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French Cello Sonatas: Chopin • Farrenc • Saint-Saëns (David Berlin & Benjamin Martin)

The cello’s rich, singing tones are a perfect match for the passionate eloquence of the Romantic era. In the masterful hands of David Berlin, Principal Cellist of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, partnered by internationally acclaimed pianist Benjamin Martin, the cello reveals its sublime range of colours and timbres.

This intimate album presents radiant music for cello and piano from three masters of the French Romantic: the lyrical beauty of Chopin, the elemental power of Saint-Saëns, and serene elegance from Louise Farrenc.

Frédéric Chopinis best known for his piano music, but his poetic genius also drew him inexorably to the cello – the only other instrument to which he gave pride of place as a chamber soloist, with three major works for cello and piano. Chief among these is his Cello Sonata in G minor, an intense emotional journey that ranges from poignant melancholy to dancing elation and hope, via a dream-like nocturne of exquisite calm.

Louise Farrencwas a leading light in the musical landscape of 19th-century France. Celebrated during her lifetime as a composer, pianist and teacher – the only woman professor at the Paris Conservatoire, who insisted on and finally gained equal pay with her male colleagues – her music is now being rediscovered by new generations of music lovers. Her Cello Sonata blends Classical refinement and subtlety with striking harmonic textures and sparkling virtuosity.

The almost ferocious energy of Saint-Saëns’ First Cello Sonata has more than a hint of Beethoven in the drama and declamatory power of its opening movement, but the clouds give way to pure sunshine for the middle movement – an Andante with a true spring in its step – before the tempestuous finale.

The album closes with one of the best-loved cello melodies of all time: The Swan, from Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals. The cello’s lyrical line, gliding gracefully over the rippling harmonies of the piano, is the essence of tranquillity.

For 35 years, David Berlin has been at the forefront of music performance in Australia, as Principal Cello of both the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (1985–88) and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (since 1989), and as guest Principal Cello with the Sydney and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Australian World Orchestra. His chamber music partners have included Kolja Blacher, James Ehnes, Nigel Kennedy, Sarah Chang, Ian Bostridge, Garrick Ohlsson, Emanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman, and he gave the world premiere performance of Liszt’s complete cycle of works for cello and piano with Leslie Howard, in London in 1992.

Award-winning pianist Benjamin Martin has appeared regularly with the Australian Chamber Orchestra as well as partnering with such luminaries as Joshua Bell, Alina Ibragimova, Pekka Kuusisto and Hartmut Lindemann. He is a performer of exceptional intensity and subtlety of expression – ‘the consummate artist’, according to The Age – and also a highly regarded composer whose music has been performed around Australia and in the US.

TRACKLISTING

FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN 1810–1849

Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 65                                         [31’19]

1 I. Allegro moderato                                                           16’19

2 II. Scherzo                                                                           5’08

3 III. Largo                                                                             3’35

4 IV. Finale: Allegro                                                                6’17

LOUISE FARRENC 1804–1875

Cello Sonata in B-flat major, Op. 46                                   [23’02]

5 I. Allegro moderato                                                             9’15

6 II. Andante sostenuto                                                          5’32

7 III. Finale: Allegro                                                                8’15

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS 1835–1921

Cello Sonata No. 1 in C minor, Op. 32                                 [20’10]

8 I. Allegro                                                                             8’42

9 II. Andante tranquillo sostenuto                                           5’25

10 III. Allegro moderato                                                         6’03

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS

11 The Swan                                                                         2’43

Total Playing Time                                                                77’26

