Birch Tree, The

By Diana Weston, Thoroughbass

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The theme of this recording is music inspired by folkmusic. Diana Weston (harpsichord) and the ensemble Thoroughbass have recorded this wonderful collection of tunes by composers such as, Mary Mageau, Béla Bartók, May Howlett, Ann Carr-Boyd and Elena Kats-Chernin.
Folk melody and rhythm can be found permeating works from all centuries and genres up to the present. For the French of the 17th and 18th centuries, it formed the backbone of a national style, albeit one with a sophisticated overlay (the dance suite). For some composers, like Bartók, folkmusic became the stuff of their compositional voice. For others like Ann Carr-Boyd, adaptation of folksong was a way of approaching a wide variety of audiences of different ethnic backgrounds. Her new composition, Suite for Diana, follows this trend, as does Elena Kats-Chernin’s The Birch Tree, both composed for Thoroughbass in 2014 and recorded here for the first time. Thematically overlapping Bartók’s miniature pieces ‘For Children’ (arguably ‘about’ children as much as ‘for’ children) are four songs for children by May Howlett. Both composers recognize the complexity of childhood in music that is expressive and authentic, innocent and above all, fun.
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1 Variations on Scarborough Fair (Mary Mageau)
For Children - Hungarian (Béla Bartók)
No. 4 Pillow Dance 
No. 6 Study for left hand
No. 10 Children's Dance
No. 11  No. 17 Round Dance
No. 18 Soldier's Song
No. 26  No. 28 Choral  10 No. 31 
11 No. 38 Winter Solstice Song 
12  No. 40 Swineherd's Dance
13  The Littlest Dragon 14  The Cat
15  The Dog  1 Flutter by, My Butterfly
Suite for Diana (Ann Carr-Boyd)
17  The Wild Colonial Boy
18  Interlude 119  Two Latvian Folksongs
20  Interlude 2    21  Gulumkan 22  Interlude 2a
For Children - Slovakian (Béla Bartók)
23  No. 1 24  No. 6 Round Dance
25  No. 7 Sorrow
26  No. 10 Funeral Dance  27  No. 11  28  No. 17  29  No. 18 Teasing Song
30  No. 19. Romance 
31 No. 20 Game of Tag
32  No. 22 Revelry  33  No. 25 Scherzando
34  No. 26 Peasant's Flute
35  No. 28 Choral  36  No. 33
37  No. 34 Farewell  38  No. 38 Dirge
39  The Birch Tree  (Elena Kats-Chernin)

Breaking of the Drought, The - CD

By Jeanell Carrigan

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   and collected songs.  Roy Agnew

DAYNA JOHNSTON, clarinet, ASHLY ZHANG, secondo piano duets

Robert (Roy) Ewing Agnew (1891-1944) was a man who dominated the musical scene in Sydney in the first half of the 20th century and his creative ability was admired by fellow musicians both in Australia and abroad. He is remembered as a brilliant, virtuosic, and flamboyant performer who graced the stage in England and Australia, and an important and influential teacher.

His musical output consists mostly of songs and piano works. The wonderful songs are recorded here as the complete collection for the first time. The songs by Roy Agnew are unique in compositional terms and in the context of English art songs of the early twentieth century. Although Agnew was a passionate Australian, the songs, like most of his piano music, do not always reflect Australian cultural yearnings and most are not based on the poetry of Australian writers.

