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Release
“We’ve always been drawn to music with great melodies and interesting harmonic progressions. As guitarists we want to ‘sing’ as much as possible when playing.” Globally renowned for their superlative musicianship, Slava and Leonard Grigoryan have decided to get personal for their latest album. Performing arrangements made by their father Edward, the brothers have chosen songs that are particularly close to their heart, and as well as a few new discoveries – including timeless songs by Tchaikovsky (Chanson Triste, None But the Lonely Heart), Rachmaninoff (Vocalise), Elgar (Chanson de Nuit, Chanson de Matin), Bach, Ponce, Fauré and others. The Grigoryan Brothers, individually and as a duo, are counted amongst the finest musicians of their generation. Between them, they have clocked up an incredible 21 ARIA Award nominations and their recording and performing careers – and popularity – continue to flourish. Slava recently broke the record for the longest stretch at number one in the Classical Charts for an Australian artist, when his latest solo album Bach Cello Suites Volume I spent 13 weeks at the top. Reflecting on their musical relationship with their father, Slava and Leonard comment: “He has developed a unique style of writing and arranging for two guitars – always democratic, extraordinarily detailed and with complete awareness of what we as individual players can, and cannot do. We’re so lucky to have this inspiring collaborator and mentor working as prolifically as he does!” During their careers, the Grigoryans have developed a reputation for enthralling audiences with the sheer energy of their performances, and the breadth of their repertoire – from classical to jazz and world music. In addition to a global touring schedule, their collaborations at home include performances with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and baritone José Carbó, and in 2017 they will support Grammy Award-winning Canadian singer k.d. lang’s Ingenue Redux tour.
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Passionate and powerful, bold and beautiful: the music of Russia is as vast as the land itself.This collection showcases the most popular masterworks and hidden treasures from a rich musical heritage, and accompanies ABC Classic FM’s focus on Russian music over the 2017 Easter weekend.
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For her third ABC Classics album ‘Cello at the Opera’, Sally Maer (aka Cello Diva) gives emotional and breathtaking performances of the great opera tunes on the instrument closest to the human voice: the cello. Maer and her cello take the starring roles in the world’s most popular arias for all voice types – soprano, mezzo, tenor and bass – creating a new studio recording that is unique and exquisite. From triumph to tragedy, Maer celebrates the grandeur and brilliance of great opera, with her eloquent cello accompanied by the rich sound of the full orchestra. By turns intimate and majestic, the cello proves the perfect vehicle for some of the greatest melodies by Verdi, Puccini, Mozart, Handel, Faure and many others. “The passionate music from Opera has always won my heart,” says Maer. “The dramatic tales magnify everything we feel in life from tragedy to ecstasy and the cello marries perfectly with these ingredients. In great opera, the meanings of love and loss are exquisitely captured, and for me, singing them through the cello gives the music its own new entity.” On this album, the cello sings of love, from Carmen’s seductive Seguidilla to Madama Butterfly’s great aria Un bel di, and from the beloved Pearl Fishers Duet to Monteverdi’s Pur ti miro. It tells of heartbreak, with the baroque masterpiece Dido’s Lament and the exquisite Song to the Moon. And it embodies some of the most memorable characters in opera, from the Spanish bullfighter in Toreador’s Song to the resolute Nessun Dorma and O mio babbino caro. Maer plays solo arias, duets and, for Mozart’s famous trio Soave il vento, regarded as one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written, Maer plays all three voices in a brilliant new arrangement.
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“This album covers the gamut of expressive musical possibilities – from extreme anguish and despair to heart-aching simplicity, from intellectual rigour and pure consonance to shattering dissonance. It is everything.” – Richard TognettiHot on the heels of their ARIA-nominated recording of Mozart’s Last Symphonies, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Richard Tognetti showcase two works of genius by Beethoven and Bach. Recorded live in concert, these seminal works are given a new lease of life, opening up new soundworlds through the vitality and virtuosity for which the ACO has become globally renowned.Both Bach and Beethoven wrote these pieces towards the end of their lives. Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge was originally conceived as the final movement to his last string quartet; in it, the genre moves away from salon music into what Tognetti describes as “hyper-controlled cacophony, rousing responses ranging from rapture to despair”. This was too much for Beethoven’s contemporaries, and the quartet was soon given a more orthodox ending. In this album the Grosse Fuge is returned to its original place, and is presented in an arrangement for string orchestra by Tognetti which, in his words, is “careful not to exploit the greater dynamic capabilities at the expense of the innerlich heart of Beethoven’s uniquely powerful music”.Bach’s The Art of Fugue was left unfinished at his death, and is a work shrouded in mystery: it is unclear for what instrument it was originally written. A masterclass in the fugue – a form in which a single musical theme repeats and weaves around itself – the first four movements are presented here using strings, winds and even the voices of the orchestra to bring out the polyphonal parts which, in Bach’s hands, speak as one.Critical acclaim for the concerts at which this album was recorded include praise for the ACO’s “uncanny blend of muscularity and airiness” (The Daily Telegraph) and “restless dynamism” (Sydney Morning Herald).TRACKLISTINGJOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH 1685–1750The Art of Fugue, BWV1080 (selections)1. Contrapunctus I2. Contrapunctus II3. Contrapunctus III4. Contrapunctus IV LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN 1770–1827String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 130 (with Grosse Fuge, Op. 133)5 I. Adagio ma non troppo – Allegro6 II. Presto7 III. Andante con moto ma non troppo (poco scherzoso)8 IV. Alla danza tedesca: Allegro assai9 V. Cavatina: Adagio molto espressivo10 VI. Grosse Fuge Australian Chamber OrchestraRichard Tognetti director and violin
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World-class opera in a spectacular setting.Opera Australia’s Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour touches millions every year through the tragedy and triumph of great opera, with the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge as a backdrop and fireworks lighting up the night sky.Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: The Collection celebrates this unique experience with complete recordings of five of the world’s best-loved operas. From the stirring majesty of the ‘Triumphal March’ in Aida to Madama Butterfly’s tender love song ‘Un bel dì’, and from opera’s favourite femme fatale Carmen to Turandot’s iconic aria ‘Nessun dorma’, this 5DVD set showcases the power of opera to move the heart and stir the soul.Featuring complete performances of:Carmen • La Traviata • Madama Butterfly • Turandot • Aida
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To celebrate the silver anniversary of his ARIA award winning debut album, Outback Club (1992), Lee Kernaghan releases a very special 25th Anniversary album. Joined in the studio by Australian country greats including James Blundell, Kasey Chambers, John Williamson, Troy Cassar Daley, The Wolfe Brothers, Adam Brand and many more; the album features new material from the thirty six time Golden Guitar winner. The celebrations continue throughout 2017 with special events and a national tour!  
