Newsletter Signup

Become a ABC Music VIP Newsletter subscriber for all the latest ABC Music artist and label news!
 

Damien Dempsey

Walk around Damien Dempsey’s patch of Dublin’s northside and the places and people are like ancient dolmens round his lyrics. Turn a corner near his family home and there still are the “factories, trains and houses” he sang about on Shots, albeit quieter now, and more subdued.

Tradesmen walk around mid-morning with rolled up tabloid newspapers under their arms. A generation lies idle in a community struggling to re-establish its identity and sense of self.

For Dempsey, people and place are King. His voice is Dublin yet wholly distinctive, almost clichéd to say it, but he is part of a rich bloodline of Irish singers from Luke Kelly to Ronnie Drew, Christy Moore to Andy Irvine. Their kin outside Ireland are Springsteen and Guthrie, Dylan and Marley.

In Almighty Love, Dempsey’s sense of place reaches out beyond Donaghmede and North Bull Island, where he first performed in public as a teenager, across the Irish Sea and further afield.

The locale is still in the lyrics. It’s there in the hauntingly poetical Chris and Stevie, a tribute to male bonding and grief. You can hear it in Canadian Geese - large migratory birds whose flight path took them past Dempsey's boyhood window. It’s there also in the references to railway tracks and waves, visible from the rooftops of Dempsey’s childhood home. Those railway tracks took Dempsey and his boyhood friends out into their own imaginations and he hasn’t forgotten.

Almighty Love goes on a journey of a different kind. Dempsey, at 37 years old, has already said so much about self and state that trying to plough over old ground wouldn’t have been artistically challenging or fresh. So instead, he has given us an album of confidence and maturity, which has a more global sound to it and a broader scope. It is at once bigger and quieter, still rallying against injustice, yet with a more reflective and thoughtful tone, communicated more widely.

Some of the anger of earlier albums has been refocused. Now, he is singing for himself, attempting to put in context his experience as an Irishman who has seen something of the world and learned more about himself.

It’s not that Almighty Love is a radical departure. It’s more an evolution on previous themes and concepts. The anthems are still there: Busting Outta Here, The Good and the Great, Community and Almighty Love.  

His generosity of spirit, affiliation with those in need and the downtrodden, and recognition of their suffering, remains. It prevails even when that preoccupation may shine a spotlight on aspects of modern society that are uncomfortable to face. Dempsey faces them, and himself, and us. Toe-to-toe.

So how do you describe Damien Dempsey’s music to someone who hasn’t yet been exposed to it? Take some reggae, fuse it with traditional Irish music, add in rock and folk and put it all through a grounded working class worldly aware yet caring consciousness, and you’re some bit of the way there.

Damien Dempsey is quite simply and unequivocally himself: Damo.

He’ll draw on Orwell and Kavanagh, on Chomsky and Joyce, but you probably won’t know that by listening to the album. It’ll just make sense if you happen to go looking for it.

In Almighty Love there are overt references to Gandhi, Marie Colvin, Tony Benn and Rosa Parks. There are themes of injustice and longing and loss, of heartache and hope, despair and adventure, excitement and childhood.

This is an album from a travelled man, from a singer who is still rooted in the local but not bound by the locale, and not afraid to stretch his geographic and vocal boundaries. He is reaching out beyond the Dublin shoreline of his youth and diving into a new artistic sea.

His vocal range too has broadened its strokes. The punch is still there, but it’s more personal and he’s now more likely to show than shove.

In Chris and Stevie, the refrain “I’m missing you today” is maybe not one a 20-year-old Dempsey could have or would have sung. Now he is a man who knows it’s good to cry. Men should cry more. It’s okay for men to cry. Crying and singing. Crying and healing.

“I feel the hate in my own land against me for who I am,” sings Dempsey in Born Without Hate.  He is taking the discussion he started with an earlier song, Colony, and stretching the theme.

Back then, he sung about how some colonisers took what wasn’t theirs.

Now, he sings about how quickly the colonised forget what they didn’t have.

Glorious revolutions can breed terrible evil and rage. Bob Marley understood that and London based poet and rapper Kate Tempest understands it too. She collaborates with rhythmical focus and fury on Born Without Hate, adding to the internationally grounded feel of the album.

