Music and Book reviews

Browsing: Film

Documentary Documentary
Bigly Yellow. 90-minute documentary film

Artist/s: Simon Kent, cornettist, trombonist, composer. Adrian Sherriff, keyboard/didgeridou; Peter Harper, sax; Ted Vining, drums; Roy Voodt, guitar; Stephen Magnusson, guitar. Film directed by Nigel Deans and Nubar Ghazarian
Category: Documentary, Film, Jazz, Music Recording
Label: Produced by Nubar Ghazarian, Tankstand Films, and Nigel Deans, Flying Fish Films
Reviewed by

This is film is a sounding of someone’s life, a plumb or plimsol line through a not notably stable figure, within but sometimes wandering from the Melbourne jazz scene. The camera has returned to him over a period of 15…

Classical Music Recording
Discovery. Discover classical music with the Sydney Symphony and Richard Gill. Mozart. Beethoven. Haydn. Richard introduces, explains, conducts four movements.

Artist/s: Richard Gill, Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Category: Classical, Film
Label: DVD, ABC Classics 076 2702.
Reviewed by

“Music evokes, stimulates, implies, suggests – playing upon the mind, the heart and the soul.  Music has the capacity to change lives forever.” – Richard Gill

Classical Music Recording
La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini. Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, Opera Australia

Artist/s: Directed by Andy Morton and conducted by Brian Castles-Onion, with Julia Maria Dan (Mimi), Ho-Yoon Chung (Rodolfo), Julie Lea Goodwin (Musetta), Samuel Dundas (Marcello), Richard Anderson (Colline), Christopher Hillier (Schaunard), John Bolton Wood (Alcindoro/Benoit), Opera Australia Chorus and Opera Australia Orchestra.
Category: Classical, Film, Opera
Label: DVD. ABC Classic 0763068
Reviewed by

“Andy Morton’s directorial debut with this Opera Australia production of this most popular of operas has given us just the right balance of glamorous spectacle (as befits the huge outdoor setting on Sydney Harbour) and intimacy.”

Classical Music Recording
Liminal Highway. Tim Munro, Christopher Cerrone

Artist/s:  Christopher Cerrone (composer), Tim Munro (flute and electronics), Evan Chapman and Kevin Eikenberg (film co-directors)
Category: Classical, Filmed performance, New Music
Reviewed by

“Combining the artistry of Pulitzer-nominated composer Christopher Cerrone and triple Grammy winning flautist Tim Munro, Liminal Highway explores the mystical space between consciousness and sleep. Cerrone’s fresh and exciting aesthetic delivers a compelling, hypnotic, sensual and haunting experience astonishingly performed by Munro who draws us into his own liminality.”

Classical Music Recording
Madama Butterfly : Puccini. Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, DVD

Artist/s: Cio-Cio-San - Hiromi Omura, Pinkerton - Georgy Vasiliev, Suzuki - Anna Yun, Sharpless - Michael Honeyman, Conductor - Brian Castles-Onion, Director - Àlex Ollé (La Fura dels Baus), Production - Opera Australia, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Category: Classical, Film, Opera
Label: ABC Classics 076 2903
Reviewed by

“This thoughtful and highly imaginative production of Puccini’s masterpiece was directed by Àlex Ollé, a director with La Fura dels Baus, with a mesmerizing, unforgettable performance of Butterfly by the young Japanese soprano Hiromi Omura.”

Classical Documentary

Artist/s: Soundtrack - Australian Chamber Orchestra dir. Richard Tognetti. Jennifer Peedom (writer and director), William Dafoe (narrator). Tognetti wrote 8 of the 20 tracks, others by Sculthorpe, Part, classical composers.
Category: Classical, Documentary, Film, New Music
Reviewed by

Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s ambitious Mountain project has all the history and adventure implicit in humankind’s quest to stand on earth’s highest peaks. Tognetti and the ACO have assembled a collection of original and established music pieces and synchronized them seamlessly with a series of filmic sequences. The footage is astounding.

Documentary Documentary
Songlines on Screen

Category: Documentary, Film, Music Recording
Label: Currently screening on NITV through SBS on Demand or at the website shown here.
Reviewed by

The significance of the new series of short films, Songlines on Screen cannot be overestimated. Insight into the priorities of Aboriginal cultural heritage through a senory feast is on offer to all Australians in this series of profiles.

Filmed performance Documentary
Strauss: Enoch Arden (1897) Op. 38 

Artist/s: Alex Raineri (piano), Matthew Connell (narrator), Jak Scanlon (video composition)
Category: Filmed performance
Reviewed by

A very fruitful ‘collaboration’ to present Richard Strauss’s telling of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s tale, focussing upon ‘storytelling, imagination and music’. It incorporates new elements to redefine the old, and hopefully will inspire others to consider how this work might be reinvented in the 21st century. 

Film Documentary
Turandot by Giacomo Puccini. Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour. DVD

Artist/s: Dragana Radakovic (Turandot), Riccardo Massi (Calaf), Hyeseoung Kwon (Liu), Conal Coad (Timur), John Longmuir (Pong), Benjamin Rasheed (Pang), Luke Gabbedy (Ping), David Lewis (Emperor), Gennadi Dubinksy (Mandarin), Jin Tea Kim (Prince of Persia), Opera Australia Chorus, Autralian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Category: Film
Label: ABC Classics DVD 076 2982
Reviewed by

“A spectacular filmed production with a Sydney Harbour backdrop.”