Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks; Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Graham Abbott – ABC Classics 476 4300

Handel’s instrumental writing shows no less ability than his writing for the voice. And whilst he was extremely popular, not only with the public, but also the King for his operatic output, two large scale orchestral works stand out. Written at either end of his career, the Royal Fireworks Suite and the Water Music Suites … Read more

Beethoven: Diabelli Variations Gerard Willems (Piano) ABC Classics 476 4113

To mark the 10th anniversary of completing his ARIA award-winning CD set of Beethoven piano sonatas, Gerard Willems has now recorded the Diabelli Variations, one of the most important pieces in the piano repertory. Willems is the first artist to ever record this extraordinary hour-long work in Australia. This landmark disc marks the finale of … Read more

Male Voices: Stories of Boys Learning Through Making Music; Scott D Harrison (ed); ACER Press, 2009

Finally, a book has culminated as a synthesis of his work and that of 12 others, all of whom arel working in similar spheres. The co-contributors represent some of the finest music educators working with boys, such as Clare Hall, Anne Lierse, Paul Holley and Robert Smith. It is one of the most important additions … Read more

Don Bradman: The Music He Loved. ABC 532 2945

He was our greatest cricketer, known by all Australians, but few realised that Sir Donald Bradman (1908-2001) was also a keen musician. In a world first, ABC Classics have joined forces with the Bradman family to release a 2 CD set of tracks drawn largely from the great icon’s private collection and sheet music. In … Read more

Dame Nellie Melba: The First Recordings ABC 476 3556

Melba (1861-1931) was Australia’s first international superstar of opera, her voice and charisma captivating audiences, royalty and the finest composers of the age. She had studied scores personally with Saint-Saens, Gounod, Massenet, Delibes, Verdi and Puccini. Although earlier recordings (1890’s) had been made previous to this set of 1904, Melba hated the result and had … Read more

Opera’s Greatest Choruses Opera Queensland Chorus, The Queensland Orchestra, Johannes Fritzsch (conductor) ABC 476 3489

Whilst opera in this country seems to be centred in Sydney, it is pleasing to see other professional companies recognised, such as Opera Queensland. Having enjoyed many productions by this company in Brisbane, I know that its chorus has strength of musical endeavour and supports the action on stage in striking fashion. Led by James … Read more

Music of Betty Beath, Wirr 024

This is a compilation of some of the finest work by the Brisbane based composer, Betty Beath featuring superb performers such as sopranos Margaret Schindler, Susan Lorette Dunn and Janet Delpratt, violist Patricia Pollett, pianists Colin Spiers and the composer, along with the Camerata of St John’s (directed by Brendan Joyce), the Queensland Symphony Orchestra … Read more

SIPCA – 2008 Sydney International Piano Competition Australia – Chamber Music and Concerto Highlights, Vol 2 ABC 476 6960

From its inception in 1977, the Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia (like the Sydney Opera House, venue for its finale) has placed Australia in the eyes of the world as one of the top ranking destinations for competitions of this kind. It is the musical equivalent of the Olympics, bringing the best pianists from … Read more