Like all good songwriters, heartache is never far away. In Bustin Outta Here, Dempsey is breaking from a bad place. He’s done with beating himself up. Others will do that for him. Now he wants to heal.

There isn’t a preachy pose on this album. He doesn’t have to force his point home. This album is as subtle as a Damien Dempsey album gets and yet it feels bigger. After listening, kids will still look to him as a Rocky-type figure and adults will still turn to him for his particular poeticism.

Of course, with any Damien Dempsey album, there’s politics. Or at least in this case, there is political thought. People have come to expect Damien Dempsey to say something about today, about the world, about us.

On Moneyman, he rails against the banking bureaucrats who have mortgaged entire nations for decades to come. He says it as it is, but manages to do so in a way that sets it in a historical and social context, which is relevant, and above all, real.

Ultimately then this is an album of grounded hope, both personal and national.

Making Almighty Love was a long and careful process. Damien worked with long-term collaborator John Reynolds, who is an internationally recognised producer. This is their fifth album together, and theirs is an instinctive and homely artistic relationship, and it shows.

Of the 100 or so songs earmarked for the album, they chose nine originals and one cover – Andy Stewart’s Fire in the Glen, which Damien was singing in the kitchen late one night and it stayed in the air and drifted into the studio.

Sinéad O’Connor, one of the greatest voices of her generation, adds backing vocals, but gives without taking. Her voice alongside Damien's makes sense in their mutual authenticity and authority. They both have something to say and they give each other the space to say it. Symbiotic is probably the technical term.

All that is mighty about Dempsey Dempsey is on this album. We hear the universality of the man and his concerns, are invited to connect with his accessibility, and can't help but be lured by his unique vocals and particular rhythms.

This is an artist who has grown up and is self-confident enough to do it his way.

The fist and the fragility: that’s perhaps how you could best sum up the lyricism of Almighty Love. It’s Dempsey singing from the heart and soul as he always does, but there’s maturity reflected in the lyrics now as well as a resignation, a brave emotional openness and an easing of unease in his own skin.

THE STORY SO FAR

Damien’s debut album in 2000, ‘They Don’t Teach This Shit in School’ set him apart as a unique and important voice, championed from an early stage in his career by Sinéad O’Connor and others. The follow-up, ‘Seize the Day’, released in 2003, marked the beginning of his relationship with producer John Reynolds, picking up many awards and leading to extensive international tours. Commercial and critical success continued with the release of the No. 1 album ‘Shots’ in 2005, backed by Brian Eno, and ‘To Hell or Barbados’ in 2007, which debuted at No.2 in the Irish charts.

Damien’s fans include Brian Eno, Sinéad O’Connor, Bob Dylan and U2, (both of whom he has shared a bill with), and Morrissey, who invited him to support him on his US tour. Damien is an award-winning artist, having won several prestigious Irish Meteor Awards including Best Irish Male and Best Traditional Folk Award. His albums have topped the charts and gone Platinum, and he has been lauded by, among others, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Billboard, MOJO and The Sunday Times.

Since the release of his last album, Damien’s creativity has found other outlets also. One notable project was with Irish graffiti artist Maser, on a project entitled ‘They Are Us’. This was sparked by Dempsey’s lyrics, and involved the painting of his words on derelict buildings in Dublin. Sales of the limited edition prints raised funds for The Simon Community, which was a charity set up to help the homeless and disenfranchised in Dublin and elsewhere.

Dempsey’s charitable work continued in December 2010, when he and Oscar winning songwriter Glen Hansard recorded and performed the Irish folk classic, ‘The Auld Triangle’. Monies raised went towards the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SVP) ‘Keep The Lights On’ Campaign.

Last year, Damien also made his acting debut in the Irish feature film ‘Between The Canals’. His music is also proving very much in demand for soundtracks, with ‘Sing All Your Cares Away’ featured in the BAFTA Award winning film ‘Tyrannosaur’, while Damien contributes to two upcoming Irish films "Stalker" and "King of the Travellers".

Since his first live outings in the mid-1990s, Damien’s gigs have seen him wow audiences across the globe, and his performances have taken on a spiritual and soulful quality. These outings have been captured on two recordings: Live at the Olympia and Live from Vicar Street. Most recently, when asked who was on his hit list of artists for the main stage of the Sydney Opera House, music director Fergus Linehan listed Damien among his targets for one of the most renowned stages in the world. Irish and UK audiences will get a chance to witness that live power once again later this year when he embarks on an extensive tour, while next year he takes his live act to the United States and Australia.