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[1] The World’s Wanderers (Shelley) 1:37
[2] To morrow (Shelley) 1:16
[3] A Widow Bird (Shelley) 1:37
[4] Dirge (Shelley) 1:12
[5] Invocation (Masefield) 1:07
[6] Beauty (Masefield) 1:52
[7] June twilight (Masefield) 1:46
Two piano duets:
[8] i. Green Valley 1:38
[9] ii. The Village Fair 1:10
[10] The flowers of sleep (Daley) 2:04
[11] Beloved stoop down thro’ the clinging dark (Zora Cross) 2:34
[12] Infant joy (Blake) 0:55
[13] To a sleeping child (Blake) 1:46
[14] Cradle song (Essen) 2:18
[15] The Breaking of the Drought (Matthews) 9:26
[16] Tears (Wang Seng-Su) 1:17
[17] Sorrow (Tennyson) 2:02
Two Songs without Words for voice and clarinet:
[18] i. Expressively 2:52
[19] ii. At a Moving Pace 2:17
[20] I don’t like Beetles (Fyleman) 0:52
[21] Dusk (Williams) 1:21
[22] O moonlight deep and tender (Lowell) 2:01
[23] She comes not when noon is on the roses (Trench) 1:07
[24] Cradle song (Naidu) 1:30
[25] Hie away, hie away (Scott) 0:48
Digital downloads of complete tracks from your preferred streaming sites available here

Sheet music and samples are available for all these works visit:

Bundanon - CD

By Phillip Wilcher

Regular price $25.00 Sale

Pianist, Jeanell Carrigan.  This album is titled Bundanon after the piece composed by Phillip Wilcher and dedicated to his friend and pianist, Alexander Boyd, grandson of Arthur BoydOf this Alexander writes; I feel that Phillip Wilcher's richly evocative piece "Bundanon" perfectly captures the spirit of Bundanon - the tranquillity and beauty of the bush and surrounding landscape, yet simmering below the surface, an environment teeming with life and constant renewal.  If there was one thing my grandfather was more passionate about than the visual arts it was music, perhaps especially the creation of music.  I do hope that Phillip Wilcher's piece will bring Bundanon to the attention of many more musicians and composers and inspire them in the years to come.
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Print music for these works are available online.

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Aaaron's Eight (1-8)
1  Allegro,  - 2  Lento Dolente,- 3  A Piacere, ma con motto,  
4  Adagio - ben sostenuto, 5  Moderato,
6  Allegro con brio 7  Andante,8  Allegro Vivace
Bacchante (9-18)
9  Andante,  - 10  Allegretto,
11  Toccata con motto (quasi allegretto)
12  Largamente, ma non adagio
13  Vivace, 14  Allegretto,
15  Allegretto, 16  Andante maestoso
17  Moderato semplice 18  Lento
19  Bundanon
20  Prelude for the Right Hand
21  Rhapsody
22 The Sorrow of Angels



By Rachel Tolmie

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An enthralling CD recorded by Rachel Tolmie cor anglais with the string orchestra Concertante Ensemble conducted by Chris Bearman.  Composers include Phillip Rutherford, Colin Brumby, Chris Sainsbury, Rosalind Carlson and Jennifer Fowler. 

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2  Scena (Colin Brumby)
3  Bushfire - Mvt I (Chris Sainsbury)
4   Bushfire Mvt II (Chris Sainsbury)
5  Circle of Memories (Rosalind Carlson)
6  The Flowergirls - Mvt I (Chris Sainsbury)
8  Lament (Jennifer Fowler)

Callisto: Music for Fairlight CMI

By Michael Hannan

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Michael Hannan 
The CD Callisto features works composed for the Fairlight Computer Musical Instrument (CMI) which is the world's first digital music sampler, a product of the late 1970s. The recording also provides some documentation of a phase of Michael Hannan’s development as a composer, during which he was an insider of a ground breaking project generated by the CMI at that time, being 1984.

Each work conveys images that draw one away to other worlds, in the case of Callisto (the largest moon of Jupiter) to a sound analysis of laughter, a series of studies, a sonata written in the style of Conlon Nancarrow, through the inspiration generated by animal calls, a tribute to Slonimsky, finally and intriguingly an attempt to stimulate the conditions by which a thought trance is induced. 
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 1.  Callisto
 2.  Laughing Piece
 3.  Study #1.1
 4.  Study #1.2
 5.  Study #1.3
 6.  Sonata After Nancarrow
 7.  Animal Minimal
 8.  Slonimsky Variations
 9.  Alphabeat

Çanakkale: Gallipoli Songs

By Ayse Goknur Shanal

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Ayşe Göknur Shanal (soprano), Patrick Keith, Erberk Eryilmaz, Ross Fiddes  (piano)
As a result of the ANZAC Centenary in 2015 this CD is a tribute to all soldiers who fought in the Gallipoli campaign of World War I.  Its works are represented by both Turkish and Australian composers.

