Following his acclaimed recordings of George Gershwin for ABC Classics, the brilliant pianist Simon Tedeschi returns with an inspiring disc of music by contemporary Australian composers.
Renowned as a pianist of rare insight and virtuosity, Tedeschi is at home in all kinds of repertoire – from the great Romantic masterpieces to jazz improvisation. His versatility is well suited to the music on this recording, which defies definition and is by turns intricate and grand, thrillingly disorienting and gloriously melodic.
The recording opens with Mark Isaacs’ seductive and sumptuous Barcarolle, recalling the beauty and elegance of Chopin; it closes with Kevin Hunt’s A Natural Sequence, a rich blend of musical influences ranging from Keith Jarrett to Ravel, Messiaen and the blues. Between, four Australian composers showcase a vibrant palette of musical colours and styles.
“The composers that are featured on this album have been hand-picked by me for a reason,” says Tedeschi. “In my mind, they are at the zenith of composition in Australia. You’ll notice that they’re all jazzers – this is no accident. Maybe at one point, classical music was ahead of the curve conceptually – Prokofiev thought up chords that Herbie Hancock would rediscover fifty years later. But here in Australia it can also be argued that the opposite is true. Jazz, an art music for many decades, has produced some of our country’s finest musical auteurs.”