David Berlin cello

Benjamin Martin piano

Release
       “250 years ago, Ludwig van Beethoven, the Grand Mogul from Bonn (as Haydn cheekily referred to him) was born. The German composer, whose own extraordinary story famously includes suffering from profound deafness from his late 20s, would become regarded as the great musical liberator, forging the course of the Romantic movement and beyond.” Richard TognettiIn 2020 the Australian Chamber Orchestra will celebrate two monumental anniversaries: 30 years of fearless leadership with ACO Artistic Director Richard Tognetti and 250 years since the birth of the great Ludwig van Beethoven.To celebrate both milestones, ABC Classic is releasing a collection of the ACO’s legendary Beethoven recordings – including never-before released recordings of two of his greatest works: Symphonies 5 and 6.These recordings represent some of the orchestra’s finest performances, including two #1 albums and three ARIA Award-nominees, and feature collaborations with some of Australia’s finest artists – soprano Nicole Car, and pianistsTamara Anna Cislowska andErin Helyard.Beethoven has endured for centuries as one of the most popular and beloved composers around the world, with his music found everywhere from concert halls, to film soundtracks, to disco-era chart-toppers. He was a true musical revolutionary and is credited with paving the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras. His music has always been a mainstay of the ACO’s core repertoire, but this marks the first time that they have recorded these two monumental symphonies.Since its establishment in November 1975, the Australian Chamber Orchestra has become one of the world’s most daring and exciting ensembles, renowned globally for its inspired programming, unrivalled virtuosity, energy and individuality, showcased through an extensive and ongoing program of international touring and recordings for many of the world’s top labels.★★★★★“The Australian Chamber Orchestra was splendid in its all-Beethoven concert… [achieving] revealing clarity that gleamed like the colours of an old master newly restored.” – Sydney Morning Herald“[Beethoven’s] Fifth is always a crowdpleaser, and the ACO made it exceptionally so. This was the stuff of dreams.” – LimelightTRACKLISTING  CD1Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 *1   I.   Allegro con brio2   II.  Andante con moto3   III.Allegro –4   IV.AllegroSymphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 ‘Pastoral’ *5   I.   Awakening of cheerful feelings on arrival in the countryside6   II.  Scene by the brook7   III.Merry gathering of country folk –8   IV.Thunder, Storm –9   V.  Shepherd’s song. Cheerful and thankful feelings after the stormCD2String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 130, with Grosse Fuge, Op. 133 (arr. for string orchestra by Richard Tognetti)1   I.   Adagio ma non troppo – Allegro2   II.  Presto3   III.Poco scherzoso4   IV.Alla Danza tedesca5   V.  Cavatina6   VI.Grosse Fuge7   Romance for Violin and Orchestra in F major, Op. 50      Satu Vänskä– violin8   Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73 ‘Emperor’: II. Adagio un poco mosso     Tamara-Anna Cislowska– piano9   Ah! perfido ... Per pietà, non dirmi addio, Op. 65     Nicole Car – sopranoCD3Sonata for Violin and Piano in G major, Op. 30, No. 3 1   I.   Allegro assai2   II.  Tempo di Minuetto, ma molto moderato e grazioso3   III.Allegro vivaceSonata for Violin and Piano in A major, Op. 47 ‘Kreutzer’ 4   Ia.Adagio sostenuto –5   Ib.Presto6   II.  Andante con Variazioni7   III.Presto     Richard Tognetti – violin     Erin Helyard– fortepiano8   Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61: I. Allegro ma non troppo     Richard Tognetti– violin* Never previously released
Release
The Huntington Estate Music Festival is one of the brightest stars in Australia’s musical firmament. For three decades, it has been bringing together top-flight musicians from around the country and around the world to present a breathtaking array of chamber music masterpieces, both iconic favourites and delicious new discoveries. Presented by the Huntington Estate Winery in association with Musica Viva Australia, and held in the winery’s Barrel Room, one of the most remarkable and surprising music venues in the world, the Festival is a delight to audiences and musicians alike.After 30 stellar years of exceptional music-making, however, the 2019 Festival will be the last, with Huntington Estate owners Tim and Nicky Stevens reluctantly deciding that their grapes – and their young family – must come first. To mark this significant occasion, ABC Classic is proud to delve into its broadcast archives to present this selection of some of the Festival’s most memorable performances across a typically diverse and intriguing range of repertoire: from Schubert and Dvořák to Bach’s astonishing eldest son Wilhelm Friedemann and Australian composers Ross Edwards and Ian Munro.It was Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra who began the Festival and established it as a serious contender on the world stage – and the hottest concert tickets in the country! This album includes superb three recordings from those early years: music of Mendelssohn, Brahms and Percy Grainger.In 2006, the ACO passed the baton to Musica Viva and Artistic Director Carl Vine, opening up the Festival’s artist roster to an extraordinary range of musicians, both local and international. From among the literally hundreds of thrilling performances, this album features New York-based Australian pianist Andrea Lam, Russian-Armenian clarinettist Narek Arutyunian, the rich bass-baritone of Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Vienna’s acclaimed Eggner Trio, along with regular Festival guests the Goldner String Quartet and the rising stars of the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) Chamber Orchestra.…/2The CD of this compilation is available exclusively at the Festival itself, but for all those who can’t make the trip to Mudgee, ABC Classic is releasing the full album as a digital album, for download and streaming, so that audiences all around the world can share in the celebration. TRACKLISTING  1     MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 3 ‘Scottish’: II. Vivace non troppo2     BRAHMS arr. ANGERER Chorale Prelude ‘O Gott, du frommer Gott’3     GRAINGER Blithe Bells       Australian Chamber Orchestra, Richard Tognetti director (2002 / 2004)        SCHUBERT4     An die Musik (To Music)5     Erlkönig (The Erl-King)6     Die Forelle (The Trout)7     Die Taubenpost (Pigeon Post) from Schwanengesang       Teddy Tahu Rhodes bass-baritone, Kristian Chong piano (2007)        WF BACH Sinfonia in F major ‘Dissonant’8     I. Vivace9     II. Andante10   III. Vivace11   IV. Menuetto I & II       ANAM Chamber Orchestra, Paul Wright violin / conductor (2010)      12   ROSS EDWARDS String Quartet No. 2 ‘Shekina Fantasy’:       I. Allegro moderato       Goldner String Quartet (2010)        MENDELSSOHN13   Song without Words Op. 67 No. 2 – Allegro leggiero14   Song without Words Op. 85 No. 4 – Andante sostenuto       Andrea Lam piano (2012) 15   WEBER Clarinet Quintet in B-flat major: II. Fantasia       Narek Arutyunian clarinet, Australian String Quartet (2012)        MUNRO Piano Trio No. 2 ‘Book of Lullabies’ – Excerpts16   II. Lullaby in Edo17   III. Kun Mun Kultani Tulisi18   IV. Skye Boat Song       Dimity Hall violin, Julian Smiles cello, Ian Munro piano (2013) 19   DVOŘÁK Piano Trio No. 1: II. Adagio molto e mesto       Eggner Trio (2015)