Peter Donohoe – Stravinsky: Music for Piano Solo and Piano & Orchestra (2018)
Classical | WEB FLAC (tracks) & front cover | 390 MB
Label: SOMM Recordings | Tracks: 31 | Time: 128:26 min
Peter Donohoe’s compelling journey through the complete Prokofiev and subsequently the complete Scriabin Piano Sonatas for SOMM has led him almost irresistibly to the piano music of Stravinsky whose exuberance and many technical challenges he seems to relish. He begins with three movements from Petrushka for solo piano, drawn directly from the ballet by the composer ten years after the completion of the orchestral score. Stravinsky’s goal (together with the jazz-like Piano-Rag-Music) was to encourage pianist Arthur Rubinstein to play his music. His intention was to make the arrangement not only technically challenging but also musically satisfying. Such are its demands however, that even the composer himself only played it once, confessing that he lacked the technique. Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring earned him the fame of an iconoclast who showed utter disregard for the beautiful colours and gentle rhythms of the impressionists. He created instead, a fresh and exciting wave of music for a new age which inevitably divided opinion. His tongue-in-cheek remark during an interview in The Observer that his music was only understood by children and animals also serves to describe its true essence – music of genuine poetic delicacy allied to technical sleight of musical hand. A good example are the Four Etudes, Op. 7 which focus on heightened chromaticisms together with difficult and irregular rhythmical structures for the pianist. This set also includes Stravinsky’s early, charmingly delicate F-sharp minor Sonata which he completed in 1904 but it was only published in 1973. The Piano Sonata of 1924, also included here, was composed during his neo-classical period and pays tribute to the 18th century containing characteristic splashes of baroque brilliance as well as latent romanticism. 1940’s Tango, originally conceived as a song, was composed soon after Stravinsky emigrated to the United States. The works for piano and orchestra on Disc 2 are earlier recordings recorded and released by GMN Inc., about 20 years ago with David Atherton conducting the Hong Kong Philharmonic and Peter Donohoe as soloist: These are Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments, cast in three contrasting movements and rooted in the composer’s concerto grosso form teeming with fully modern idioms. 1959’s Movements for piano and orchestra written in 5 short movements, shows Stravinsky’s later preoccupation with serialism and his undiminishing appetite for pioneering music which pushed new boundaries. Peter Donohoe ends with the effervescent Capriccio for piano and orchestra. Its composition followed his Ballet Le baiser de la fe and it shares that work’s graceful rhythms and refined melodic style.
Moon Taxi – Let The Record Play (2018)
WEB FLAC (Tracks) – 226 MB | Cover | MP3 CBR 320 kbps – 80 MB | 00:35:11
Alternative Rock, Indie Rock | Label: RCA Records Label
Let The Record Play has been produced and mixed by the bands’ guitarist, Spencer Thomson, and so far the album’s message is clear: provide music that is uplifting and provides an escape for the listeners. Frontman Trevor Terndrup backed this message when he said: If there’s one thing we want when people hear this record or see our shows it’s to leave elated. The overall vibe and message of the album stands at the forefront of a time where music is becoming increasingly important as a way for artists to speak up for what they believe and, more importantly, gives provides listeners with an escape. Moon Taxi’s new album Let The Record Play promises a good time, funky sounds, and an overall uplifting attitude, which is perfect for the new year.
Missy Lancaster – Piece Of Me (2018)
Country, Pop, Singer-Songwriter | WEB FLAC (tracks) & front cover | 231 MB
Label: Sony Music Entertainment | Tracks: 10 | Time: 32:49 min
Emerging singer/songwriter Missy Lancaster speaks to a generation that is less about categorization and labels and more about strong, relatable messages and unique creative expression. The 2017 CMC New Australian Artist of the Year nominee has collaborated with Nashville’s finest writers and chart topping producers for her debut album ‘Piece Of Me,’ including Lindsay Rimes (Kane Brown, LOCASH, The McClymonts) and Josh Kerr (Kelsea Ballerini, Dylan Scott, Jasmine Rae). This 10 track album features the top #5 Australian Country single Forget, which Missy describes as a big-hearted lyrical tale that incorporates a rap style to the verse with a big country-rock sounding chorus. Missy was signed to Sony Music Australia following the successful release of her independent EP in 2016, which included the popular tracks That’s What I’m Talking About and Back Row.
