The release of this 7-CD set coincides with the launch of Roger Woodward’s autobiography Beyond Black and White: My Life in Music, published by ABC Books. This is the remarkable story of one of the world’s leading musicians. In Beyond Black And White, the author documents a rich life’s journey in this part memoir, part manifesto: from boyhood lessons at the piano in Miss Pope’s lounge room, to working with the world’s most celebrated musicians, conductors and orchestras in a career that spans more than fifty years in Europe, China, Japan and the Americas.
In a career spanning several decades, Roger Woodward has established himself as one of the most revered and adventurous pianists of our time.
In this new collection, ABC Classics presents over 7 hours of recordings, many of them never heard before, bringing together seminal interpretations of the Baroque, Classical and Romantic repertoire alongside rare recordings of contemporary works. The set features leading international conductors including Charles Dutoit, Edo de Waart, Diego Masson and David Porcelijn, and Australian orchestras including the Sydney, Adelaide and Queensland Symhony Orchestras
1. 1-3. BACH Keyboard Concerto in D minor, BWV1052 (Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Eivind Aadland - conductor)
2. 4-6. HAYDN Concerto for Violin and Organ in F major
(Roger Woodward – organ, Wanda Wilkomirska – violin, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Niklaus Wyss - conductor)
1-3. CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11
(Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Werner Andreas Albert – conductor)
1-3. BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58 (Queensland Theatre Orchestra, Geog Tintner – conductor)
4-6. BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37 (West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Albert Rosen – conductor)
(Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Edo de Waart – conductor)
1-3. PROKOFIEV Piano Concert No. 3 in C major, Op. 26
4-6. SKRYABIN Piano Concerto in F-sharp minor, Op. 20
1. 7-10. SCHOENBERG Piano Concerto, Op. 42
1-3. RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 18 (Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Charles Dutoit – conductor)
4. XIAO-SONG Huan (Camerata Australia, Diego Masson – conductor)
5. SRKYABIN Prometheus: The Poem of Fire, Op. 60
(Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Diego Masson – conductor)
1-22. SITSKY Piano Concerto No. 1: The Twenty-Two Paths of the Tarot (Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, David Porcelijn – conductor)
23-27. CONYNGHAM Southern Cross: Double Concerto for Violin, Piano and Orchestra (Wanda Wilkomirska – violin, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Niklaus Wyss – conductor)
(Alpha Centauri Ensemble, Roger Woodward – conductor)
ROGER WOODWARD A Concerto Collection (ABC Classics)
The extraordinary range and sensitivity of pianist Roger Woodward is highlighted on this seven-CD set. Intense and scholarly but never desiccated, his interpretations are always engaged, whether it’s the emotionally precise Adagio of Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in D minor, or the modernist whirl of Schoenberg’s Piano Concerto, Op 42. Among the highlights are Chopin’s Piano Concerto No.1 and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 4. Equally absorbing are works by Australian composers, Barry Conyngham’s exacting Southern Cross and Larry Sitsky’s The 22 Paths of the Tarot, by turns mysterious, theatrical and forbidding - all epithets applicable to the monumental interpretation of Xenakis’s Kraanerg.
Andy Gill, 4 April 2015
Classical CDs Weekly: Wim Henderickx, Mahler, Roger Woodward
Flemish modernism, an epic symphony in a new guise and a handsome tribute to a veteran pianist
by Graham RicksonSaturday, 07 March 2015
Roger Woodward: A Concerto Collection (ABC Classics)
Looking at the tracklisting on this seven CD gets one thinking about the size, or otherwise, of different pianists’ repertoires. Roger Woodward’s closest rival in the diversity stakes is, perhaps, Vladimir Ashkenazy. Ashkenzay’s recorded legacy is dazzlingly wide, and he’s still managing to release engaging, fresh discs of Bach and Scriabin alongside his conducting engagements. Woodward’s energy isn’t flagging either. Few pianists can perform dense contemporary music with such unruffled ease, and one of the most striking works here involves Woodward as conductor, leading Sydney’s Alpha Centauri Ensemble in Xenakis’s Kraanerg. This terrifying 71 minute piece for orchestra and tape, originally performed with accompanying choreography, is echt-Xenakis. Baying brass jostle with juddering lower string lines, volleys of percussion and eerie taped electronics. Some of the spookier noises defy ready analysis. Woodward directs with complete confidence, and the 1988 recording still packs a vivid punch. Other contemporary works include Larry Sitsky’s entertaining Piano Concerto no 1, an engaging sequence of 22 short movements depicting the cards in a Tarot pack, and a concerto for violin and piano by Barry Conyngham. The latter is superficially striking but not as powerful as a live performance of Schoenberg’s neglected Piano Concerto. This receives an affirmative, lucid performance, Woodward succeeding better than most pianists in highlighting the work’s debt to 19th century tradition.
We get an entertaining, deft reading of Scriabin’s uneven Prometheus: The Poem of Fire conducted by Edo de Waart. He also leads Woodward in a rollicking traversal of Prokofiev’s Concerto no 3, a reading confidently fusing muscular weight with good humour. We get, unexpectedly, Rachmaninov 2, affectionately conducted by Charles Dutoit. The first three discs contain delicate, poised performances of concerti by Bach, Chopin and Beethoven, all in readings you’d be more than happy to live with. An obscure, improbable Concerto for Violin and Organ by Haydn is a delight: a harmonious musical sparring match where veteran Polish violinist Wanda Wiłkomirska banters with Woodward’s chirpy pipe organ. A wonderful set, though clumsily packaged – the CDs could easily have been accommodated in a slimline box.
Review : The Australian
A Concerto Collection, Roger Woodward, ABC Classics
ONE of the remarkable things about Roger Woodward’s career is his success as a concerto soloist, which began in 1964. Five decades later comes an impressive seven-disc set that brings together recordings with the Sydney, Queensland, West Australian and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras. There are standard works by Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev standing cheek-by-jowl with radical modernists like Schoenberg, Xenakis and Sitsky. ….. read more via link