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Matt Withers & Acacia Quartet - Imaginations

Matt Withers guitar | Acacia Quartet

ABC Classic is proud to announce the release of Imaginations, an album of Australian compositions for guitar and string quartet – including eight world premiere recordings – performed by Matt Withers and Acacia Quartet.

Imaginations features the winning works of the 2018 Matt Withers Australian Music Composition Competition – Wade Gregory’s Water Music, Rick Alexander’s Storming and Nava Ryan’s Solitude – coupled with new commissions and pre-existing favourites for the ensemble combination.

Established works by Richard Charlton, Nick Wales and the late Phillip Houghton are featured alongside premiere recordings of Robert Davidson’s solo guitar work Forest, Gordon Kerry’s String Quartet No. 5 and Moya Henderson’s Kudikynah Cave.

The competition called upon composers to submit an original composition inspired by the visual artwork of Queensland based artist, Sue Needham. As with Needham’s artwork, the works featured on Imaginations are rich in sonic colour and texture, conjuring visions of striking natural landscapes and seascapes.

“Matt is an inspiration in his artistry and in his boundless enthusiasm for new Australian works, and he has exceptional collaborators in the brilliant Acacia Quartet”, says ABC Classic Label Manager Hugh Robertson. “Imaginationsis an album rich in colour and movement, and gives audiences their first opportunity to hear recordings of a number of exciting new pieces.”

Matt Withers is an ambassador for Australian music, a well-established classical guitar pedagogue, performer and role model for musicians across the country. His career to date has seen him perform with highly esteemed artists of the likes of William Barton, Sally Whitwell, many national orchestras as well as maintaining strong commitments in the leading Australian chamber music group Guitar Trek alongside Timothy Kain.

In just eight years of existence, Acacia Quartet have won great respect for their versatile and inventive programs. They have recorded six albums, with ‘Blue Silence’ earning a nomination for an APRA-AMCOS Art Music ‘Award for Excellence’.

TRACKLISTING

RICHARD CHARLTON
Shorelines*
1   I. Dark Horizon
2   II. The Lonely Shore
3   III. Storm Dance

WADE GREGORY
Water Music*
4   I. Clouds
5   II. River
6   III. Ocean

Matt Withers & Acacia Quartet

ROBERT DAVIDSON
7   Forest*

Matt Withers

MOYA HENDERSON
8   Kudikynah Cave*

NICK WALES
9   Harbour Light

Acacia Quartet

NAVA RYAN
10    Solitude*

ROBERT DAVIDSON
11    Landscape*

PHILLIP HOUGHTON
In Amber
12    I. Dance
13    II. Dream
14    III. Initiation

Matt Withers & Acacia Quartet

GORDON KERRY
String Quartet No. 5*
15    I. Bright Summer
16    II. Seascape
17    III. Scherzo
18    IV. Fantasia on ‘Hyfrydol’

Acacia Quartet

RICK ALEXANDER
19    Storming*

Matt Withers & Acacia Quartet

*World Premiere Recordings

Matt Withers guitar

Acacia Quartet
Lisa Stewart violin
Myee Clohessy violin
Stefan Duwe viola
Anna Martin-Scrase cello

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)