Michael Waldrop – Origin Suite (2018)
WEB FLAC (Tracks) – 446 MB | Cover | MP3 CBR 320 kbps – 154 MB | 01:06:52
Jazz | Label: Origin Records
Drummer, vibraphonist, and composer Michael Waldrop’s second release on Origin is an ambitious and diverse representation of his work, highlighted by a wide-ranging, cross-genre aesthetic and his wildly dynamic big band. Inspired by the earthy and primal works of Cuban artist Wilfredo Lam, arranger Jack Cooper transformed three of Waldrop’s compositions into an evocative and epic Origin Suite, with the movements titled after three of his paintings. Featuring Waldrop’s Big Band, guitarist Jimi Tunnell, saxophonist Mario Cruz, and German vocalist Marc Secara, it’s a dramatic opening for an album that goes on to feature several other very distinctive voices including percussionists Brad Dutz & Jose Rossy, and keyboardist Scott Kinsey, and compositions by Jimi Tunnell, Gerald Stockton, Waldrop and Jack Cooper.
Michael Slattery & La Nef – The People’s Purcell (2018)
Classical, Vocal | WEB FLAC (tracks) & d. booklet | 281 MB
Label: ATMA Classique | Tracks: 16 | Time: 60:44 min
The People’s Purcell reunites tenor Michael Slattery and La Nef to perform some of the most beautiful music by Henry Purcell (1659-1695).
Though grounded in the baroque tradition, the vast body of work by Purcell is fertile ground for musical explorations. The People’s Purcell invites listeners to hear this music in a new way.
Set with shruti box, archlute, cittern, flute, nyckelharpa, baroque violin, viola, cello, and viola da gamba, Purcell’s baroque songs take on a different flavour in these new arrangements by Michael Slattery, Grgoire Jeay, Sen Dagher, and Amanda Keesmaat.
As with their previous album, Dowland in Dublin (ACD2 2650), La Nef and Michael Slattery take inspired creative liberties with Purcell’s music. Over time, I have learned to hear the profundity in the subtleties as well as the sheer variety of Purcell’s musical language, each time with renewed pleasure. With this album, we invite listeners to discover Purcell in a light that we believe he would have appreciated, says Sylvain Bergeron, Artistic Director of La Nef.
Founded in 1991 in Montreal, La Nef creates, produces, and distributes concerts, multidisciplinary and multimedia shows, physical and digital albums, musical tales, and CD-books. Its wide-ranging repertoire includes ancient and early music, the music of oral traditions, world music, and experimental and contemporary approaches to musical creation.
Maurizio Zaccaria – Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos. 12, 15, 19, 20 & 27 (2018)
Classical, Piano | MP3 CBR 320 kbps | 01:11:38 | 167 MB
Ludwig van Beethoven composed his Piano Sonata No. 12 in A-flat major, Op. 26, in 18001801, around the same time as he completed his First Symphony. The structure of the sonata is unconventional in that the piece opens with a relatively slow movement in the format of theme and variations. The third movement incorporates a funeral march, clearly anticipating the watershed of the Eroica Symphony that Beethoven wrote in 18031804. This is the only movement from his sonatas that Beethoven arranged for orchestra, and was played during Beethoven’s own funeral procession in 1827.
