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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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Under their Chief Conductor David Robertson, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra present a stunning live account of three seminal works: Stravinsky’s The Firebird, Petrushka and The Rite of Spring.Stravinsky first achieved international fame with these works, which were commissioned for – and first performed by – Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes. Premiered during an extraordinary period stretching from 1910 to 1913, these ballets quite simply revolutionized music: whilst often reaching into the past for their musical and cultural material, they introduced totally new conceptions of rhythm, colour and scale. The audience famously rioted at the first performance of The Rite of Spring – and whilst we may not be so scandalized in the 21st century, the music feels no less ground-breaking.Recorded live at the Sydney Opera House, these performances showcase a glittering Sydney Symphony Orchestra under a conductor with a rare ability to bring to life the music of the 20th century. The critical and audience response to the concerts, which can now be enjoyed again through this album, was unanimous.IGOR STRAVINSKY 1882–1971 CD1 The Firebird CD2Petrushka 1-3 Tableau I: The Shrovetide Fair4 Tableau II: Petrushka’s Room5-7 Tableau III: The Moor’s Room8-14 Tableau IV: The Shrovetide Fair: Towards EveningThe Rite of Spring 15-22 Part 1 – The Adoration of the Earth23-28 Part 2 – The Sacrifice Sydney Symphony Orchestra David Robertson conductor
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"Seatbelts on and enjoy the ride!" - Richard Egarr, AAM Music DirectorIn their latest release on ABC Classics, leading baroque orchestra the Academy of Ancient Music presents the music of Venetian man of mystery Dario Castello.Working at the same time as Claudio Monteverdi, Dario Castello wrote innovative and ground-breaking sonatas that had a profound effect on generations of Italian composers. Very little is known about him today, but in the 17th century he was actually more widely published than Shakespeare.AAM Music Director Richard Egarr is a lifelong advocate of Castello, and on this recording directs the composer’s first book of sonatas from the harpsichord and organ. Taking the form of a small chamber group, the AAM finds itself at its most adventurous and expressive, performing twelve fiercely virtuosic sonatas for violin, cornetto and dulcian that are full of imagination and colour.This release follows the AAM’s critically-acclaimed series of JS Bach recordings. Their 2015 release of JS Bach’s St Matthew Passion (AAM004) was praised by BBC Music Magazine for Richard Egarr’s “compellingly original vision”, and was awarded BBC Radio 3’s Disc of the Week. JS Bach’s Orchestral Suites (AAM003) was awarded five stars by Fine Music Magazine and was described as “a feast of meaningfully understated musicianship” in an Editor’s Choice review in Gramophone magazine.
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Passion, daring and heroism: the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra break new ground with their latest album, exploring the music of three of the Romantic era’s greatest composers on period instruments. Directed by Japanese-American violin star Shunske Sato, the Brandenburg present the baroque-inspired music of Edvard Grieg, a symphony written by the 12-year old prodigious composer Felix Mendelssohn, and a scintillating performance of Nicolo Paganini’s Violin Concerto No.4 (with Sato as the soloist).Paganini was the most famous violin virtuoso who ever lived, an incomparable showman who was rumoured to be in league with the devil: how else could he achieve such super-human feats on the violin? He premiered his fourth Violin Concerto at the age of 50, when he was plagued by a multitude of ailments including advanced venereal disease – but the jaw-dropping pyrotechnics, as well as the sheer tenderness of the slow movement, require astonishing musicianship to pull off.The astonishing playing of Shunske Sato combined with the period instruments of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra create a vivid and colourful soundworld. Grieg’s