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Omega Ensemble

Master Series

Omega Ensemble are one of Australia’s top chamber music ensembles, champions of new works but also enthusiastic interpreters of the legends of the past. 

 

They also have a rich history with ABC Classic, regularly invited into the studio for radio broadcasts in addition to having released three critically acclaimed albums since 2016. 

 

So when their 2020 concert season was cancelled due to COVID, ABC Classic dove into our archives to revive those studio recordings, never before released to the public. Thus, the Master Series was born. 

 

This series of digital releases takes listeners on a journey through the rich history of chamber music, exploring landmark works by Mozart, Beethoven, Faure, Nielsen and Hindemith

 

Released fortnightly from May 29, these recordings will go some way to keeping audiences in touch with the wonderful musicians of the Omega Ensemble – until the next time we can see them in the concert hall. 

 

Omega Ensemble Master Series:

 

Beethoven: Quintet in E-flat major for Piano and Winds, Op. 16 – released May 29

Hindemith: Kleine Kammermusik, Op. 24 No. 2 – released June 12

Nielsen: Wind Quintet, Op. 43 – released June 26

Fauré: Piano Trio, Op. 120 – released July 10

Mozart: Kegelstatt Trio, K. 498 – released July 24

Release
ARIA Award-winning musician Dan Sultan has a new album of children’s music and stories Nali & Friends. 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
Today, The Soul Movers have released their highly anticipated fourth studio album ‘Evolution’. Released alongside is the official video for the title track, watch HERE.The album ‘Evolution’ was written and produced by Sherbet’s Garth Porter (with Tony Mitchell on bass) over three months at Rancom Street, Botany NSW. It sits at the convergence of soul, pop and retro rock and is designed to shake listeners out of a COVID-19 slump and get them feeling good and back into live music venues, and more importantly dance floors.On beginning the album, Murray & Lizzie said, “‘Evolution’ happened very naturally for us, with early conversations starting with other muso friends on morning swims at Coogee Beach. We first called Rancom Street and found ourselves speaking directly with Garth Porter. Knowing it was Murray’s first-ever live show was Sherbet, we knew it was a sign and locked in some studio time – the rest is history.”The video for ‘Evolution’ was filmed in St Kilda, Victoria and directed by Lizzie. After the New South Wales and Victorian border opened, Murray & Lizzie grabbed their retro-threads and acoustic guitar and took the revolution to the front of the iconic Palais Theatre. The idea of peace, love and reconnection is what shows in the video and features musicians, writers and vintage store workers of the area – fans of the band they had met through playing shows at Boogie Festival, Cherry Bar and Yah-Yah’s in the past. Watch the video HERE.
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 Swampers were part of the in-house band playing on over 500 recordings. These include 75 gold and platinum worldwide hits like Mustang Sally for Wilson Pickett, Respect for Aretha Franklin, Mainstreet for Bob Seger and Tell Mama for 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 of my favourite records and some of the greatest music ever recorded - and they were playing keyboards and bass on OUR record!” Here’s a current EPK of 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.
Release
ARIA Award winning Melbourne Ska Orchestra never do anything by half measures! Not only does the band perform with up to 35 members on stage, but they also record and release material at break neck speed.  So in 2018, paying respect to the Jamaican Sound System phenomenon, where artists would record and release new tracks on a weekly basis, MSO committed to doing the same.  For one whole year, 52 new songs, over  52 weeks!  We are not sure if any other band has done this before. It sure seems like a record of some kind has been broken. The final tally of the years recording of 52 songs, worked out as 4 x 13 track albums. Album 1 - The bands rendition of 13 ‘Ska Classics’, that had inspired the bands inception.Album 2 – Presented the bands renditions of TV & Movie themes (a tradition in the Ska genre),Album 3 + 4 – The band focused it’s full attention on original material, writing new songs for the project on practically a weekly basis.  As a result two albums ‘Read All About It’ and ‘Transmission Friday’s’, totaling 26 songs shows the maturity and dedication to putting a unique and relevant stamp on the Ska genre.
Release
