MP3 Various Artists - Bradgate Park
15 works by 5 Australian composers present works in a wide range of instrumentation and styles. They include symphonic, solo piano to solo mandolin and duos for piano, variously with mandolin, cello or flute.
15 MP3 Songs
CLASSICAL: Orchestral, CLASSICAL: Contemporary
BRADGATE PARK– JADCD 1109
Works by: Eric Gross, Ray Lemond, Derek Strahan, Robert Allworth, Ann Carr-Boyd. DURATION: 61’09’
15 works by 5 Australian composers present works in wide range of instrumentation and styles, and including symphonic, solo piano. solo mandolin and duos for piano, variously, with mandolin, cello or flute. Moods range from pieces inspired by literature, mythology, natural scenery and romance. The colorful cover picture is from a collection of photos taken by Derek Strahan during a visit to Central Australia in the Northern Territory. It shows scenery near Uluru as a background to a photo of pianist Katarina Kroslakova, whose work features on this CD. (Photos from the same collection feature on the covers of two other Jade CDs “Séance on a Wet Afternoon” JADCD 1107 and “Winter Solstice” JADCD 1108, both available at CD Baby, and on which more music of Australia composers can be heard.)
The title track ‘BRADGATE PARK’ was written by Robert Allworth in 2006 at the request of Derek Ward in memory of his mother Susie Bradgate-Ward. Bradgate Park is located in London and was well known at the turn of the 20th century. Performance is by Katarina Kroslakova, who also plays 3 more solo piano works composed in 2006, on Tracks 2 to 4: the devotional ‘MEDITATIONS OF ST. CATHERINE LABOURE’ (2006), and two rhapsodic pieces, ‘RHAPSODY IN GREEN’ and ‘NOCTURNE FOR JANE AND BRUCE’, the latter written for two friends of the composer, and patrons of the arts, Jane Braun and Dr, Bruce Courtenay.
Katarina Kroslakova joins mandolinist Michael Hopper for the 1st and 3rd movements of Allworth’s ‘HOMAGE TO AYN RAND’ (1993), ‘ANTHEM’ and ‘THE FOUNTAINHEAD’ (Tracks 5 & 6). The 2nd movement, ‘ATLAS SHRUGGED’ is given by Betty Beath, piano and Gary Williams, cello. Each piece is named after a work by novelist Ayn Rand.
Allworth’s elegiac “LENGTHENING SHADOWS’ (Track 8) is played by pianist Ray Lemond. who also contributes two of his own romantic piano solos on Tracks 14 & 15, ‘THE MIDNIGHT HOUR’, which recalls Ray’s evenings as pianist at the Savoy Hotel in London’s West End, and ‘ROMANCE’, intended for inclusion in a London production of a music drama based on Oscar Wilde’s :The Picture of Dorian Gray”.
Eric Gross contributes two tuneful works (Tracks 9 & 10).
On Track 9, the delightful “PRELUDE TO PARADISE” (1977-2005) is a touching musical portrait of the composer’s niece who died at an early age in Pittsburgh, USA. It is written in the form of a melodically graceful Prelude. The work is heard on this CD as orchestrated by the composer, and played by the St. Andrews Cathedral Orchestra, directed by Michael Deasey.
(This work can also be heard on 2 other Jade CDs available at CD Baby: on “Prelude to Paradise” JADCD 1105 in its original form as an organ prelude performed by the late Lawrence Bartlett, also a composer, whose own work is featured on many other Jade CDs, all available at CD Baby; and as a solo piano piece on Jade CD “Séance on a wet Afternoon” JADCD 1107 performed by Ray Lemond.)
Also from Gross on Track 10, is “AN IDYLL FOR IDIL”, a piece written for Turkish pianist Idil Ugur who has given many live performances of works by the composer, and performed by distinguished Australian pianist Sally Mays
On Track 11 is Gross’s ‘CADENZA VI’ for solo mandolin, a virtuosic piece played by Michael Hooper.
Derek Strahan’s “FUGUE ON A THEME FOR THE CROSS OF ATLANTIS” for Flute & Piano (1992), on Track 12 is performed by Belinda Gough, flute and Josephine Allan, piano. This fugue is from Atlantis for flute & piano, one of several works written to develop material for inclusion in a proposed cycle of 4 operas suggested by Plato’s account of the rise and fall of Atlantis. The very ancient symbol known as the Cross of Atlantis recurs in prehistoric stone circles and on sacrificial altars. It is thought to represent the plan of the city of Atlantis as described by Plato, who also wrote that the city harbours “were full of vessels and merchants coming from all parts, who kept up a multitudinous sound of human voices and din of all sorts night and day”. The fugue seeks to depict this scene.
Other Strahan “Atlantis” works on Jade CDs: “Atlantis Variations Pt.2 for solo piano on “An Australian Festival” (JADCD 1095); “Atlantis Variations Pt.3 for solo piano on “Autumn Rhapsody” (JADCD 1096); “Eden In Atlantis” for soprano, flute & piano on JADCD 1074 and the complete “Atlantis for flute & piano” on “Voodoo Fire” (JADCD 1063), all available at CD Baby
On Track 22 is Ann Carr-Boyd’s THE HARP IN THE HIGHLANDS (2004)
This was composed at the request of John Martin and is here performed by him on the fabulous Australian Stuart & Sons grand piano. The Harp of the title, located at Sutton Forest in new South Wales, Australia, is an historic inn built in 1834 to service travellers on The Great South Road to the town of Goulburn. The composer says ‘My friend Marlene Bell has lovingly restored this building and opened it as a Bed & Breakfast so that once again it is a refuge for the traveller, and bears its original name of The Harp.''
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