well-loved Holberg Suite is cast in a fresh light; and the Paganini will be welcome internationally as a rare recording on the instruments that the composer would have known.This album was recorded live in Sydney’s City Recital Hall in September 2016, in concerts that received unanimous critical acclaim. The Daily Telegraph reported that ‘Sato carried the whole three movements off with amazing elan, power and accuracy, often with a dash of humour, prompting a standing ovation’, whilst The Australian praised his ‘spectacular display of thrilling highwire musical acrobatics’.EDVARD GRIEG 1843–1907 From Holberg’s Time – Suite in the Olden Style I. Prelude (Allegro vivace)II. Sarabande (Andante)III. Gavotte (Allegretto / Musette)IV. Air (Andante religioso)V. Rigaudon (Allegro con brio) FELIX MENDELSSOHN 1809–1847 String Symphony No. 3 in E minor I. Allegro di moltoII. AndanteIII. Allegro NICCOLÒ PAGANINI 1782–1840 Violin Concerto No. 4 in D minorI. Allegro maestosoII. Adagio flebile con sentimentoIII. Rondo galante (Andantino gaio) Shunske Sato violin and guest director Australian Brandenburg Orchestra Paul Dyer AO artistic director Recorded live in City Recital Hall, Sydney
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In 2016, ABC Classic FM’s annual listener survey asked Australians to nominate their favourite works featuring the human voice. Listeners were quick to respond, eager to share their musical treasures. At number one was Beethoven’s triumphant Choral Symphony, featuring the ‘Ode to Joy’, closely followed by Bizet’s opera The Pearl Fishers, with its famous duet ‘Au fond du temple saint’, and in third place Handel’s beloved oratorio Messiah. This 2CD set represents the highlights from The Classic 100: Voice, including the complete top ten as well as selections from throughout the countdown. From the divine choral works of Bach to the passionate operas of Mozart, Verdi and Puccini, and from the majestic grandeur of Handel’s Zadok the Priest to the pure serenity of Tallis’ Spem in Alium, this is the ultimate celebration of the musical instrument with which we are all born: the human voice.
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Recorded at a packed Sydney Opera House, this album represents a significant musical milestone: the first recording of a Beethoven Piano Concerto under the baton of legendary pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy, featuring the brilliant young Australian pianist Jayson Gillham.The performance, given in October 2016, marked Gillham’s debut with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and came as part of a national tour that launched his debut album Bach | Schubert | Chopin. That album reached number one in the Australian Classical Charts, while his performance at the Sydney Opera House received unanimous critical acclaim.Gillham grew up in rural Queensland, and is now well established as one of the finest pianists of the new generation. Already renowned for the eloquence of his playing, his performance of Beethoven’s magisterial Piano Concerto No.4 engages with the full resonance and beauty of the music whilst offering fresh poetry and nuance. As conductor, Ashkenazy brings all the insight and coherence he has gained through multiple recordings and performances of the work as one of the most respected pianists of our time.The recording is presented here as an album available exclusively for digital download and streaming.Praise for the concert performance:“Jayson Gillham’s Beethoven is a delight” The Australian“There was a natural poetry evident from Gillham’s opening motive onwards…” Limelight Magazine“Smooth, clear and polished…” – Sydney Morning Herald
