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Jayson Gillham

Romantic Bach: From Intimate to Epic

Australian piano virtuoso Jayson Gillham presents his fourth album on ABC Classics,
devoted to the keyboard works of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Featuring 11 of Bach’s compositions transcribed and arranged, from Rachmaninoff’s arrangement of the Violin Partita in E major into a pianistic showpiece, to Myra Hess’s sublime ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring’, Jayson Gillham’s latest release is a love letter to Bach from a who’s who of the great pianists and pianist-composers – Rachmaninoff, Percy Grainger, Hess, Busoni, Siloti and Petri.

“The thing about Bach,” says Jayson, “is that it works so well on whatever instrument combination you put it on. It’s something to do with the way Bach thinks, and the way he writes the music – the content is more important than the timbre of the instrument that it’s played on. And so it’s really effective on all instruments – particularly the piano.”

Born 333 years ago in Germany, Bach remains arguably the most important musician in the Western musical tradition. Nowhere does his outsized brilliance shine through more brightly than in his keyboard works, and the influence that they have had on centuries of composers and musicians. This celebrated repertoire allows the full extent of Jayson’s artistry to shine through, revealing the profound depth of his musicality, and a mind constantly interrogating his performance, his instrument, and the music.

Born and brought up in rural Queensland, Jayson Gillham travelled for hours to piano lessons in Brisbane, before shooting to fame in a number of prestigious international competitions. He is now recognised as one of the finest pianists of his generation, performing across the globe with the world’s most prestigious orchestras, venues and festivals. 

ABC Classics signed Jayson for a three-album deal, and his debut record, an all-solo offering surveying music by Bach, Schubert and Chopin, reached No. 1 in the ARIA Charts on release.  Soon afterwards the great pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy, conducting the Sydney Symphony, chose to make his first-ever recording of a Beethoven concerto with Jayson Gillham at the keyboard. Jayson’s Medtner and Rachmaninoff album, recorded in 2017 with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Benjamin Northey, received unanimous praise and was Recording of the Month in Limelight magazine.

TRACKLISTING

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH

  1. Fugue in E major, BWV878
           from The Well-Tempered Clavier, arr. Percy Grainger

       Suite from Violin Partita in E major, BWV1006
       arr. Sergei Rachmaninoff

  1. I. Prelude
  2. II. Gavotte
  3. III. Gigue

       Fantasia and Fugue in A minor, BWV904

  1. I. Fantasia
  2. II. Fugue
  3. Sheep May Safely Graze
           from Cantata BWV208, arr. Egon Petri

       Capriccio on the Departure
       of his Beloved Brother, BWV992

  1. I. Arioso: Adagio
  2. II. [Andante]
  3. III. Adagiosissimo
  4. IV. [Andante con moto]
  5. V. Aria del Postiglione: Allegro poco
  6. VI. Fuga all’imitatione della posta
  7. Sicilianofrom Flute Sonata No. 2
           in E-flat major, BWV1031, arr. Wilhelm Kempff
  8. Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
           from Cantata BWV147,arr. Myra Hess
  9. Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g’mein, BWV734a
           arr. Ferruccio Busoni
  10. Chaconne from Violin Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV1004
           arr. Ferruccio Busoni
  11. Organ Prelude in E minor, BWV555
           arr. Alexander Siloti

PERCY GRAINGER 1882–1961

  1. Blithe Bells: A free ramble on JS Bach’s
           ‘Sheep May Safely Graze’
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)