Unsent Love Letters – Meditations on Erik Satie

no.1 on the ARIA Classical Charts and iTunes no.1

After the death of Erik Satie, dozens of unsent love letters were found in his Paris apartment. Now composer Elena Kats-Chernin and pianist Tamara-Anna Cislowska send those letters off, in 26 meditative and passionate piano miniatures inspired by Satie’s extraordinary life and music.

The album is a musical memoir from one composer to another, from the Uzbekistan-born Australian to the French composer whose eccentricities are legendary and music timeless. “Satie’s life was a fascinating, fervoursome affair,” says pianist Tamara-Anna Cislowska, “from the first strike of love and then lifelong estrangement with artist and muse Suzanne Valadon, to the unexpected celebrity and conflict of his last ten years. After he died, friends gaining access to his apartment, for the first time in almost three decades, found conditions both perplexing and romantically fastidious in their own way: two grand pianos one atop the other, one chair, one table, seven velvet suits and the love letters – many, many unsent love letters.”

The album reflects on idiosyncrasies and anecdotes from Satie’s life, with music that ranges from seductive orientalism to hypnotic melodies reminiscent of the ground-breaking, transcendent beauty of Satie’s own piano pieces: ‘imaginary building’ reflects on his sketches of imaginary buildings (which he even advertised in the newspaper for rent and purchase); ‘very shiny’, one of his characteristically opaque performance directions; ‘postcard to a critic’, after Satie’s explosive response to a negative review but here imagined as a smile through gritted teeth… The bewitching rhythms and rhapsodic harmonic style that have brought Kats-Chernin a reputation as one of the best-loved composers of her generation, provide the perfect lens through which to reflect on this musical icon of the previous century.

This world-premiere recording was made in the presence of the composer, with Kats-Chernin’s own choice of pianist and creative collaborator, the ARIA-Award-winning Tamara-Anna Cislowska, who has been described as “Australian piano gold” by BBC Music Magazine and praised for her “profoundly affecting” musicianship by Gramophone.

Add To Cart
Butterflying – Piano Music by Elena Kats-Chernin

no.1 on the ARIA Classical Charts

Performed by ARIA-Award winner Tamara-Anna Cislowska and the composer herself, Butterflying is the first major survey of the piano music of Elena Kats-Chernin.

Ever since her childhood in Uzbekistan, the piano has been – in her own words – Kats-Chernin’s ‘best friend’. At the age of six she wrote her first piano piece, Lullaby, which she later revised for her youngest son and is presented on this album as Lullaby for Nick. From this work to pieces written in 2015, Butterflying presents the full range of Kats-Chernin’s extraordinary compositional palette: irresistibly lyrical works such as Waltz of Things Past and Butterflying (originally composed for the opening ceremony of the 2003 Rugby World Cup), rags and waltzes, and iconic works such as Eliza Aria and Slicked Back Tango. The album features 14 world premiere recordings.
Many of the pieces are performed solo by Tamara-Anna Cislowska. Others are presented in versions for piano four hands, with Elena joining Tamara-Anna to resume their long-standing friendship and collaboration in performances which are half-composed, half-improvised.

Born and raised in Uzbekistan and now a resident of Australia, Elena Kats-Chernin is one of the world’s best-loved and most prolific composers. Her music featured at the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and the 2003 Rugby World Cup, whilst her Eliza Aria became known to a generation of Britons when it was featured in the Lloyds TSB ‘For the Journey’ ad campaign. In 2015 her widely-praised opera The Divorce was premiered on ABC TV.

Tamara-Anna Cislowska is one of Australia’s most acclaimed pianists, and in 2015 won the ARIA Award for Best Classical Album for her survey of the solo piano music of Peter Sculthorpe – an album which also won Editor’s Choice in BBC Music Magazine and was described as ‘a profoundly affecting release’ by Gramophone magazine..

Add To Cart
Peter Sculthorpe: Complete Works for Solo Piano (ABC Classics)

*2015 ARIA award for 'Best Classical Album'

*Editor's Choice in Limelight Magazine: "evocatively played... a real highlight" (5 stars)

*'Recording of the Month' in BBC Music Magazine: - "Australian piano gold... transfixing" (5 stars)

*Gramophone: "a profoundly affecting release"

ABC Classics is delighted to unveil a deeply important new recording: the complete solo piano music of Australia’s most revered composer, Peter Sculthorpe.

Peter Sculthorpe is widely acknowledged as the first Australian composer to leave behind the traditions of Britain and Europe, and create a distinctively Australian music. His unique compositional voice is inspired by the land and the history of Australia, and by the cultures of our Pacific Basin neighbours. 

His solo piano music is prized for its rich elegance and beguiling simplicity, from the mesmerising beauty of Djilile, based on an Indigenous Arnhem Land melody, to the gentle nostalgia of Left Bank Waltz. This double-CD album begins with the exquisite Falling Leaves, written when Sculthorpe was just 16, and concludes with the vivid and ambitious Riverina, his most recent work for solo piano. With the tracklist compiled in collaboration with the composer, who celebrated his 85th birthday this year, the recording includes every published piece as well as previously unpublished, unrecorded and even unperformed works. 

In addition to more famous pieces, there is a range of charming miniatures and a pair of works for prepared piano (Koto Music I and II), all of which confirm Sculthorpe’s reputation as a composer of international repute whose music speaks to the heart of the Australian experience. 

Tamara-Anna Cislowska, one of Australia’s foremost classical pianists and a close associate of Sculthorpe since performing his piano concerto with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra at the age of 14, (and later recording it with both the Sydney, and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras) is the composer’s own choice for this recording. The album, recorded in June 2014, is engineered and produced by the ARIA Award-winning Virginia Read. 

[Price includes postage]

Add To Cart
Close Your Eyes And I'll Close Mine

* Nominated for a 2014 AIR Independent Music Award.

* Limelight Magazine: "A magical release."

Lullabies (or berceuses) have have been around as long as humans have been singing their children to sleep. This CD of 'night music' presents a unique collection of (mostly) modern lullabies, many written for this project. Works by Australian composers David Chisholm, Brett Dean, Andrew Ford , Elena Kats-Chernin, Graeme Koehne and Kate Moore sit alongside new works by Korean composer Seung-Ah Oh, Dutch composer Peter Andriaansz and the late American composer, Robert Ashley. Works by Ravel, Sibelius, Enescu, Szymanowski and Stravinsky complete the collection, integrating the old with the new in this genre.

[Price includes postage]

Add To Cart