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Damien Dempsey

Soulsun

Seventeen years into an astonishing career, Damien Dempsey releases his seventh studio album, his most exciting work to date, Soulsun.

The lead single and opening title track gets straight to the point. Soulsun is accompanied by a colourful and life-affirming video directed by legendary rock photographer Steve Gullick, who has shot iconic images of Nirvana, Beck and Nick Cave over the years, just to mention a tiny few.

“As ever, people can take their own meanings from it, but for me, it is about the sun that shines from within,” Dempsey explains.

Soulsun sees the man affectionately known as Damo team up with a stellar cast of female guest vocalists, who are referred to as ‘the mighty Celtic Warrior High Queens’.

Dido, who sold 21 million copies of her debut album, No Angel, sings on a tender love song entitled ‘Beside the Sea’. Fellow Dubliner Imelda May appears on ‘Big Big Love’ and ‘Pretty Girl Tree’ features Dingle singer Pauline Scanlon.

Soulsun was recorded in long-term producer John Reynolds’ studio in north London. The striking cover image was created by renowned Dublin graphic artist Maser, who Dempsey worked with on large-scale mural works.

Amidst all the plaudits Damo has won over the years, one of the most notable is contained in Morrissey’s Autobiography. The legendary singer describes Dempsey performing at a session in Dublin’s Four Seasons Hotel. “Damien captivates and enchants with all the love of one blessed and unselfish,” Morrissey writes. "I see myself crying at his funeral, missing him already.”

“I’m not sure exactly what I did to deserve such praise," Dempsey says. “I had absolutely no idea I was in it until the book was published, but it’s nice to be appreciated by such an incredible artist and writer who’s unquestionably an absolute genius.”

Track Listing:

