Music and Book reviews

Browsing: New Music

Classical
Andrew Schultz Piano Music

Artist/s: Antony Gray (piano)
Category: Classical, New Music
Label: Wirripang Wirr 078 (2016)
Reviewed by

“Andrew Schultz’s impressive piano music collection is deeply rooted in the unique resonant qualities of the instrument. His long-time collaborator, Antony Gray, interprets the works with both sensitivity and panache.”

Classical
Australian Voices: Mondrian Interiors. Works by Stuart Greenbaum

Artist/s: ANAM musicians featuring Jessica Fotinos (harp)
Category: Classical, New Music
ANAM 1501 (2015)
Reviewed by

This recording project is a spinoff of the “Australian Voices” series of concerts, a collaboration between the Melbourne Recital Centre and the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM). The CD consists of three works by Melbourne-based composer Stuart Greenbaum performed…

Classical
Between Worlds: Music for Saxophone and Strings. Works by Chick Corea, Nick Russoniello, Elena Kats-Chernin, Jeremy Rose and Barry Cockcroft

Artist/s: Nick Russoniello (saxophones) and the Acacia Quartet
Category: Classical, New Music
Label: Independent release. Available through iTunes and CD Baby
www.nickrussoniello.com.au/
Reviewed by

“Between Worlds features the unusual combination of saxophone and string quartet performing very engaging works by four Australian composers and the American jazz legend, Chick Corea.”

Classical
Claire Edwardes: Kammerbox

Artist/s: MUSIC by Amanda Cole, Ross Edwards, Katy Abbott Kvasnica, John Psathas, Maria Grenfell, Andrew Ford, Elena Kats-Chernin, Peter Sculthorpe, Richard Charlton, Tim Dargaville, Stuart Greenbaum. PERFORMANCES by Claire Edwardes (percussion) with Karin Schaupp (guitar), Julian Smiles (cello), Jason Noble (clarinet, bass clarinet), Bernadette Harvey (piano), Christina Leonard (alto saxophone/soprano saxophone), Anna McMichael (violin)
Category: Classical, New Music
Label: ABC Music, digital release
Digital album. Stream or download here: abcmusic.lnk.to/Kammerbox
Reviewed by

“For Kammerbox, Claire Edwardes collects chamber works, mostly duos, by Australian composers for performances by herself and other high profile instrumentalists. There is an excellent standard of musicianship demonstrated by all the players and the works presented are compositionally outstanding for the most part.”

Classical
Dancing with Somebody. Music by Joe Twist

Artist/s: Acacia Quartet, Sally Whitwell (piano), with Louise Prickett (soprano)
Category: Classical, Film Music, Jazz, New Music
Label: Self-release CD (3 tracks), available as download or hardcopy from CD Baby
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/joetwist
Reviewed by

Composer Joe Twist’s Dancing with Somebody shows his penchant for engaging in an entertaining way with popular cultural forms and contains admirable performances by the Acacia Quartet and pianist Sally Whitwell.

Classical
Flute Perspectives: Australian Contemporary Flute. Works by Peter Sculthorpe, Barry Conyngham, Brian Brown, Derek Jones, Anne Boyd, Mark Pollard and Phyllis Batchelor.

Artist/s: Derek Jones, flute; Leigh Harrold, piano
Category: Classical, New Music
Label: Move Records MD 3406
www.move.com.au
Reviewed by

“On this recording, flautist Derek Jones and pianist Leigh Harrold give excellent interpretations of seven Australian works composed between 1972 and 2008.” Constructed around a melody from the Torres Strait island of Saibai, Peter Sculthorpe’s Songs of Sea and Sky…

Art Songs
Kingfisher. Songs for Halcyon

Artist/s: Halcyon: Alison Morgan (soprano), Jenny Duck-Chong (mezzo soprano). With Laura Chislett Jones (piccolo and flutes), Jason Noble (clarinet and bass clarinet), Geoffrey Gartner (cello), William Jackson and Joshua Hill (percussion)
Category: Art Songs, Classical, Music, New Music
Label: Tall Poppies TP236
www.tallpoppies.net
Reviewed by

“Kingfisher” has fine performances of 21 songs recently composed especially for Halcyon, and offers a valuable insight into the field of recent Australian composition for vocal chamber ensemble.

