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The Australian World Orchestra (AWO) moves from strength to strength with its latest release on ABC Classics: Bruckner’s mighty Eighth Symphony, conducted by the internationally renowned Sir Simon Rattle and recorded live at the Sydney Opera House.The AWO is an orchestra like no other: the finest Australian classical musicians from the leading orchestras around the world, come home to join with the top Australian-based players in one thrillingly talented super-ensemble. With 95 electrifying musicians, representing more than 40 orchestras, together under one roof, the Australian World Orchestra is, in the words of Sir Simon Rattle, ‘one of the great orchestras of the world’.Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 is the perfect choice of repertoire for such a brilliant ensemble: grand in scope, intimate yet profound in its emotional journey, and radiantly beautiful. The AWO’s performances in July 2015 under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle left audiences cheering, and critics hailing the event as ‘pure musical Viagra’ and ‘a sublime rendition of the infinite in sound’. The performance was crowned Best Orchestral Concert of the Year at the 2016 Helpmann Awards.ABC Classics is proud to present this award-winning performance on CD, captured live in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House.TRACKLISTINGANTON BRUCKNER 1824–1896Symphony No. 8 in C minor (1890 version)   [80’56]CD11. I. Allegro moderato    15’002. II. Scherzo: Allegro moderato – Trio: Langsam (Slow)  14’423. III. Adagio: Feierlich langsam, doch nicht schleppend (Solemnly slow, but without dragging)    27’10CD21. IV. Finale: Feierlich, nicht schnell (Solemnly, not fast) 24’04 Australian World OrchestraSir Simon Rattle conductor
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When Brahms’ First Symphony received its premiere, it was immediately described as ‘Beethoven’s Tenth’ – the highest praise possible, acclaiming Brahms as the successor to the greatest symphonist of all.But it hadn’t been an easy journey. Brahms was 43 years old when this symphony was first performed, and in those first four decades of his life he had been grappling with the question of how to deal with the great legacy of the Classical era that lay before him. It took him 20 years to compose that first symphony – but once it was completed, he suddenly produced three more in under ten years, in one of the most astonishing creative outpourings in music: ‘a quartet of masterworks,’ in the words of Asher Fisch, ‘that are both old and new.’Recorded live in concert in 2015, these performances from the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and its Principal Conductor bring to life the colour and complexity of Brahms’ vision. Fisch – a protégé of Daniel Barenboim – is acclaimed as one of the great conductors of the Romantic repertoire of our times; from the lyrical second symphony to the epic fourth, this album is a testimony to his interpretative prowess, Brahms’ music, and to a superlative orchestra recorded in its prime.Praise for the live performances‘One of the most profoundly thrilling and beautiful musical experiences of my life.’ – Limelight Magazine‘A reading which oscillated between tenderness and high drama. The emotional turbulence that lies at the heart of so much of the symphony was dramatically evoked.’ – The West Australian‘Fisch, conducting from memory, was utterly at home and in command. Fisch combines rare attention to phrase-level detail with a strong sense of long-term form, and as a result each symphony built irresistibly to its climactic final bars.’– The AustralianTRACKLISTINGJOHANNES BRAHMS 1833–1897CD1Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 681. I. Un poco sostenuto – Allegro2. II. Andante sostenuto3. III. Un poco allegretto e grazioso4. IV. Adagio – Più andante – Allegro non troppo, ma con brioSymphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 905. I. Allegro con brio6. II. Andante7. III. Poco allegretto8. IV. Allegro CD2Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 731. I. Allegro non troppo2. II. Adagio non troppo3. III. Allegretto grazioso (Quasi andantino) – Presto ma non assai4. IV. Allegro con spiritoSymphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 985. I. Allegro non troppo6. II. Andante moderato7. III. Allegro giocoso8. IV. Allegro energico e passionato West Australian Symphony OrchestraAsher Fisch conductor
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Music is a perfect opportunity to practise mindfulness: to become fully aware of the present moment, opening ourselves to the physical and emotional experience of listening, here and now.ABC Classics has collaborated with mindfulness experts Smiling Mind to develop this collection of calming classical music: perfect both for experienced practitioners of meditation and for those simply looking for a moment of tranquillity to escape from the pressures of the day.From the intricate clarity of Bach to the pure stillness of Arvo Pärt and Erik Satie, this album offers a musical journey into the spirit of sound itself.