Release
“Australia’s greatest composer” Limelight magazinePeter Sculthorpe created an Australian classical music that for the first time spoke directly of the land, the people and the spirit of this country.Released to coincide with what would have been his 90th birthday, The Best of Peter Sculthorpe brings together more than two hours of his best-loved and most iconic works, from solo piano works played by Tamara-Anna Cislowska, to orchestral works and concertos performed by great soloists William Barton, Karin Schaupp and Amy Dickson, and his 18th and final string quartet.Born in Launceston on 29 April 1929, Sculthorpe rose to international recognition by creating a uniquely Australian style of music. From the wet season of the Northern Territory in Kakadu to the brutality of the southern summer in Sun Music IV, from the seaside war memorial that inspired Small Town to the timeless connection between Indigenous people and their land represented in Earth Cry, Sculthorpe captured the extremes of the country’s natural landscape, and stirred the imagination of its people.Sculthorpe was made an officer of the Order of Australia in 1990, and an Australian National Living Treasure in 1998. He died in 2014, at the age of 85. TRACKLISTING  PETER SCULTHORPE 1929–2014 CD11.       Music for Bali2.       Earth Cry          William Barton didgeridoo         Island Songs – Concerto for Saxophone3.       I.     Song of Home4.       II.    Lament and Yearning          Amy Dickson saxophone5.       Small Town6.       Sun Music IV7.       Djilile          Tamara-Anna Cislowska piano8.       On High Hills9.       Irkanda IV          Richard Tognetti violin10.     New Norcia CD21.       Left Bank Waltz          Tamara-Anna Cislowska piano2.       Nourlangie – Concerto for Guitar          Karin Schaupp guitar3.       Evocation          Tamara-Anna Cislowska piano4.       From Ubirr          William Barton didgeridoo         String Quartet No. 185.       I.     Prelude6.       II.    A Land Singing7.       III.   A Dying Land8.       IV.   A Lost Land9.       V.    Postlude          Flinders Quartet10      Kakadu
Release
Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestrafeaturing Katie Noonan vocals ABC Classic invites you on a magical journey into a world of fairies, dreams and enchanted trees, where love and music are more powerful than anything. Join us on The Little Green Road to Fairyland.Two small children, Maykin and her brother Robin, are being settled in their beds by their mother, who is reading their favourite book, The Little Green Road to Fairyland. Slowly they fall asleep, when a Fairy appears through their bedroom window, sprinkles her magic fairy dust over the sleeping children, and takes them on a magical journey!Based on the beloved children’s book by author Annie R. Rentoul and illustrator Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, this album features gorgeous music by composer Elena Kats-Chernin performed by one of Australia’s greatest singers, five-time ARIA Award-winner Katie Noonan, and Camerata - Queensland’s acclaimed chamber orchestra.This timeless tale and beautiful music will spark the imagination of audiences young and old with a tale of love, hope, compassion and a touch of fairy magic.Originally commissioned by the Queensland Music Festival in 2011, The Little Green Road to Fairyland was recommissioned in 2019 as a co-production between Queensland Music Festival and Queensland Ballet. The Little Green Road to Fairyland will be performed at the Playhouse, QPAC and will tour regional Queensland throughout June and July 2019. TRACKLISTING The Little Green Road to FairylandOriginal ballet score by Elena Kats-Chernin, orchestrated by Steve Newcomb1     ‘Long Ago’2     Fairy3     The Dream Begins4     Robin and Maykin in the Magic Forest5     Mary6     Tree of Love7     Hopscotch Frolicking8     Travelling9     Meeting Jasper10   Fairy’s Flute11   Jasper’s Flute12   Mesmerised13   Travelling14   Tree of Music15   Flute Travel16   Meeting Sylvie17   ‘Hush-a-Bye Possum’18   Travelling19   Tree of Compassion20   Sylvie’s New Dress21   Tree of Magic: ‘Fairy Child’22   Time to Depart23   Butterfly and the Little Green Road24   The Door to Fairyland25   ‘Beyond the Little Door’26   Fairyland27   Waking from the Dream
Release
