A new recording of the piano music of Elena Kats-Chernin, Butterflying, is due for release this week, as a double CD on ABC Classics (ABC 481 2625).
Performed by ARIA-Award winner Tamara-Anna Cislowska and the composer herself, Butterflying is the first major survey of the piano music of Elena Kats-Chernin.
Ever since her childhood in Uzbekistan, Kats-Chernin has described the piano as her ‘best friend’. At the age of six she wrote her first piano piece, Lullaby, which she later revised for her youngest son. It is presented on this album as Lullaby for Nick. From this work to pieces written in 2015, Butterflying presents the full range of Kats-Chernin’s opus: lyrical works like Waltz of Things Past and Butterflying (originally composed for the opening ceremony of the 2003 Rugby World Cup), rags and waltzes, and iconic works such as Eliza Aria and Slicked Back Tango. There are album 14 world premiere recordings on the album.
Many of the pieces are performed solo by Tamara-Anna Cislowska. Others are presented in versions for piano four hands, with Elena joining Tamara-Anna to resume their long-standing friendship and collaboration in performances which are part-composed, part-improvised.
Born and raised in Uzbekistan and now a resident of Australia, Elena Kats-Chernin is a popular and prolific composer. Her music featured at the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and the 2003 Rugby World Cup, whilst her Eliza Aria became known to a generation of Britons when it was featured in the Lloyds TSB ‘For the Journey’ ad campaign. In 2015 her widely-praised opera The Divorce was premiered on ABC TV.
Tamara-Anna Cislowska is one of Australia’s most acclaimed pianists, and in 2015 won the ARIA Award for Best Classical Album for her survey of the solo piano music of Peter Sculthorpe – an album which also won Editor’s Choice in BBC Music Magazine and was described as ‘a profoundly affecting release’ by Gramophone magazine.
Butterflying was recorded in the Eugene Goossens Hall of the ABC’s Ultimo Centre in August 2015 by Virginia Read.