Saturday, November 7, 2015

Aubade & Nocturne
Music of Sally Greenaway
CD review by Clinton White

The exceptional thoughtfulness and quality of presentation of Aubade & Nocturne is, in every detail, indicative of the exceptional music recorded on it.  This is an essential addition to the record library of the most discerning music lover, even crossing a range of music genres.

And just as exceptional is Sally Greenaway, the Canberra-based composer and musician who put it together.

Aubade & Nocturne is a collection of Greenaway’s compositions, showcasing her compositional versatility and recorded over the years stretching back to 2009, with the most recent made in 2014.

If it’s variety as well as quality you’re looking for, then this is the album for you.  Sally Whitwell features, playing solo piano, as does Anthony Smith.  There’s a pedal harp solo by Liena Lacey.  Then there’s a jazz piano trio, a chamber choir, a wind symphony and a full symphony orchestra.  And a few other ensembles besides.

Most of all, Aubade & Nocturne is an album not only of retrospectivity but also of reflection.  At times it is pensive, at others intense and still others thoughtful or moody.  But at every turn the music is sophisticated and highly intellectual.  It is not music for the background, it demands attentive listening; to not do so is to miss the many subtleties – the nuances that sit behind every note and even between them.

The presentation of this album demands attention, too.  It is in the form of a hard-covered, stitched booklet with the highest quality photographs.  Each track has all the information the listener requires, including, in the case of the songs, the lyrics, but without going over the top.

Aubade & Nocturne is sheer class, from beginning to end.  Well done, Sally Greenaway!

And just in case you’re not sure, an aubade is a poem or piece of music appropriate to the dawn or early morning, and a nocturne is a dreamlike or pensive composition, usually for the piano, obviously with a theme of night time.


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