This International Women’s Day (March 8), ABC Classic is releasing Women of Note: A Century of Australian Composers – the first in a new series celebrating Australian female composers.Australia has always punched above our weight musically, our female musicians especially – Nellie Melba, Joan Sutherland and Eileen Joyce in particular loom large among the finest musicians of the twentieth century. But beyond these celebrated performers, the history of Australia’s female composers is equally outstanding.Miriam Hyde,Dulcie Holland and Margaret Sutherland were hugely influential in the early years of Australia’s musical development. Peggy Glanville-Hicks and Anne Boydlooked beyond our borders to the musical traditions of other cultures, and sought to find a place for Australia among the community of musical nations.Elena Kats-Cherninis a phenomenon unto herself, arguably Australia’s most popular and best known composer. Yuin woman Brenda Gifford brings insights from her Indigenous culture to the Western classical tradition. And composers such as Sally Whitwell, Maria Grenfell,Kate Moore,Nicole Murphy andOlivia Bettina Davies represent the myriad ways in which classical music is developing in the 21st century.This compilation is a fascinating journey through the history of Australian composition, highlighting just how much of that history has been written by women. TRACKLISTING  CD 1MIRIAM HYDE 1913–2005Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat minor (1934)1 I. Allegro 2 II. Lento 3 III. Allegro scherzando Miriam Hyde piano, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Geoffrey Simon conductorDULCIE HOLLAND 1913–2000Piano Trio (1944)live recording 4 I. Allegro non troppo 5 II. Fast 6 III. Allegro maestoso Eggner TrioPEGGY GLANVILLE-HICKS 1912–1990Etruscan Concerto (1954)7 I. Promenade 8 II. Meditation 9 III. Scherzo Caroline Almonte piano, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Richard Mills conductor CD2MARGARET SUTHERLAND 1897–1984Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1960)1 I. Allegro 2 II. Adagio 3 III. Allegro Leonard Dommett violin, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Patrick Thomas conductorANNE BOYD b. 19464 As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams (1975)The Contemporary Singers, Antony Walker conductorELENA KATS-CHERNIN b. 19575 Russian Rag (1995 / 1996)Sydney Alpha Ensemble, David Stanhope conductorMARIA GRENFELL b. 1969Di Primavera (Of Spring) (1998 / 2001)6 I. Lively and steadily 7 II. Rubato, espressivo 8 III. With energy and bounce Claire Edwardes marimba, Karin Schaupp guitarSALLY WHITWELL b. 19749 Road Trip (2012)Sally Walker flute, Sally Whitwell pianoKATE MOORE b. 197910 Fern (2012)Ensemble OffspringNICOLE MURPHY b. 198311 Spinning Top (2016)Benaud TrioBRENDA GIFFORD b. 1965arr. Jessica Wells12 Bardju (Footprints) (2017)Ensemble OffspringOLIVIA BETTINA DAVIES b. 198813 Crystalline (2018)ACO Collective
Release
Birgit Nilsson – soprano Sydney Symphony Orchestra Sir Charles Mackerras – conductor Australia’s musical landscape changed forever on the evening of 29 September 1973, when the brand-new Sydney Opera House opened the doors of its Concert Hall to the public for the first time. In front of a packed, emotion-charged house, the great Australian conductor Sir Charles Mackerras made a triumphant homecoming in an all-Wagner concert that sent the critics searching for superlatives.ABC Classics is proud to release on DVD the original television footage of highlights from the concert, accompanied by the complete audio from the occasion on CD. Featuring the greatest Wagnerian soprano of the 20th century, Birgit Nilsson, as soloist, this was an electrifying opening for the iconic building. Forty-six years on, the excitement of that magic night is still palpable, and Mackerras’ ability to bring the best out of the Orchestra of which he himself had once been a member remains awe-inspiring. A priceless memento of one of the greatest days in Australian music, this DVD+CD package captures two master-artists at the height of their creative powers with an orchestra playing at its peak. TRACKLISTING  DVD1 IntroductionGötterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods)2 Siegfrieds Rheinfahrt (Siegfried’s Journey to the Rhine)3 Trauermarsch (Siegfried’s Funeral March)4 Schlussgesang der Brünnhilde (Brünnhilde’s Immolation Scene) CDDie Meistersinger von Nürnberg (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg)1 PreludeTannhäuser2 Elizabeth’s Greeting: Dich, teure Halle (Dear Hall of Song)Tristan und Isolde3 Prelude4 Liebestod (Love–Death)Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods)5 Siegfrieds Rheinfahrt (Siegfried’s Journey to the Rhine)6 Trauermarsch (Siegfried’s Funeral March)7 Schlussgesang der Brünnhilde (Brünnhilde’s Immolation Scene)
Release
Renowned Brisbane mashup rock/electro/punk/poppin’ funtime outfit Regurgitator have cooked up a sugar-soaked record written especially for kids! Having performed at a number of children’s events in recent years, the inimitable band have developed the kids music project Regurgitator’s Pogogo Show - a typically manic playground that careers between punk, hiphop, funk, electro-pop and everything in between.  The new collection of songs - The Really Really Really Really Boring Album - is about as silly and cheeky as a record can get, whilst still offering a G-rating suitable for the tiny folk. Featuring instant-ear wriggles such as ‘The Box’ and ‘Games On My Computer’, it’s sure to bring a smile to long-terms fans as well as the young ones in their life. The band have never been more excited: “We’ve got our tiny amplifiers warmed up, our teeny drum kits tuned and plenty of soap for our filthy little mouths. We’re ready to shout till our voices are wrecked, if you’re ready to scream till your parents are deaf!” Keep all eyes out for Regurgitator’s Pogogo Show kids concerts throughout 2019.