Classical
Mandala 3 – Music by David Lumsdaine and Nicola LeFanu

Artist/s: Gemini. Ian Mitchell (director), Sarah Leonard (soprano), Aleksander Szram (piano)
Category: Classical, New Music
Label: Métier MSV 28565
www.divineartrecords.com
Reviewed by

“Australian composer David Lumsdaine has waited almost forty years for this, the first commercial recording of his acclaimed work Mandala 3; is he to be another composer whose talent will be appropriately recognised only after his death?”

Classical
Messiaen, Turangalîla-symphonie

Artist/s: Melbourne Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sebastian Lang-Lessing, Kaori Kimura (piano), Takahashi Harada (ondes Martenot)
Category: Classical, New Music
Label: ABC Classics 4812873. Reissue of 2007 recording as part of the '1000 Years of Classical Music' series.
Reviewed by

“The seductiveness of Messiaen’s music finds a powerful advocate in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Turangalîla-symphonie.”

Classical
Michael Bertram. Fantaisie-Sonata

Artist/s: Michael Kieran Harvey (piano)
Category: Classical, New Music
Label: Move Records MD 3407
Reviewed by

“Michael Keiran Harvey’s excellent track record in championing the piano music of Australian composers is evidenced again in this compelling interpretation of Michael Bertram’s impressive major piano work, Fantaisie-Sonata.”

Classical
Midnight Songs

Artist/s: Three. Joel Brennan (trumpet) Don Immel (trombone), Ken Murray (guitar)
Category: Classical, New Music
Label: Tall Poppies (TP237)(2016)
www.tallpoppies.net, www.ensemblethree.com.au
Reviewed by

‘”Three” is a Melbourne-based ensemble comprising trumpet, trombone and guitar. It is “seeking to establish new, cutting-edge chamber music with a special focus on presenting performances that resonate with current-day audiences”. The musicianship and artistic vision of the ensemble make a compelling case for this instrumentation.’

Electronic Music
Multi-Piano 1978-2012

Artist/s: Roger Dean
Category: Electronic Music, Improvisation, New Music
Label: Tall Poppies Records TP225 (2 discs) 2012
Reviewed by

This retrospective of Roger Dean’s work as an improvising pianist covers samples of work created from 1978 to 2012 from a variety of sources including recording sessions, live performances, live performances using pre-recorded material and studio-based editing/remixing exercises. Dean employs…

Classical
Pleasure Garden. Music by Jacob van Eyck, Genevieve Lacey and Jan Bang

Artist/s: Genevieve Lacey, recorders; Jan Bang, electronics
Category: Classical, Early Music, Electronic Music, New Music
Label: ABC Classics ABC 481 2370
Reviewed by

A stroll through this sensual garden of aural delights offers much pleasure, as the title promises. To combine music from the seventeenth century with twenty-first century electronics might seem somewhat incongruous, but it actually works well in the hands of…

Classical
Songs by Diana Blom

Artist/s: Singers: Ayse Göknur Shanal, Emma Stacker, Lotte Latukefu, Kevin Hanrahan, Brett Weymark, Clive Birch. Pianists: David Wickham, Diana Blom
Category: Classical, New Music
Label: Wirripang Wirr 075
www.australiancomposers.com.au
Reviewed by

The unpretentious title – Songs – gives no indication about the content of this CD which includes such things as the sensuousness of a tango lesson, or the naughty goings-on in dark corners of a library.

Children's songs
The Birch Tree. Music based on Folktunes.

Artist/s: Throroughbass: Diana Weston (harpsichord), and Anna Fraser (soprano), Shaun Ng (viola da gamba), Joanne Arnott (recorder), Angus Ryan (cello)
Category: Children's songs, Classical, Folk, New Music
Label: Wirripang Wirr 068
www.AustralianComposers.com.au
Reviewed by

“The most unusual aspect of this CD is the rare sound of Béla Bartók’s piano music played on a harpsichord, sometimes with cello, and surrounded by contemporary Australian compositions.”

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