Piano Quartets 1&2
...compelling and unique. ...I have seldom had such pleasure as in listening to these new works. ...This is a must listen to CD!
(Geoff Pearce, Classical Music Daily)
...What is astonishing is how natural and perfectly proportioned the two quartets are. Nothing sounds forced or hard-working, the construction is well proportioned, the themes are characteristic and testify to a wonderful ingenuity.
...There are strong moods here, which are deeply explored by the excellent Australia Piano Quartet.
(5 out of 5: Frank Remy, Pizzicato)
... that lovely, rich lyricism which made such an impression in the First Quartet still blossoms in the second, and now all the more poignantly because it often represents a greater release of tension, after some slightly more dissonant passages.
Unlike the First Quartet, the Second is conceived in two parts, each introduced by the same elegiac theme played by a solo string instrument. The second part opens by looking back to the world of modality and medieval organum, after which a number of contrasting sections follow, including one especially-frenetic passage of irresistible power and drive. On first listening it’s likely that the First Quartet will make the greater impression. But the more familiar you become with the Second, you will surely come to realise how much technical progress Anderson has made as a composer, and allow the Second Quartet gradually to nudge the first out of pole position.
(Philip R Buttall, MusicWeb International)
What's most impressive is the manner in which Anderson bridges the long-running musical chasm between listenability and technical depth. Most composers, contemporary or not, struggle here and end up specializing in either one. Not Anderson. His music is instantly accessible to the casual listener, yet mind-bogglingly complex upon closer inspection. It is that kind of musical composition which simply cannot be taught, not at a conservatoire nor elsewhere; a music that lives and breathes, or in Beethoven's words, music with a divine spark.
(David Rowden, clarinet; Maria Raspopova, piano)
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Recorded Trackdown studios, NSW, 16th October 2017
Recording Engineer: Matthew McGuigan
Assistant Recording Engineer: Rose Mackenzie-Peterson
Editing & Mixing: Myles Mumford
Album Art: Mr Ian Murray
Anderson’s “Miniatures” is a celebration of the small: from small creatures (“Ugly Ducklings”) and things (“Toy Trains”), to brief time spans (“A Butterfly at Sunset”) and shortened forms (“Précis” and – ironically – “In the Form of a Grand Fugue”). The opening miniature announces the generally light-hearted nature of the work with its up-tempo spoof of a famous work by Saint-Saëns (a man known for his down-tempo satire). There is, however, pathos to be found. In “A Butterfly at Sunset” we find the colours of a butterfly no more resplendent than when lit by the fiery glow of the setting sun, but we are also aware that this moment heralds the end of the day and – according to popular myth – the butterfly too. In “Vigil”, anguished pre-dawn hours are echoed in the work, eventually to be banished by the arrival of a new day and renewed hope. Overall, with its structural similarities and musical allusions to “The Carnival of the Animals”, Anderson’s “Miniatures” might be seen as a small (!) tribute to Saint-Saens’ masterpiece: a “Carnival of the Small”, as it were.
Further information about the creation of "Miniatures" can be found in an interview here.
Piano Quartet in C minor / Sonata for Violin & Piano / In Black Ink
[The album is] a gentle entry point into contemporary classical music - and a fulfilling end point, too. This is the sort of album that makes one proud of Australian composition."
Stephanie Eslake, Limelight Magazine (July, 2018)
Piano Trio in E minor: "The Heart"
" ...the trio begins with a commanding Dramatico and Emma Jardine (violin), William Hewer (cello), and Benjamin Kopp (piano) present the simple and thematic opening on equal footing.... The piano opens Religioso - described in the notes as "a contemplative movement of hope". It's emotionally effective through resounding independent lines... The spirit of Saint-Saëns can be heard in the following Poco agitato, a frisky movement that leads into Inquieto. After a firery opening, it comes to a serene conclusion.
This work certainly has enough presence to hold its own on the album."
Stephanie Eslake, Limelight Magazine (June, 2016)
"... Anderson succeeds in capturing the most important element of chamber music - dialogue. No instrument dominates here; but for me the discourse between piano and cello is especially compelling... Unsettled modulations build in urgency and resolve in harmonic sun-showers. Anderson rewards the listener with majestic tutti and a glorious contrapuntal fourth moment tying together melodic ideas introduced earlier. This is my favourite piece of chamber music at the moment. Thoroughly recommended"
iTunes, Sydney Harbour Listener