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A 10-CD collection of Elena Kats-Chernin recordings is released by ABC Classics to celebrate the composer's 60th birthday last year.

ABC Classics has released a bumper 10-CD box set of recordings of music by Elena Kats-Chernin to celebrate the composer's 60th birthday last year (ABC 481 6430). Drawing upon two decades of recordings, the collection includes many of the composer's most popular earlier CDs plus first recordings of many of her recent works. Performers include the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Australian World Orchestra, together with soloists such as pianists Tamara-Anna Cislowska, Ian Munro and the composer herself and percussionist Claire Edwardes.

Kats-Chernin is one of the most cosmopolitan composers working today, with a prolific catalogue of works for theatre, ballet, orchestra, chamber ensemble and piano. Her dramatically vivid, brilliantly scored and often propulsive music communicates a mixture of lightheartedness and lingering melancholy, combining strong rhythmic figures with elements of cabaret, tango, ragtime and klezmer.

"Vibrant and seductive"
– The Guardian

– Berliner Morgenpost

"Kats-Chernin’s characteristic imaginative space might be likened to an old dance, heard in a surreal dream, interrupted by outbursts of outrageousness."
– Sydney Morning Herald

The ABC collection spans a quarter century of Kats-Chernin's creative life, from her 1993 work for ensemble and tape, Clocks, written for Ensemble Modern in Germany, through her Wild Swans Suite containing her iconic Eliza Aria (familiar in the UK thanks to the long-running Lloyds TSB advertising campaign "For the journey…"), to ABC's popular recent albums Butterflying and Unsent Love Letters in which the composer joins in a piano duet with Tamara-Anna Cislowska to explore the music of Satie.

Ten Kats-Chernin works receive their first recordings within the collection. Two recent commissions, heard for the first time on disc, are The Witching Hour for eight double basses and orchestra written for the Australian World Orchestra, and the concert opener Big Rhap composed as part of Kats-Chernin's residency last year with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Her percussion concerto Golden Kitsch, blending Viennese waltz, gold-leaf Klimt references and a prominent part for toy piano, also receives its premiere recording.

Kats-Chernin's children's opera Snow White and the 77 Dwarves has returned to the Komische Oper in Berlin for a second run, and her new work Orfeo for mandolin and string quartet is currently touring Australia with Avi Avital and the Giocoso Strinq Quartet.

>  Further information on Work: The Witching Hour

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