On his new album, Australia’s ‘Prince of the Violin’, Patrick Roberts pays tribute to the beloved music of soft rock legends Air Supply, alongside Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock of Air Supply and the Prague Symphony Orchestra.All Out of Lovereimagines Air Supply’s timeless songs on classical violin – sometimes with orchestra, sometimes with piano, but always with an outpouring of emotion. Iconic hits ‘Even the Nights Are Better’, ‘All Out of Love’ and ‘Making Love Out of Nothing at All’, plus covers of beloved favourites ‘Unchained Melody’ and ‘Without You’ (made famous by Mariah Carey) make this an album packed full of beautiful new versions of classic tunes.In 2018 Patrick was invited to record on Air Supply’s new orchestral album alongside Tommy Emmanuel, Secret Garden, The Carpenters, Joshua Bell and many more. Following these sessions, Graham and Russell offered to appear on Patrick’s next album, recording the serene, intimate versions of ‘All Out of Love’ and ‘Lost in Love’that you hear on this record. Air Supply also invited Patrick to perform with them on their 2019 Australian Tour.Formed in Australia in 1975 by Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock, Air Supply had a string of worldwide smash hits in the late 70s and early 80s. A string of singles reached the very top of the charts in America, Australia and Canada, establishing Air Supply as household names. The band were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2013.Patrick Robertshas been entertaining audiences for over 25 years. Picking up the violin at the tender age of five, he has been classified as a true violin genius and has transformed some of the much-loved classics into contemporary masterpieces. Best known to audiences through his appearances on Carols By Candlelight and on Channel 7’s Good Friday Appeal for the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. His recent album, Pink, debuted at #1 on the ARIA Classical chart. TRACKLISTING 1     All Out Of Love2     Even The Nights Are Better3     Love And Other Bruises4     The One That You Love 5     Lost In Love6     Without You7     Here I Am11   Unchained Melody12   Making Love Out Of Nothing At All13   The Power Of Love (You Are My Lady)14   Two Less Lonely People In The World  Patrick Roberts violin withGraham Russell and Russell Hitchcockvocals (tks 1, 5)Prague Symphony Orchestra(tks 2, 3)
Release
Experience ultimate relaxation with Classical Chill.These albums feature some of the most beautiful and peaceful music ever written, perfect for concentration or relaxation. Be swept away by 500 years of gorgeous, calming music, from Bach to Beyoncé, hand-picked by the team at ABC Classic.With over two hours of music in each collection, you can hit ‘play’ on the Classical Chill series and float away with the most beautiful music ever written. These albums will put you at ease and help you focus on what’s at hand – whether that’s studying for exams, racing towards a work deadline, or simply curling up on the couch with your favourite book.Classical Chill: Guitar offers over two hours of acoustic, resonant beauty: from classical favourites to timeless folk tunes, South American flavours to beloved Beatles songs. With a who’s who of Australian guitarists including the Grigoryan Brothers, Tim Kain, Matt Withers, Karin Schaupp andGareth Koch, this album will carry you away with beautiful music. TRACKLISTING  CD1 MYERS Cavatina from The Deer HunterLOVELADY Incantation No. 2BACH Sinfonia from Cantata No. 156CHARLTON The Beauties of the World Are Revealed for the First Time from The Rainbow SerpentKOCH The Unveiled QueenORFFAmor volat undique (Love flits everywhere) from Carmina buranaSCHUBERT In Praise of TearsGREENBAUM Sonata for Guitar: II. ElatedTRAD. Wild Mountain ThymeBACH Cello Suite No. 6: II. AllemandeMcLEAN Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)LENNON–McCARTNEY YesterdayRACHMANINOFF VocaliseCHARLTON ReverieTRAD. Banana Boat SongALBÉNIZ TangoMONTES Preludio de AdiosRODRIGO Concierto de Aranjuez: II. AdagioCD2 BACH Cello Suite No. 1: I. PreludeVIVALDI Lute Concerto in D major: II. LargoGRIGORYAN DistanceBREL Chanson des vieux amantsMOZART Divertimento in D major: II.AndanteBRAHMS Intermezzo, Op. 118 No. 2DEBUSSY Clair de lune (Moonlight)PIAZZOLLA Tango Suite: II. AndanteSOR L’Encouragement: I. CantabileRIGNEY Two Swings in the Heart-Shaped GardenTRAD. Slow, Slow, Slow Your BoatHOUGHTON DriftTRAD. The Salley GardensISAACS AngelFALLA AsturianaFALLA NanaPONCE EstrellitaBACARISSE Romanza   Artists include:Slava & Leonard GrigoryanKen Murray • Matt Withers • Karin SchauppGareth Koch • Guitar Trek