While not as famous as its immediate predecessor, Piano Sonata No. 14, No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 was known as ‘Pastoral’ or ‘Pastorale’, and published in 1801. The sonata is in D major, and follows the typical four-movement form of the classical sonata. The Piano Sonata No. 19 in G minor, Op. 49, No. 1, and Piano Sonata No. 20 in G major, Op. 49, No. 2, are short sonatas, published in 1805 (although the works were actually composed a decade earlier in 1795-1796).
Piano Sonata No. 27 in E minor, Op. 90 was written in the summer of 1814 Beethoven’s late Middle period. Beethoven’s previous piano sonata, popularly known as ‘Les Adieux’, was composed almost five years prior to Op. 90. Beethoven’s autograph survives and is dated August 16. The sonata was published almost a year later, in June 1815. The piece consists of just two movements with performance instructions in German.
Matt Scullion – I’m Just A Song (2018)
Country | MP3 CBR 320 kbps | 00:44:57 | 109 MB
Label: Social Family Records
Matt Scullion is one of the most respected singer/songwriters to come out of Australia in recent years with a swag of hit songs to his credit. Matt’s sound is definitely his own, but his influences vary from The Eagles to Ryan Adams to Bruce Springsteen to Steve Earle with a little bit of James Taylor thrown in for good measure sounding like none of them, but channeling all of them. He has written with the best and had his songs recorded by the likes of Cold Chisel, Lee Kernaghan, Travis Collins, Sara Storer, Adam Harvey, The Viper Creek Band, Tania Kernaghan, Drew McAlister, Amber Lawrence, Troy Kemp, The Wolfe Brothers and Jayne Denham to name but a few, with 16 of those songs going to the number 1 position on the country music charts.
Matt has always been into music, even as a child he loved anything Elvis and just about wore out his mother’s Best of Kenny Rogers cassette.
Growing up in Milton on the NSW South Coast, Matt had the beach and mountains at his door step and made the most of his weekends swimming, playing football, riding dirt bikes and learning guitar. He joined his first band at age 16 after he heard a couple of guys down the road needed a rhythm guitar player and singer it was a perfect fit. Phantasy played everywhere, from friend’s birthday parties to market days to battle of the band competitions at the local club.
But the big smoke beckoned and the rest is history. From Newcastle to the Nullarbor, from Tamworth to the Tanami and from Dapto to Darwin, Matt’s clocked up many a memorable mile touring in overcrowded vans full of rowdy band mates, guitars and PA systems.
Nashville was always a high priority on the bucket list though and that’s where Matt really sharpened his songwriting tools and came into his own as an artist.
He’s spent over 15 years travelling back and forth from Music City and says the experience was priceless. He’s had the pleasure of writing with some of his biggest musical heroes like Ian Moss, Richard Clapton, Rick Price, Brian Cadd and Garth Porter to name a few and was just recently signed to a new record deal with Social Family Records.
It’s been 10 years since his last album Put It Down To Experience, which featured the hit songs Giddy Up’ and Hard Earned Money’ and earned him four Golden Guitar and two APRA Song of the Year nominations.
Matt’s new single Outta My Own Way’ is a tongue in cheek song about a guy who keeps tripping over himself and is just a little taste of things to come from his highly anticipated forthcoming album.
Markus Miesenberger & Neue Wiener Hofkapelle – Arias for Silvio Garghetti (2018)
Classical, Opera, Vocal | WEB FLAC (tracks) & d. booklet | 289 MB
Label: Pan Classics | Tracks: 15 | Time: 62:30 min
The arias presented on this new release by Austrian tenor Markus Miesenberger display a representative cross-section of operatic music performed at the Viennese Imperial court at the beginning of the 18th century. Silvio Garghetti was a member of the Viennese Imperial Court from 1702 until his death in 1729 and was involved in 28 different opera and oratorio productions at the Viennese Imperial Court. He was clearly the outstanding lyrical tenor of his time in Vienna and most likely also a star tenor in the modern sense of the word who appeared alongside the most famous male and female singers and castratos of the Baroque period. Composers employed at court including Francesco Conti, Johann Joseph Fux, Antonio Caldara, Giovanni and Antonio Bononcini and also Marc’ Antonio Ziani created imaginative and ornate arias for him to sing in a variety of operatic performances.
