dreams in a way that resonates equally with adult listeners.These ARIA-award winning musicians are joined by the Goldner String Quartet, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s principle oboist Diana Doberty and cor anglais Alexandre Oguey, and a range of other distinguished performers.Launch ConcertsSydney, City Recital HallTuesday 15 November, 7pmMelbourne Recital CentreThursday 24 November, 7pmMore details at www.hush.org.au
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“I am a musician because I believe in the power of music – to heal, to connect us to our emotions, indeed to foster kindness and compassion. Music is my greatest teacher and its greatest lesson is empathy. It reaches us on a level deeper than language and conscious thought and perhaps that is why it touches us so profoundly.” – Jayson GillhamGrowing up in outback Australia, Jayson Gillham travelled 500 kilometres every week to attend piano lessons. Now, after a stratospheric rise that has seen him acclaimed as one of the finest talents of the new generation, he presents his much-anticipated debut album: Bach | Schubert | Chopin.Praised for his “absorbing and relentless elegance” (The Montreal Gazette), and possessing “a beautiful bell-like tone, a great sense of expressive lyricism, and virtuosity” (The Australian), Gillham moved to London in 2007, since when he has performed at venues including the Royal Festival Hall and Wigmore Hall in London and Louvre Auditorium in Paris, and with groups including the London Philharmonic, Nashville Symphony and English Chamber Orchestras.Bach | Schubert | Chopin presents music of unparalleled beauty, vitality and joy by three masters of keyboard writing. The works highlight different aspects of Jayson’s superb musicianship. The album opens with the youthful exuberance of Bach’s Toccata in C minor (Bach was around the same age when he wrote it as Jayson when he recorded it). Schubert’s lyrical A major sonata showcases the sheer beauty of Jayson’s playing; and the Chopin Sonata in B minor, composed just five years before Chopin died, displays a depth in Jayson’s interpretative approach usually reserved for pianists of much more mature years.To record the album, Jayson travelled to the Reitstadel in Neumarkt, Germany to work with renowned Tonmeister Andreas Neubronner (Murray Perahia, Arcadi Volodos, Khatia Buniatishvili). The Australian launch tour for the album will include recital performances in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and concerto performances with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra / Vladimir Ashkenazy, and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra / Jeffrey Tate.
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Described as ‘unforgettable’ by The Australian and ‘barnstorming’ by The New York Times, the Viney-Grinberg Piano Duo enjoy a stellar international profile. In their new album on ABC Classics, they survey recent music by Australian composers for piano four-hands, much of it receiving its world-premiere recording.Music for piano four-hands began in the latter half of the 18th century, as the piano itself gained popularity. In the words of the pianists themselves, ‘the five Australian compositions on this disc grow and build on that tradition, with ambitious largescale works of complexity and virtuosity, as well as miniatures that deal with the interior world of the human heart and mind. Despite the diversity of music on this disc – a fascinating variety of responses to the musical opportunities afforded by piano four-hand performance – there is also a unifying thread of dynamism and spirited energy.’Ross Edwards’ A Flight of Sunbirds showcases a seemingly effortless affection; Carl Vine and Stuart Greenbaum’s Sonatas explores the potential for four-handed counterpoint. Peter Sculthorpe’s ‘delicate and wistful quartet of beautiful tableaux’ follow the tradition of arranging existing works for piano four-hands. And Elena Kats-Chernin’s Victor’s Heart uses the warm resonance of the form to create a touching musical tribute.