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For decades Australia’s own "sorceress of percussion” Claire Edwardes has been collaborating with Australia’s top instrumentalists and commissioning chamber works by Australia’s foremost composers.Kammerbox brings together a high quality collection of sparkling Australian chamber music written for and championed by Claire throughout her career. These musical gems showcase the very best of Australian percussion music with works by legendary Australian composers including Ross Edwards, Peter Sculthorpe, Elena Kats-Chernin, and Gerard Brophy; and performed by Claire alongside Australia’s foremost chamber performers including Karin Schaupp (guitar), Julian Smiles (cello), and Bernadette Harvey (piano).1. COLE Glocken Blocken (Claire Edwardes marimba & almglocken) 2. EDWARDS Djanaba (Claire Edwardes marimba, Karin Schaupp guitar) 3. ABBOTT Re-Echo (Claire Edwardes vibraphone, Julian Smiles cello) 4. EDWARDS Binyang (Claire Edwardes claves, Jason Noble clarinet) 5. PSATHAS Fragment (Claire Edwardes vibraphone, Bernadette Harvey piano) 6. BROPHY We Bop (Claire Edwardes vibraphone, Christina Leonard alto saxophone) 7. KATS-CHERNIN Blue Silence (Claire Edwardes marimba, Jason Noble bass clarinet) 8-10. GRENFELL Di Primavera (Claire Edwardes marimba, Karin Schaupp guitar) 11. ORD War and Peace: II. No Man’s Land (Claire Edwardes percussion, Anna McMichael violin) 12. SCULTHORPE Djilile (Claire Edwardes marimba, Julian Smiles cello) 13. CHARLTON Carpentaria: II. Distant Shores (Claire Edwardes vibraphone, Karin Schaupp guitar) 14. DARGAVILLE Invisible Dance (Claire Edwardes marimba, Christina Leonard soprano saxophone) 15-16. GREENBAUM Two Interludes in Space (Claire Edwardes vibraphone, Bernadette Harvey piano, Anna McMichael violin)
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World-class opera in a spectacular setting: Opera Australia’s Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour returns with Turandot, in a lavish production that draws on contemporary cinema and traditional Chinese acrobatics to present a world of splendour and passion.With Sydney Harbour, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge as a backdrop, and brilliant fireworks lighting up the night sky, Puccini’s sublime music rings out in glory and cuts straight to the heart. This is ‘Nessun dorma’ as never heard before – and so much more.Dragana Radakovic stars as Turandot, the beautiful Chinese princess with a heart of ice. Riccardo Massi is Calaf, the mysterious prince who watches the princess behead a rival suitor and falls instantly in love. Hyeseoung Kwon is Liù, the slave girl in love with Calaf, who knows the secret that will destroy him. In a land of executioners, riddles and fear, can love conquer death?PRODUCTION CREDITSTurandot Dragana RadakovicCalaf Riccardo MassiLiù Hyeseoung KwonTimur Conal CoadPong John LongmuirPang Benjamin RasheedPing Luke GabbedyEmperor David LewisMandarin Gennadi DubinskyPrince of Persia Jin Tea KimOpera Australia ChorusChorus Master Anthony HuntAssistant Chorus Master Thomas JohnsonAustralian Opera and Ballet OrchestraGuest Concertmaster and Leader Sun YiConductor Brian Castles-OnionStage Director Chen Shi-ZhengDesigner Dan PotraLighting Designer Scott ZielinskiChoreographer Chen Shi-ZhengSound Designer Tony David CrayVideo Designer Leigh Sachwitz / flora&faunavisionsSite Designer Adrienn Lord
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What do you get when you combine Australia’s finest classical musicians with the pop hits from the 70s to the 90s? The best kind of Mixtape!Alongside their acclaimed performances of standard and contemporary chamber music repertoire, the Benaud Trio have gained international fame for their encore performances of pop covers. Beginning in 2007, a long term collaboration between the Benaud Trio and composer / arranger Nicholas Buc has resulted in a string of hits covering some of the 20th century’s greatest popular music. Youtube footage of their live performance of Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin has been viewed more than 500,000 times.Whilst the fusion of popular music with classical ensembles is not new, such a comprehensive undertaking has never been made by a piano trio. The combination of strings and pianos established by Joseph Haydn in the 18th century lends itself remarkably well to contemporary popular music – and particularly to those songs which have been crafted by the great song-writers of our times, the Haydns of the 20th century. Without backing tracks, the Benauds acoustically recreate all the power, intimacy and optimism of the mixtape era.The album is a survey of ‘top shelf’ popular music made famous by Simon and Garfunkel, ABBA, Billy Joel, The Buggles and Michael Jackson among others. It demands to be heard – as a trip down memory lane, but also as a realisation of the inherent musical brilliance of these songs, brought to life by some of Australia’s best-regarded classical musicians.'Giving a mixtape was a ritual for a generation' said Lachlan Bramble, violinist with the Benaud Trio. 'We wanted to capture that sense of generosity and fun in the album'. BENAUD TRIOAmir Farid pianoLachlan Bramble violinEwen Bramble cello Arrangements by Nicholas Buc