Piano: Track 5: Erberk Eryilmaz, Track 6: Ross Fiddes, all other tracks by Patrick Keith
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English texts and translation of songs

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 1   Hey Onbeşli (Turkish Trad.)
Two Songs for the Anzac Centenary, Op.33 (John Wayne Dixon)
   2   1918
   3   1945
 4   Au pays ou se fait le guerre (Henri Duparc)
 5   Songs are Against War (Erberk Eryilmaz)
 6   These Men (Ross Fiddes)
 7   Çanakkale Turkusu (Turkish Folksong)
Remembrances Four (Diana Blom)
   8   Enlisting
   9   The Landings - Morning
   10  The Landings - Getting to Shore
   11  The Morning Star
   12  Goodnight Gallipoli

Celebrating May

By May Howlett

Regular price $25.00 Sale

> A compilation of only some of the exceptional compositional works by May Howlett recorded over time by well-known Australian and International artists. A member of an audience once remarked that "her music always takes me on a journey", and this CD just does that.  Her writing seeks to enter into an experience or a concept, and to embody response to it with a 'voice' of the instrument or instruments. Although her music is basically lyrical, there is, often, according to Larry Sitsky, "a sting in the tail". 
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Sheet music of these works are available online

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Exhibits - Christine Drager (flute), Katheryn Lambert (piano)
  1  Mobiles
   2  Veil VII
   3  Electric Mouse
   4  Streeton's Noon
5  Passing the Tower of Aggrievements Jeanell Carrigan (piano)
6  From Forgotten Stars Rotraud Schneider (violin)
7  Waves - Sally Mays (piano)
8  Rosie the Unruffled   Michael Tabrett (viola), Katarina Kroslakova (piano)
9  Sacred Grove   Robert Llewellyn (bassoon), Katarina Kroslakova (piano)
10  Baroqua Rag Katie Zhukov (piano) 
Wings on the Wind - Emma Knott (flute), David Miller (piano)
   11  Thermals
   12  Mistral
   13  Ah! Sirocco
14  At the Triton's Call   Lotte Latukefu (mezzo- soprano), Louise Scott (piano)
At the Circus - Katie Zhukov (piano)
   15  Parade
   16  The Pink Ballerina on a White Pony
   17  Catherine Wheels

Childhood in Music CD

By Antonietta Loffredo

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Piano music by contemporary Australian and Italian composers played by Antonietta Loffredo. 
A University of Western Sydney project this interesting CD is the second by Antoinetta in a collaboration with the composers who have been encouraged to write new pieces inspired by chilhood, simplified only in its instrumental components without linguistic or aesthetic compromises to enhance the different poetics that mark the contemporary art music panorama.
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Scores by the Wirripang composers-  Sofia Marita, Ji Yun Lee, Michael Atherton and Diana Blom are available online.

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1 Swinging for Ari (Sofia Marita)
Kawaii Suite (Paul Smith)
2  Ponyo
3  Mokona 
4  'A' is for Alice (Holly Harrison)
5  Colour Variation I (Ji Yun Lee)
6 Nanna told me so (Me lo ha detto la nonna) (Michael Atherton)
7 - 13 Sette piccoli pezzi (Seven little pieces) (Massimo Priori )
14  Music for a snowy day (Francesco Schweizer)
15  Fogli dall'album - baluginii e distorsioni per pianoforte solo (Flares and distortion for piano solo) (Stefano Procaccioli)
16 The Cat's Meow (Diana Blom and Adrian Barr)

Children's Bach, The

By Andrew Schultz

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   Opera by Andrew Schultz

   Libretto by Glenn Perry after Helen Garner

   Canberra International Music Festival, directed by Roland Peelman.

