Inland: New Zealand composers

 
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DOUGLAS LILBURN / KENNETH YOUNG / MIKE NOCK / GAO PING / etc
Inland: New Zealand composers
Michael Houstoun (piano)

[ Rattle Records / 3 CD/DVD ]

Release Date: Thursday 13 December 2007

NZ MUSIC AWARDS: CLASSICAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2008 - This 2 disc, solo piano album by New Zealand's favourite classical musician both stretches and soothes. Inland realizes Michael Houstoun's long-held goal to record the music of composers he has maintained a close relationship with. Looming large is the presence of NZ jazz expat Mike Nock's writing, in a series of largely contemplative ambient pieces.

Now remastered and reissued in a special edition hard-cover pack with an accompanying DVD featuring a film by Keith Hill, Michael Houstoun: New Zealand Pianist, a detailed and illuminating document of Michael recording and discussing the music on Inland.

NZ MUSIC AWARDS: CLASSICAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2008

This 2 disc, solo piano album by New Zealand's favourite classical musician both stretches and soothes. Inland realizes Michael Houstoun's long-held goal to record the music of composers he has maintained a close relationship with. Looming large is the presence of NZ jazz expat Mike Nock's writing, in a series of largely contemplative ambient pieces.

A household name in New Zealand for over 35 years, Michael Houstoun is especially visible currently as a new Arts Foundation Laureate. Featuring evocative, imaginative and accessible repertoire that spans a range of styles, Inland reaches out far beyond Michael Houstoun's historic concert hall audience.

Michael Houstoun
Michael's first outing with Rattle was on John Psathas' debut Rhythm Spike, and recently featured extensively on John's massively popular View From Olympus album. Now Michael has now initiated a project to record a suite of contemporary New Zealand solo piano music under his own name.

Michael Houstoun came to notice by winning every piano prize in New Zealand country by 18. Internationally he was a major prizewinner at three of the world's leading piano competitions: Van Cliburn, Leeds, and the Tchaikovsky. Following his early international successes, he lived in London and in the US, appearing in Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Carnegie, furthering his study, and recording for EMI.
In the eighties Michael Houstoun decided to devote his life to music in his native land. His restless creativity, his seeking of new challenges, and his giving back to the culture that nurtured him, has confirmed Michael as New Zealand's finest musician. He played the complete 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas in a series of cycles in the 1990s, the complete Rachmaninov Works for Piano and Orchestra with the NZSO as a cycle series, and has appeared in recital and as orchestra soloist throughout Australia as well as in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan. His career was on hold while battling focal dystonia - a neurological dysfunction affecting his right hand. Over five years, in conjunction with specialists, physiological and behavioural changes enabled a return to a full performing life, and realize some long sought musical aspirations.

While much of his reputation has been built on traditional piano repertoire, more recently he has increasingly been heard performing new, New Zealand music - here, notably by John Psathas, Gao Ping, Ken Young, Victoria Kelly - and Mike Nock. This direction forms the basis of his upcoming release on Rattle. His commitment to the best New Zealand art music repertoire, sees our paths increasingly intertwined.

Tracks:

Douglas Lilburn:
Chaccone

Gao Ping:
Dance Fury

Ken Young:
Five Pieces

Victoria Kelly:
Landscape Prelude

John Psathas:
Jettatura

Mike Nock:
Presence
After Bach
Ringstone Round
In the Time of Sakura
Red Descending
Sho's Cradle song
Promise
Cartwheels
Beautiful Your Eyes
Green Cycle
Raff Riff
Serenity