  • 1. Soulsun
  • 2. Pretty Bird Tree
  • 3. Simple Faith
  • 4. Big Big
  • 5. Sam Jenkins
  • 6. Forever and a Day
  • 7. Beside the Sea
  • 8. Sweet Gratitude
  • 9. Family
  • 10. Soft Rain
Release
Opera Australia and ABC Classics present a new collection of six classic productions of the best-loved Gilbert & Sullivan operettas.Deliciously funny plots, poking at the underside of just about every respectable institution of society, from parliament to the judiciary to the police to the Royal Navy – and, above all, exposing the absurdities of the British class system, and the pretensions of those who flock to embrace the latest fashions. Sullivan’s glorious music is the perfect match to Gilbert’s wickedly irreverent librettos: enchanting, joyful, witty and unforgettably tuneful.Filmed live at the Sydney Opera House and the Arts Centre, Melbourne, these performances feature stellar casts including Anthony Warlow, Heather Begg, David Hobson, Dennis Olsen, Peter Cousens and Taryn Fiebig. Deluxe 5 DVD box set, featuring complete performances of: The Gondoliers | HMS Pinafore | Trial By Jury | The Mikado | The Pirates of Penzance | PatienceAlso available: The Ultimate Gilbert & Sullivan Anthology (CD)A madcap romp through Gilbert & Sullivan’s best-loved songs and choruses
Release
Almost a decade after the phenomenal success of the first Dads Love Classics collection, ABC Classics presents the much-anticipated sequel: over 5 hours of stirring music on 4CDs. Bold favourites by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, Elgar, Beethoven, Mahler, Mozart and more rub shoulders with fresh discoveries, creating an indispensable and completely new compendium of the great classical tunes. From grand symphonies to virtuosic concertos, this is a turbo-charged ride through the classical music no Dad can resist. Released for Father’s Day in 2017, this collection is inspired in particular by listeners to ABC Radio Brisbane and their Mornings presenter Steve Austin, whose enthusiasm for the first Dads Love Classics album brought classical music to the cars, sheds and homes of Queensland, and made it a best-selling album ten years after its first release.Tracks include:COPLAND Fanfare for the Common ManFALLA Ritual Fire DanceMUSSORGSKY Night on Bald MountainR. STRAUSS Also sprach ZarathustraDUKAS The Sorcerer’s ApprenticeKHACHATURIAN Sabre DanceELGAR Pomp & Circumstance March No. 3KOEHNE Santa Ana FreewayBERNSTEIN Candide OvertureGERSHWIN Rhapsody in Blue and movements from:HANDEL Music for the Royal FireworksBRAHMS Symphony No. 1BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9BOCCHERINI The House of the DevilRACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 2TCHAIKOVSKY Violin ConcertoMAHLER Symphony No. 2MOZART Jupiter SymphonyMENDELSSOHN Italian SymphonyBACH Brandenburg Concerto No. 2
Release
The Proms represents the very best of classical music: favourite tunes and roof-raising choruses, brilliant virtuosity and the sheer joy of music-making, enjoyed live in concert by thousands, and by millions more the world over.The Last Night has become a cultural icon, and this 2CD collection presents over two hours of the music that defines it, and much more.English favourites including The Lark Ascending, Crown Imperial, The Enigma Variations (Nimrod), The Dam Busters and On Hearing the First Cuckoo in SpringAll-time classical masterpieces such as Zadok the Priest, Jupiter (The Planets), Boléro, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and the 1812 OvertureSing-along choruses: You’ll Never Walk Alone, Land of Hope and Glory and JerusalemAnd those staples of the Last Night: Rule, Britannia!, God Save the Queen and Auld Lang Syne.
Release
In October 2016, the award-winning comedian and writer John Clarke – a regular on Australian television and a household name thanks to his satirical interview series Clarke and Dawe and the mockumentary TV series The Games – made his debut appearance as guest presenter on ABC Classic FM’s Saturday Morning program.Clarke relished the opportunity to turn his comic genius and brilliant wit to music he adored: orchestral favourites by Vaughan Williams and Dvořák, piano classics by Liszt, Satie and Beethoven, and iconic opera moments such as ‘O mio babbino caro’, the Habanera from Carmen, the Flower Duet from Lakmé, and the Pearl Fishers Duet. Audiences loved the show and were eagerly asking for the next instalment.Sadly, there were to be no more, as John Clarke passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in April 2017. When the first show was re-aired on Classic FM as a tribute, the audience response was again extraordinary, and the ABC was inundated with requests for a CD release of the program. Thanks to this public outpouring, and to the enthusiasm of John’s own family, the full program is presented here as a tribute to this brilliant, beloved Australian icon: three hours of glorious music and classic Clarke commentary.CD1LISZT Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2BIZET Carmen: HabaneraSATIE Gymnopédie No. 1GLUCK What is Life?VAUGHAN WILLIAMS The Lark AscendingBEETHOVEN Moonlight Sonata: First movementBIZET The Pearl Fishers: DuetSCHUBERT Hungarian Melody CD2HILL Trumpet ConcertoPUCCINI O mio babbino caroBACH Goldberg Variations: AriaVERDI Va’, pensieroDVOŘÁK New World Symphony CD3SCHUBERT Ave MariaWAGNER Siegfried IdyllDELIBES Lakmé: Flower DuetBRAHMS Hungarian Dance No. 5WIDOR ToccataPlus John Clarke’s original commentary interspersed throughout each CD.
Release
The music soundtrack to the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s critically acclaimed collaboration with director Jennifer Peedom. Three years ago, the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Artistic Director Richard Tognetti approached BAFTA-nominated director Jennifer Peedom (Sherpa) with a vision for an expressive interweaving of music and film. The result of this collaboration is Mountain: a cinematic and musical odyssey that explores the troubled and triumphant history of our timeless fascination with mountains. Premiered in concert in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall as part of Sydney’s Vivid LIVE 2017, Mountain draws the listener in to a world in which majesty and terror collide, thousands of metres above and beyond the familiar, comfortable landscape of the everyday. Richard Tognetti worked closely with Peedom to curate a stunning soundscape that mirrors the serenity, magnitude and terror of the landscapes featured in the film. Works by Chopin, Vivaldi, and Beethoven are featured, as well as original music by Tognetti himself. “The original music I wrote for Mountain was composed in real collaboration with Jennifer [Peedom],” Tognetti said. “She would tell me what she was trying to express and what the scene in the movie meant, and then I would try and come up with the musical equivalent. Some of the compositions are filmic and some of them are more like dreamscapes.” Critical Acclaim for Mountain★★★★½ “The ACO scales the heights.” – Limelight Magazine★★★★ “a sublime rush of adrenaline and orchestral beauty…” – The Guardian