Release
Experience ultimate relaxation with Classical Chill.These albums feature some of the most beautiful and peaceful music ever written, perfect for concentration or relaxation. Be swept away by 500 years of gorgeous, calming music, from Bach to Beyoncé, hand-picked by the team at ABC Classic.With over two hours of music in each collection, you can hit ‘play’ on the Classical Chill series and float away with the most beautiful music ever written. These albums will put you at ease and help you focus on what’s at hand – whether that’s studying for exams, racing towards a work deadline, or simply curling up on the couch with your favourite book.Classical Chill: Pianofeatures the most famous works from across the history of classical music, from legendary composers (Bach, Beethoven) to modern masters (Philip Glass, Arvo Pärt), plus new recordings of iconic pop songs including Beyoncé’s Halo, Flume’s Never Be Like You, The Knife’s Heartbeats, and Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball.Featuring beloved Australian pianists such as Jayson Gillham, Simon Tedeschi, Sally Whitwell, Tamara-Anna Cislowska, Stephanie McCallum, Gerard Willems and Roger Woodward, this album is both a beautiful, relaxing compilation and also the perfect introduction to the world of the piano, whether you’re a classical aficionado or a pop enthusiast. TRACKLISTING  CD1 DEBUSSY Clair de luneGRIEG Morning MoodROWLAND The Man from Snowy River: Jessica’s ThemeTRAD. Amazing GraceFLUME Never Be Like YouMILEY CYRUS Wrecking BallEDWARDS A Flight of Sunbirds:IV. Poco lentoVIII. Andante con motoTIERSEN Amélie: La DisputeROTA Romeo and Juliet: Love ThemeCHAPLIN Mandolin SerenadeVINE Love Me SweetBARTSCH Here I Am, Just for YouKATS-CHERNIN ButterflyingBACH / HESS Jesu, Joy of Man’s DesiringJUSTIN BIEBER SorryTHE KNIFE HeartbeatsBARTSCH RockabyeISAAC BarcarolleGERSHWIN Prelude No. 2  CD2 BEYONCÉ HaloNYMAN The Piano: Big My SecretBEETHOVEN ‘Moonlight’ SonataDEBUSSY The Girl with the Flaxen HairTIERSEN Amélie: Comptine d’un autre été: L’Après-midiLISZT Consolation No. 3 GLASS OpeningTHE XX IslandsDUDLEY Poldark: ThemeCHOPIN Nocturne in E-flat majorKATS-CHERNIN The Rain PuzzleROWLAND The Man from Snowy River: Tom Fool’s KnotVANGELIS Missing: Main ThemeBRAHMS Intermezzo, Op. 118 No. 2SCULTHORPE Left Bank WaltzPÄRT Spiegel im SpiegelKATS-CHERNIN All Things ConspireROSENMAN East of Eden: Main ThemeSATIE Gymnopédie No. 1MORRICONE Cinema Paradiso: Main ThemeArtists include:Jayson Gillham • Tamara-Anna CislowskaSimon Tedeschi • Stephanie McCallum • Gerard WillemsRoger Woodward • Sally Whitwell • Duncan Gifford • Ewa Kupiec 
Release
ARIA Award-winning musician Dan Sultan has today announced Nali & Friends, a new album of children’s music and stories to be released April 12. Nali & Friendsis a tale about unconventional, oddball animals from different parts of the world. Co-written with longtime friend and collaborator, filmmaker Rhys Graham, the stories were inspired by the pair’s journey through Uganda and Kenya working with The Thin Green Line Foundation - an international organization that provides welfare and support to Wildlife Rangers. It was during this trip that Dan & Rhys had the opportunity to get up close with baby animals and observe their quirky personalities. The resulting album is bursting with playful, upbeat songs, interwoven with heart-warming stories about growing up, protecting our natural world, and learning to accept difference. Whilst Nali & Friends is Dan’s first full-length kids album, he is no stranger to the genre - having previously collaborated with children’s music icons The Wiggles and Play School. 
Release