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The prolific Tami Neilson returns with “Don’t Be Afraid”. The beginnings of this album were birthed in 1972 by a young Ron Neilson, who recorded a demo of the first single, “Lonely”, outside a hotel room while on tour across Canada.Decades later, it was completed by his daughter Tami when she discovered that demo a week after he passed away in Feb 2015. Such are the stories and legacy behind the songs on this very special and powerful tribute by Tami Neilson.From the opening title track “Don’t Be Afraid”, the last song her father ever wrote, Tami takes us on her journey of being pulled downward by the weight of loss and mourning, then strikes out into the face of grief with some of the most defiant fierceness we have heard from her.Reaching out to grasp possibly her best song writing to date, she gives some of her most fully realised performances. As she goes from strength to strength we are left with the treasures she has collected along the way, supported by some of the strongest musical influences in her life.Songs from the masterful pen of her father, her continued work with her brother Jay Neilson, co-writer of “Walk”, as well as fellow conspirator Delaney Davidson, all fit seamlessly in this moving testament to the man who laid the foundations of her music career.
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Brisbane roof raisers Kingfisha have been laying down weighty reggae and dub, and bringing their passionate music to eager audiences for 5 years, in the process cementing themselves as Australia’s premier reggae act.The 6-piece band deliver crafted and modern reggae music by coupling their love of Jamaican rhythms with personal depth and style.
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The world’s most popular children’s group, THE WIGGLES are back with their brand new album, “Dance, Dance”, the fanciest and danciest album you’ll hear!Whether you’re doing an Irish jig or a highland fling, you’ll simply want to dance and sing! From “Hula, Hula, Baby” to “The Shimmie Shake!”, it’s a “Wiggly Party”, come along and partake! Dance, Dance with Anthony, Emma, Lachy, Simon and all your wiggly friends!The brand new live tour by the same name, “Dance, Dance! The Wiggles Big Show!” will be touring nationally as of November 2016.
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Céleste Venard – born in Paris in 1824 – was a woman and an artist far ahead of her time.A courtesan, singer, actor, trail-blazing dancer, chariot-rider, best-selling novelist and playwright, she was also the muse of the composer Bizet, and the inspiration behind his most famous operatic character, Carmen. Her lovers included novelists, artists and composers- but when she married the Count de Chabrillan, a prominent member of the French aristocracy, Parisian society was scandalised. And when the pair turned up in far off Australia, where the count served as the first French consul, Melbourne society was scandalised in turn.This album accompanies a major new book by Roland Perry exploring Céleste’s life. The music celebrates her grace and courage, creativity and openness of spirit, and traces some of the key events and relationships of her unique and extraordinary life – from the opera that she inspired to the dances she loved.Album features an introduction to the life of Céleste Venard by Roland Perry.