The Children’s Bach, an opera in two acts, was commissioned in 2008 by Chamber Made Opera, Melbourne with the aid of a Project Fellowship from the Music Board, Australia Council. The libretto was supported by The RE Ross Trust Playwrights' Script Development Awards. This recording was made at The Fitter’ s Workshop, Canberra in May 2019.

Brief Synopsis: Athena and Dexter lead an enclosed family life in Melbourne, innocent of fashion and bound by duty towards an autistic child, Billy. Their comfortable rut is disrupted by the arrival of Elizabeth, a tough nut from Dexter's past. With her sister (Vicki), fickle boyfriend (Philip) and his smart teenage daughter (Poppy), she draws the couple out into a world whose casual egotism and sexuality they had barely dreamed of. Can they get home again? (from The Children's Bach - Helen Garner, Penguin Books, 1999 Edition)

Audio samples

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Chopin Sonatas: Duo and Solo - CD

By Daniel Herscovitch, Elizabeth Neville

Regular price $25.00 Sale

Three major Sonatas by Fryderyk Chopin performed by two of Australia's fine musicians, Daniel Herscovitch (piano) and Elizabeth Neville (cello).
Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor, to be Chopin's final work began in 1845;   Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor Op.35 and Piano Sonata No. 3 in B  minor Op.58
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Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor Op.65
Allegro moderato
Finale: Allegro
Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor Op.35
Grave - Doppio movimento
Marche: Lento
Finale: Presto
Piano Sonata No. 3 in B  minor Op.58
Allegro maestoso
10  Scherzo: Molto vivace
11  Largo
12  Finale: Presto non tanto


Creative Explosion

By Various Composers

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The creative aesthetic behind this project is to have a strong intercultural focus featuring Asia-Pacific traditions of Korean samul nori drumming techniques, Filipino kulintang percussion, Japanese shakuhachi 'moment' aesthetic and East Asian string techniques (Korea, Japan, China) interacting with contemporary music. The trajectory from modern violin through to Chinese erhu and Korean kayageum techniques interacting within contemporary composition and cutting edge digital technology forms a thread behind this collection. The sound of Asia-Pacific gongs (Korea, China, Philippines) intersecting with modern percussion as an enlargement of the contemporary music tradition in performance and composition is another angle. Finally the use of the techniques of reed membrane and coloured breath from Western clarinet to Japanese shakuhachi exploring the 'single-note' aesthetic of East Asia within contemporary composition and improvisation also forms a focus. 
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1  Tristan Exploded (Ian Stevenson) 
Haiku 1 (John Encarnacao)
2  Between the sky and ...
3  ... the not sky we fly towards ...
4  ... the heart of winter
5  Not Broken Bruised-Reed (Bruce Crossman)
6  Genji (the Shining Prince) and the Koto Player (Diana Blom)
7  Patina (Michael Atherton) 

Deep blue and dirty

By Andrew Schultz

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The title work of this CD, Deep blue and dirty, is a work for bassoon and piano, based on two connected themes cleverly developed so that they move throughout the work without interruption as it unfolds about the listener.  Thus, the cleverness of the composer, Andrew Schultz, is revealed as we are led down a series of works highlighting leaps ahead of conventional theory to make music a unique experience.  Southern Cross Soloists,  Stephen Emmerson and Lucinda Collins together have created this wonderful CD of chamber and vocal music.

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1   After Nina [10'33)

To the evening star
   - 2   Lake Isle of Innisfree [4'33]
   - 3   Pied beauty [1'15]
   - 4   Mezzo Cammin [4'03]
   - 5   Money, O! [2'38]
   - 6   To the evening star [5'07]
7   Indigo Invention [5'41]
8  Lines drawn from silence... [12'29]
9   Deep blue and dirty [8'28]
10 Master Mariner - Lost at Sea [4'59]