Amy Dickson saxophonewith William Barton didgeridoo • Daniel de Borah pianoAdelaide Symphony Orchestra, cond. Nicholas Carter Grammy-nominated superstar saxophonist Amy Dickson returns with her most personal album yet, exploring connections between classical composers and the folk music of their homelands.From the red dirt of the Australian desert to the rolling green hills of the Scottish Highlands, In Circles unapologetically celebrates folk music and the tremendous influence it has had on music around the world and throughout history.As Dickson says, “Folk music breathes the very identity of a country, and in troubled times can be a source of solace, over and over again. At the core of folk music lies a beating heart of humanity to which we return again and again. The creation itself of this music requires personal, family and social connections – in a word: kinship.”This sense of community and togetherness is amplified by the collaborations on this album. With celebrated composer and didgeridoo virtuoso William Barton, Dickson explores music by Australian composers Ross Edwards, Peter Sculthorpe and Barton himself. With acclaimed pianist Daniel de Borah she traverses Europe, from Brahms to Falla, Pessard and Vaughan Williams. And Nicholas Carter and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra explore archetypes of traditional Scottish music in a world premiere recording of Sir James MacMillan’s Saxophone Concerto, written specifically for Dickson.Dickson continues, “In today’s frenetic digital age, folk music offers us a refuge: the enduring simplicity and nostalgia embodied in this music provides timeless sanctuary from the relentless surge of modernity.” We invite you to take a deep, relaxing breath and join us at our table, our fireplace, and with our family. Twice nominated for a Grammy™ award, Amy Dickson made history by becoming the first saxophonist to win a Classic BRIT Award, as Breakthrough Artist of the Year. In January 2016 she was named Young Australian of the Year in the UK; she has since been acknowledged by BBC Music Magazine as one of the world’s six best classical saxophonists, both past and present. Recognised for her remarkable, distinctive tone and exceptional musicality, Amy Dickson has performed throughout the world in such prestigious venues as The Wigmore Hall, Sydney Opera House, Royal Albert Hall, the Konzerthaus in Vienna and theBerliner Philharmonie. TRACKLISTING 1     PESSARD Andalouse2     SCULTHORPE Djilile3     FALLA Jota4     MACMILLAN From Galloway5     TRADITIONAL She Moved through the Fair       MACMILLAN Saxophone Concerto 6     I. March, Strathspey and Reel 7     II. Gaelic Psalm 8     III. Jigs        with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra        conducted by Nicholas Carter (Live Recording)9     GRAINGER Shepherd’s Hey10   BRAHMS Hungarian Dance No. 411   ANONYMOUS Discovery12   FALLANana13   BARTON Kalkadunga Yurdu       VAUGHAN WILLIAMS        Six Studies in English Folk-Song 14   I. Adagio 15   II. Andante sostenuto 16   III. Larghetto 17   IV. Lento 18   V. Andante tranquillo 19   VI. Allegro vivace20   EDWARDS Yanada
Release
Out in early 2019, Jenny Queen’s new album Baby it Was Real and We Were the Best, is her first studio album since 2014 and does not disappoint, bursting with tales of the unloved and uncertain.  Lead single, 50 Dollars $ilver, is available October 5 and is a study in the profound tension that comes from the push and pull between fatalism and the idea that humans can change their own future. Produced by the ARIA award-winning Shane Nicholson, Baby it Was Real and We Were the Best showcases Queen’s celebrated poetic lyricism and versatile vocal powers as never before, commanding attention from the get go. 
Release
Omega Ensemble • Paul Meyer  A magical journey through some of Mozart’s most memorable musical moments.Under the direction of renowned French clarinettist and conductor Paul Meyer, the Omega Ensemble, appearing for the first time in an expanded chamber orchestra configuration, delivers a glowing rendition of three Mozart masterpieces, beginning with his exquisite Clarinet Concerto – the last instrumental piece written by this musical genius before his death in 1791, at the age of just 35. Meyer as soloist blends grace and elegance with quicksilver virtuosity in a sparkling yet sensitive performance.New Zealand bassoonist Ben Hoadley brings Mozart’s youthful Bassoon Concerto to life, beautifully capturing the sonorous tones of this too often neglected instrument. Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 brings the disc to a triumphant close, amply justifying the Omega Ensemble’s reputation as ‘Sydney’s chamber music all-stars’. This live recording, direct from the superb acoustic of Sydney’s City Recital Hall, captures the thrill of a unique performance experience. TRACKLISTING WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZARTClarinet Concerto in A major, KV6221    I.    Allegro2    II.   Adagio3    III.  Rondo (Allegro) Bassoon Concerto in B-flat major, KV1914    I.    Allegro5    II.   Andante ma adagio6    III.  Rondo (Tempo di menuetto) Symphony No. 40 in G minor, KV5507    I.    Molto allegro8    II.   Andante9    III.  Menuetto (Allegretto)10   IV.  Allegro assai Omega Ensemble Ben Hoadley bassoonPaul Meyer clarinet and director Recorded live in City Recital Hall, Sydney