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Peter Sculthorpe was the first non-Indigenous Australian composer to create a distinctively Australian musical language. This recording of his early masterpiece The Fifth Continent features the composer himself as narrator.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.PETER SCULTHORPE 1929–20141 Port Arthur: In memoriam (for trumpet and strings)2 Djilile3-7 The Fifth Continent8 Lament9-11 Little Suite12 Night-Song13 Port Arthur: In memoriam (for oboe and strings)Tasmanian Symphony OrchestraDavid Porcelijn conductor
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The colours and rhythms, perfumes and passions of Spain come alive in music by three of its greatest composers.THE THREE-CORNERED HAT AND DANZAS FANTÁSTICAS – COMPOSED IN 1919This 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. MANUEL DE FALLA 1876–19461-3 The Three-Cornered Hat – selectionsISAAC ALBÉNIZ 1860–1909 orch. Enrique Arbós 1863–19394-8 IberiaJOAQUÍN TURINA 1882–19499-11 Danzas fantásticasWest Australian Symphony OrchestraJorge Mester conductor
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Seeking out undiscovered resonances on the violin with new tuning patterns of his own invention, Biber created a profound musical meditation on Christian spirituality.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.HEINRICH IGNAZ FRANZ von BIBER 1644–1704The Five Joyful Mysteries1-3 Sonata No. 1: The Annunciation4-6 Sonata No. 2: The Visitation7-9 Sonata No. 3: The Nativity of the Lord10 Sonata No. 4: Jesus Presented in the Temple11-14 Sonata No. 5: Jesus Found among the TeachersThe Five Sorrowful Mysteries15 Sonata No. 6: The Agony in the Garden16-17 Sonata No. 7: The Scourging18-19 Sonata No. 8: The Crowning with Thorns20-22 Sonata No. 9: The Carrying of the Cross23-25 Sonata No. 10: The CrucifixionElizabeth Wallfisch violinRosanne Hunt celloLinda Kent organ, harpsichord
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Love is the heartbeat of the whole universe:mysterious, proud, an agony and an ecstasy to the heart.LA TRAVIATAEmma Matthews – renowned as the finest Australian soprano of her generation – unveils her triumphant third album: Agony and Ecstasy.Inspired by words from Verdi’s opera La traviata, the album presents a rich and timeless journey through the many faces of love, drawing on opera that employed the power of music to bring alive experiences of the heart as never before.Agony and Ecstasy opens with a joyful expression of young love by Juliet in Gounod’s Shakespeare-inspired opera: ‘I want to live in this heady dream forever!’ A new mood is introduced by the calculating determination of Rosina to win her lover in The Barber of Seville; the album closes with the poignant desperation of Elvira’s ‘mad scene’ in I Puritani, when she thinks herself abandoned. Between these, we witness some of opera’s most vivid characters as they grapple with love.The eight arias – by Bellini, Rossini, Verdi, Donizetti and Gounod – were composed within sixty years of one another. Influenced by a Romantic desire to explore love and emotion, these composers were given the perfect vehicle by the bel canto compositional style, which prized both vocal fireworks and honest, heartfelt emotion.Matthews has given acclaimed live performances of many of the roles on the album throughout a career that has taken in opera houses and concert halls across the globe. The presence of legendary conductor Richard Bonynge – husband of the late Dame Joan Sutherland and mentor to Matthews – is strongly felt: she first performed many of these operas with him, and in some cases the ornamentation was handed on directly from Maestro Bonynge.Agony and Ecstasy was recorded with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra under the baton of conductor Andrea Molino by ARIA-Award-winning Tonmeister Virginia Read.Emma Matthews sopranoMelbourne Symphony OrchestraAndrea Molino conductorWith Steve Davislim tenor (tracks 4 and 9)
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A magical musical journey to the land where all good dreams come true.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.PYOTR IL’YICH TCHAIKOVSKY 1840–1893The Nutcracker1 Miniature Overture2 Decorating the Christmas Tree3 March4 Arrival of Drosselmeyer5 Departure of the Guests – The Magic Begins6 Battle against the Mouse King7 Journey through the Snow8 Waltz of the Snowflakes9 The Enchanted Palace10 Arrival and Festive Welcome11 Chocolate (Spanish Dance)12 Coffee (Arab Dance)13 Tea (Chinese Dance)14 Trepak (Russian Dance)15 Dance of the Mirlitons (Flutes)16 Mother Gigogne and the Clowns17 Waltz of the Flowers18 Pas de deux19 Tarantella of Prince Charming20 Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy21 Coda22 Final WaltzQueensland Symphony OrchestraWerner Andreas Albert conductor