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After the death of Erik Satie, dozens of unsent love letters were found in his Paris apartment. Now composer Elena Kats-Chernin and pianist Tamara-Anna Cislowska send those letters off, in 26 meditative and passionate piano miniatures inspired by Satie’s extraordinary life and music.The album is a musical memoir from one composer to another, from the Uzbekistan-born Australian to the French composer whose eccentricities are legendary and music timeless. “Satie’s life was a fascinating, fervoursome affair,” says pianist Tamara-Anna Cislowska, “from the first strike of love and then lifelong estrangement with artist and muse Suzanne Valadon, to the unexpected celebrity and conflict of his last ten years. After he died, friends gaining access to his apartment, for the first time in almost three decades, found conditions both perplexing and romantically fastidious in their own way: two grand pianos one atop the other, one chair, one table, seven velvet suits and the love letters – many, many unsent love letters.”The album reflects on idiosyncrasies and anecdotes from Satie’s life, with music that ranges from seductive orientalism to hypnotic melodies reminiscent of the ground-breaking, transcendent beauty of Satie’s own piano pieces: ‘imaginary building’ reflects on his sketches of imaginary buildings (which he even advertised in the newspaper for rent and purchase); ‘very shiny’, one of his characteristically opaque performance directions; ‘postcard to a critic’, after Satie’s explosive response to a negative review (leading to a spell in gaol). The buoyant rhythms and rhapsodic harmonic style that have brought Kats-Chernin a reputation as one of the best-loved composers of her generation provide the perfect lens to reflect on a musical great of the previous century.This world-premiere recording was made in the presence of the composer, with Kats-Chernin’s own choice of pianist, the ARIA-Award-winning Tamara-Anna Cislowska, who has been described as “Australian piano gold” by BBC Music Magazine and praised for her “profoundly affecting” musicianship by Gramophone.
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Japanese composer Tōru Takemitsu creates a strange yet beautiful world, of yearning, of submerged complexity, of perfectly weighted timbres, of magical spans, of clouded, sensuous sound.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.TRACKLISTINGTŌRU TAKEMITSU 1930–19961 Dreamtime2 Nostalghia3 Vers, L’Arc-en-ciel, Palma4 Far Calls. Coming, Far!5 A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal GardenMelbourne Symphony OrchestraHiroyuki Iwaki conductor
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Music from England’s Golden Age: sublime sacred music soaring above intrigues of church and state, and intimate lute songs full of love and longing.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 LAWES Royal Consort – Sett No. 2: Aire2 BYRD O lux beata Trinitas3 BYRD Justorum animae4 TALLIS O nata lux de lumine5 TAVERNER Dum transisset Sabbatum6 SHEPPARD Libera nos7 BYRD Haec dies8-10 C. GIBBONS Fantasia-Suite No. 211 PHILIPS Tibi laus12 WHITE Christe qui lux es et dies13 DOWLAND Lachrimae14 FERRABOSCO II Fly from the World15 DOWLAND Lady Hunsdon’s Puffe16 DOWLAND Come Again17 MORLEY Will You Buy a Fine Dog?18 DOWLAND Can She Excuse My Wrongs?19 LUPO Fantasie in D minor20 R. JOHNSON Have You Seen but a White Lily Grow?21 DOWLAND In Darkness Let Me Dwell22 ANONYMOUS Greensleeves
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A jobbing composer under pressure to produce a constant stream of music; an artist and visionary reaching the divine and speaking directly to the heart of the human experience: Bach’s sacred music is unrivalled in the history of art.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 Jesus bleibet meine Freude (Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring) from Cantata No. 1472 Christe eleison from Mass in B minor3 Erbarme dich from St Matthew Passion4 Zion hört die Wächter singen from Cantata No. 1405 Chorale: Befiehl du deine Wege from St Matthew Passion6 Ich habe genug from Cantata No. 827 Schafe können sicher weiden (Sheep May Safely Graze) from Cantata No. 2088 Wir eilen mit schwachen, doch emsigen Schritten from Cantata No. 789 Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen from Cantata No. 15110 Motet: Lobet den Herrn11 Mache dich, mein Herze, rein from St Matthew Passion12 Mein gläubiges Herze from Cantata No. 6813 Vergnügte Ruh’ from Cantata No. 17014 Den Tod niemand zwingen kunnt from Cantata No. 415 Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen from Cantata No. 8216 Magnificat anima mea Dominum from Magnificat