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Take the majesty of a symphony orchestra, add a 100-voice choir, stir in your favourite festive tunes and sprinkle over a large pinch of musical magic. The result? The very finest kind of Symphonic Christmas.Recorded live at Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne, and featuring conductor, arranger and pianist Bramwell Tovey, this is a truly delightful album that captures the Christmas spirit with an incredible range of music – from a tear-jerking and intimate I’ll Be Home for Christmas (with violin and piano), to the rousing chorus in God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen – with an expected twist! Melbourne Symphony Orchestra ChorusMelbourne Symphony OrchestraBramwell Tovey conductor & piano
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Magical melodies and swirling rhythms from the golden age of the Viennese waltz: the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra present a new recording of the dazzling music of Johann Strauss, father and son.Vienna in the 19th century was a city obsessed by music and dancing. By 1825, the adult population was about 200,000, and the capacity of the ballrooms about 50,000. Both Johann Strauss and his son Johann Strauss II were, in turn, known as ‘the waltz king’, and their music turned them into household names across Europe. On this album, the older Strauss is represented by his ‘Music of the Spheres’, while the attention turns firmly to the output to his son, including his infamous waltz ‘On the Beautiful Blue Danube’ and the ‘Thunder and Lightning Polka’.Strauss II also took inspiration from Vienna’s obsession with foreign musical influences, and we hear strains of Turkey in the ‘Persian March’, and of gypsy music in ‘The Gypsy Baron Overture’ and the Czárdás – a kind of folk dance – from the opera Ritter Pásmán. Soprano Lorina Gore joins the orchestra for the vocal waltz ‘Frühlingsstimmen’ (‘Voices of Spring’), as well as arias by Strauss II (‘Adele’s Laughing Song’ from Die Fledermaus) and Lehár (‘Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiß’ (‘My Lips Kiss So Hotly’) from Giuditta).The album is conducted by the TSO’s Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Marko Letonja, whose experience with the Vienna Symphony, Vienna State Opera and a host of other European and international orchestras brings new depth to this much-loved music.FRANZ von SUPPÉ1 Light Cavalry: OvertureJOSEF STRAUSS2 Sphärenklange (Music of the Spheres) – WaltzJOHANN STRAUSS II3 Unter Donner und Blitz (Thunder and Lightning) – Quick Polka4 Frühlingsstimmen (Voices of Spring) – Waltz5 Persischer Marsch (Persian March)6 The Gypsy Baron: OvertureFRANZ LEHÁR7 Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiß (My Lips Kiss So Hotly) from GiudittaJOHANN STRAUSS II8 Czárdás – Ballet Music No. 3 from Ritter Pásmán9 Seid umschlungen, Millionen! (Be Embraced, Ye Millions!) – Waltz10 Mein Herr Marquis (Adele’s Laughing Song) from Die Fledermaus11 An der schönen, blauen Donau (On the Beautiful Blue Danube) – WaltzLorina Gore sopranoTasmanian Symphony OrchestraMarko Letonja conductor
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Soaring beauty, spectacular, vocal fireworks and delicately coloured musical pictures: soprano arias from Haydn’s greatest operas and oratorios, including The Creation and The Seasons.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.
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Dvořák’s ‘New World’ Symphony is a musical portrait of a vibrant young nation, and a love letter to a homeland far away.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.ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK 1841–1904Symphony No. 9 in E minor ‘From the New World’1 I. Adagio – Allegro molto2 II. Largo3 III. Scherzo: Molto vivace          4 IV. Allegro con fuoco 5Overture – Carnival Melbourne Symphony OrchestraTadaaki Otaka conductor