Release
Richard Strauss: Violin Concerto | Don QuixoteJames Ehnes violin | Daniel Müller-Schott cello | Christopher Moore violaMelbourne Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Andrew Davis The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and their Chief Conductor Sir Andrew Davis continue their acclaimed survey of the orchestral music of Richard Strauss, with this latest volume featuring three world-class soloists – James Ehnes, Daniel Müller-Schott and Christopher Moore – performing two of his finest early works: the Violin Concerto, and the tone poem Don Quixote.Performed here by dual Grammy Award-winning Canadian violinist James Ehnes, Strauss’s Violin Concerto is a beautiful and inventive work, remarkably mature considering Strauss wrote it when he was still a teenager. Strangely seldom performed today, it is full of melody and of virtuoso fireworks, very much of its Romantic time but hinting at the recent Classical masters Beethoven and Mozart.Don Quixoteis inspired by Cervantes’s iconic novel, and Strauss demonstrates every bit of his flair for the dramatic (which would be fully realised in his great operasDer Rosenkavalier, Elektra, Die Frau ohne Schatten andSalome). With Daniel Müller-Schott’s cello representing the famous man of La Mancha, and Christopher Moore’s viola cast as his trusty sidekick Sancho Panza, Strauss takes us on an incredible journey into the mind of this deluded nobleman, and across the rustic landscape of the Don’s native Spain.The MSO’s Strauss series was launched in 2014 with a major European tour including the BBC Proms and the Concertgebouw, and has so far included Four Last Songs with Erin Wall, Ein Heldenleben, Four Symphonic Interludes, Also sprach Zarathustra, Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks and An Alpine Symphony. The recordings have won significant acclaim from the international press, with BBC Music Magazine describing Also sprach Zarathustra as ‘a benchmark recording’.TRACKLISTING  RICHARD STRAUSS Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 8 1     I. Allegro2     II. Lento ma non troppo3     III. Rondo (Prestissimo) Don Quixote – Fantastic Variations on a Knightly Theme, Op. 354     Introduction: Don Quixote Loses His Sanity after Reading Novels        about Knights, and Decides to Become a Knight-Errant5     Theme: Don Quixote, Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance6     Theme: Sancho Panza7     Variation I: Adventure at the Windmills8     Variation II: The Victorious Struggle against the Army of the Great        Emperor Alifanfaron9     Variation III: Dialogue between Knight and Squire10   Variation IV: Unhappy Adventure with a Procession of Pilgrims11   Variation V: The Knight’s Vigil12   Variation VI: Meeting with Dulcinea13   Variation VII: The Ride through the Air14   Variation VIII: The Unhappy Voyage in the Enchanted Boat15   Variation IX: Battle with the Magicians16   Variation X: Duel with the Knight of the Bright Moon17   Finale: Coming to His Senses Again James Ehnes violinDaniel Müller-Schott cello Christopher Moore violaMelbourne Symphony Orchestra Sir Andrew Davis conductorRecorded live in concert at Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne
Release
ABC Classic and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra today announce the launch of WASO LIVE!, a new series of digital albums that will showcase the very best of this powerhouse ensemble’s live concerts, vividly recorded by ABC Classic’s team of live music engineers.The series will launch with Anton Bruckner’s monumental Symphony No. 8, conducted by WASO’s Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser Asher Fisch. A renowned conductor in both the operatic and symphonic worlds, Fisch is especially celebrated for his interpretative command of core German and Italian repertoire of the Romantic and post-Romantic era. Mahler, Richard Strauss, Wagner and Verdi all feature among the plans for future volumes.