Release
As two of country music’s hottest properties, Travis Collins and Amber Lawrence are both award winning solo artists. Now they join forces to create the “Our Backyard” EP; a 7 track release that was produced by the acclaimed producer Matt Fell.
Release
As well as drawing inspiration from the folk tunes of the past, Percy Grainger was a true original, an innovator of extreme proportions – and Australia’s first international pop star.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.TRACKLISTING1 Mock Morris2 The Immovable ‘Do’ (The Ciphering ‘C’)3 Molly on the Shore (Irish Reel)4 Country Gardens5 Scotch Strathspey and Reel6 I’m Seventeen Come Sunday7 Colonial Song8 Handel in the Strand (Clog Dance)9 The Nightingale and The Two Sisters10 The Power of Rome and the Christian Heart11 Brigg Fair12 Early One Morning13 Shallow Brown14 Irish Tune from County Derry15 Dreamery16 Blithe Bells (Free Ramble on ‘Sheep May Safely Graze’ by JS Bach)17 Shepherd’s Hey (Morris 
Release
Prokofiev’s life was defined by exile and persecution, but through it all the fire of musical creativity burned bright. Begun in Russia, completed in France and premiered in Chicago, his Third Piano Concerto pioneers a new virtuosity while presenting memorable and strikingly individual tunes.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.
Release
Unfinished, but uplifting: Schubert’s Eighth Symphony is a visionary achievement that moves harmony into new realms of beauty.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.TRACKLISTING1-2 Symphony No. 8, D759 ‘Unfinished’ 3 Die Zauberharfe (The Magic Harp), D644: Overture 4-6 Rosamunde, D797: Incidental music – selections Tasmanian Symphony OrchestraSebastian Lang-Lessing conductor
Release
Mozart’s operas represent a roll-call of favourite characters and timeless music, blending the comic with the serious, and the historical with the contemporary.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.TRACKLISTINGDon Giovanni1 Catalogue Aria: Madamina, il catalogo è questo2 Batti, batti, o bel Masetto3 Duet: Là ci darem la mano4 Serenade: Deh, vieni alla finestra The Abduction from the Seraglio5 O, wie will ich triumphieren The Marriage of Figaro6 Voi, che sapete7 Non più andrai8 Porgi amor9 Dove sono i bei momenti10 Se vuol ballare, signor Contino11 Letter Duet: Sull’aria Idomeneo12 Fuor del mar La clemenza di Tito13 Trio: Se al volto mai ti senti Zaide14 Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben Così fan tutte15 Come scoglio16 Trio: Soave sia il vento The Magic Flute17 Birdcatcher’s Song: Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja18 Queen of the Night Aria: Der Hölle Rache19 Ach, ich fühl’s20 Duet: Pa-Pa-Pa-Papagena!
Release
The power of poetry inspires a musical revolution: from the opera stage to the music rooms of the aristocracy, composers from Monteverdi to Vivaldi find new ways to bring emotion alive with music.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.TRACKLISTING1-2 MONTEVERDI L’Orfeo: Toccata & Prologue3 MONTEVERDI Vespers: Nigra sum4 FRESCOBALDI Toccata per spinettina e violino5 CACCINI Amarilli, mia bella6 KAPSPERGER Toccata7 A. MARCELLO Oboe Concerto in D minor: Adagio8 CORELLI Christmas Concerto: Pastorale9 DALL’ABACO Violin Concerto in E major, Op. 6 No. 11: Aria10 ALBINONI Oboe Concerto in D minor: Adagio11 A. SCARLATTI Toccata da Cimbalo12 D. SCARLATTI Sonata K18513 VIVALDI Gloria: Gloria in excelsis Deo14 LOCATELLI Christmas Concerto: Pastorale15 TARTINI Violin Sonata ‘The Devil’s Trill’: Andante – Allegro16 GEMINIANI Concerto grosso in D major: Allegro17 VIVALDI Concerto for Two Mandolins:  Andante18 BRESCIANELLO Chaconne in A major
Release
Young Australian pianist Jayson Gillham presents his third album on ABC Classics, featuring the music of two Russian friends and piano virtuosi: Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.2 – one of the most eternally popular pieces of classical music – and the rarely performed Piano Concerto No.1 by Nikolai Medtner, written just 15 years later. For these recordings, Gillham is joined in the studio by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and their Associate Conductor Benjamin Northey. Nikolai Medtner (1880–1951) was a close friend of Rachmaninoff (they even dedicated various pieces to one another) but history has treated their music very differently. The great Australian pianist Geoffrey Tozer, who died in 2009, was a rare champion of Medtner’s music, and it was when Gillham was invited to feature in a documentary on Tozer’s life that he discovered Medtner’s work. Dedicated to his mother, Medtner’s Piano Concerto No.1 was written during the First World War. The intense drama of the music – brought out in vivid technicolour in these recordings – is irresistible, but so too is the consolatory power of music. We discover the healing balm of music again in Angel, Medtner’s work for solo piano: a meditation, as Gillham puts it, on “the rediscovery of a divine song, half-remembered, half-forgotten, of a beauty that cannot be matched on earth”. Gillham first performed Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.2 with the MSO in Melbourne’s outdoor Sidney Myer Music Bowl: that concert was greeted with rapture by both the critics and a cheering audience of thousands. Renewing their association in the studio just weeks later, Gillham and the Orchestra unveil fresh richness in this beloved music. The concerto is paired with the contemporaneous Prelude Op.23 No.4, which shares the same “blissful contentment”. NIKOLAI MEDTNER 1880–1951Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, Op. 331. Allegro –2. Tranquillo, meditamente –3. Coda (Allegro molto)4. Eight Stimmungsbilder (Mood Pictures), Op. 1: No. 1 Prologue ‘The Angel’SERGEI RACHMANINOFF 1873–1943Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 185. I. Moderato6. II. Adagio sostenuto7. III. Allegro scherzando8. Prelude in D major, Op. 23 No. 4 Jayson Gillham pianoMelbourne Symphony OrchestraBenjamin Northey conductorRecorded in the Iwaki Auditorium of the ABC’s Southbank Centre, 10-13 April 2017