Mark Padmore & Kristian Bezuidenhout – Schubert: Winterreise (2018)
Classical, Vocal | WEB FLAC (tracks) & d. booklet | 220 MB
Label: harmonia mundi | Tracks: 24 | Time: 69:03 min
A journey into the Romantic self: It is clear from its genesis that Schubert did not have any strict dramatic action in mind in this song cycle. Unlike Die schne Mllerin, Winterreise tells no story; it is a journey into the interior, into ever-deeper realms of loneliness. As Peter Glke has put it: The only progress the wanderer makes is a progress in perception, the agonising discharge of his memories, constantly threatened by regressions. . . . Continually in search of confirmations of his condition, he observes with an all too alert, painfully keen sensibility, and like an egocentric melancholic refers everything to himself or selects objects so that they can serve as mirror images and corroborations.’ To that extent, the sequence of the songs is not of decisive importance, since each of the melancholies he experiences is the worst at the time’ (Glke again).
The testimony of his friends justifies us in relating this psychological profile of a melancholic character’ to Schubert himself. Nikolaus Harnoncourt once described the boundlessly subjective as the decisive factor in Schubert’s music. In Winterreise, the composer allowed his friends to look more deeply into his heart than ever before, which of course tended to repel sanguine characters like Schober. The ironic refraction and distance of the typical Viennese is here sublated (aufgehoben, in the Hegelian sense). Schubert’s friend Johann Mayrhofer immediately recognised this. For him, the cycle was a symptom of how much more serious the composer became. He had been long and seriously ill, he had gone through disheartening experiences, and life had been stripped of its rosy colour; winter had come for him. The poet’s irony, rooted in despair, had appealed to him; he expressed it in cutting tones.’ The winter and the journey of the title are therefore, in the sense of Romantic irony, to be understood as the winter of life and a journey deeper and deeper into unhappiness, experienced by none other than the composer himself. Hence his feelings are isolated from his environment; they do not expect understanding on the part of his friends. The world of the melancholic is self-centred and hermetic.
Llus Coll i Trulls, Floris de Rycker & Graindelavoix – Portrait of the Artist as a Starved Dog (2018)
Classical, Vocal | WEB FLAC (tracks) & d. booklet | 374 MB
Label: Glossa | Tracks: 17 | Time: 75:12 min
The sixteenth-century madrigalist Cipriano de Rore perhaps remains something of a mystery figure in modern times, awaiting penetrating simplification and clarification. Rather than simplification, a new recording of selections from his expressive output from Bjrn Schmelzer and Graindelavoix, entitled Portrait of the artits as a starved dog, is more likely to yield illumination and fascination. That is Schmelzer’s way.
As with many Graindelavoix recordings on Glossa, the accompanying artwork in the CD booklet forms an integral part of the convincing performance (as does Schmelzer’s essay). Here, the imagery includes images by Albrecht Drer and Hans Mielich, statues of Melpomene and Medusa, sculptures by Michelangelo, even a sardonyx cameo cup. A portrait of De Rore shows the inner likeness of the composer as being possessed of a manic madness or furor divinus and having the guise of an emaciated dog.
De Rore was born in Ronse not that far from Schmelzer’s Antwerp and, as well as probably being under the protection of Margaret of Parma, he travelled through Europe in the first half of the sixteenth century, notably to Ferrara. Regarded as a pivotal figure in the evolution of the madrigal, De Rore’s style developed significantly across his career and Graindelavoix’s programme gravitates from some of his settings of stanze from Ariosto’s epic poem Orlando furioso through to some of his later, much more radical madrigals. Also found on this recording is De Rore’s multi-voiced setting of Dido’s lament from Virgil’s Aeneid.