“Asher is one of the world’s finest conductors – almost unsurpassed in this repertoire – and the sound that he elicits from this orchestra is incredibly powerful,” says Hugh Robertson, Label Manager of ABC Classic. “I’m so excited that these scintillating live performances are now going to be available for everyone in the world to hear at any time.””WASO LIVE! is an exciting new collaboration and we are delighted to partner with ABC Classic to capture WASO’s exceptional performances,” says Mark Coughlan, WASO’s Chief Executive. “I am especially thrilled that the initial release showcases the outstanding artistic relationship that exists between Asher Fisch and his orchestra and the exhilarating music making that results.”The WASO LIVE! series artwork will feature bright, bold and iconic images of the unique natural landscapes of WASO’s home, Western Australia.Having celebrated its 90th year in 2018, WASO is already looking forward to its centenary. ABC Classic and WASO LIVE! will be there to bring you the very best from one of Australia’s great orchestras. The final symphony completed during Bruckner’s lifetime, the 8th is quite simply one of the most thrilling orchestral works ever written.Mahler once famously said, ‘My symphonies represent the contents of my entire life’; Bruckner seems to go one step further, as if fitting the entire sweep of the universe into his epic orchestral works. His Eighth Symphony is the ultimate example of this: the hellish, dissonant nightmare of the first movement, the counterpoint of that sublime, radiant adagio before – finally – we reach a state of cosmic bliss and serenity as motifs from all four movements are brought together in one perfect C major chord.  TRACKLISTINGANTON BRUCKNER 1824­–1896 Symphony No. 8 in C minor (1890 version) Allegro moderatoScherzo (Allegro moderato) – Trio (Solemnly)Adagio (Solemnly slow, but without dragging)Finale (Solemnly, not fast)  West Australian Symphony Orchestra Asher Fisch conductor Recorded live at the Perth Concert Hall
Release
Sydney-based rockin’ soul and funky pop band, The Soul Movers, are readying the release of their new album, Bona Fide, out March 15 through ABC Music/Universal.  Fans will get a taste of the new album with the first single ‘You Better Believe It!’ released this Friday-January 25. The Soul Movers features soul singer Lizzie Mack on lead vocals, ex-Red Wiggle and ARIA Hall of Famer Murray Cook on lead guitar, bass player Andy Newman (The Visitors), Marko Simec (Waiting For Guiness) on keys, and drummer Stuart Wilson (Loose Pills). Last year, the band traversed the US to record the tracks for Bona Fide at seven historic studios including FAME Studios, Royal Studios, Muscle Shoals Sound Studios and Sun Studio to name a few. Not only did they record in these hallowed studios, they were also lucky enough to play with some of the greatest session players. Bona Fidecrackles with the intensity of a band at the peak of their powers and is sure to wow audiences with its powerful, upbeatand memorable tracks. A highlight of their US recording odyssey was their two days at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio when The Soul Movers recorded with the legendary Swampers, Spooner Oldham and David Hood.  The Swamperswere part of the in-house band playing on over 500 recordings. These include 75 gold and platinum worldwide hits like Mustang Sallyfor Wilson Pickett, Respect for Aretha Franklin, Mainstreetfor Bob Seger and Tell Mamafor Etta James, just to name a few. “For me, the most amazing and surreal moment was playing guitar on our song, If I Could Ever, looking over and seeing two giants of modern music, Spooner Oldham and David Hood grooving along”says Murray Cook. “Here were two men who have played on many ofmy favourite records and some of thegreatest music ever recorded -and they were playing keyboards and bass on OUR record!”Here’s a currentEPKof The Soul Movers live shows plus a peek behind the scenes while touring and recording in the US.Bona Fide is The Soul Movers’ third album. It exemplifies soul music as seen through the Australian experience. The remarkable collaborations they had with their American musicians and singers, the hallowed studios they recorded in are all powerfully present in the resulting musical experiment. Studio imagery and jovial banter from the recording process bring the experience to life for the listener -Bona Fide-listen for yourself -it’s the real deal.