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ALBUMS

In The Wake of the Great War

Benjamin Martin - Solo Recital

Melba Recordings (Released 2014)

Available at iTunes 

This disc - Benjamin's debut solo recording - programs some of the greatest and unduly neglected English piano music of the early 20th Century, and to close, features Benjamin's own arrangement of Charlie Chaplin's poignant melody 'Smile' (From 'Modern Times'). 



'This new Melba release by the very fine Melbourne-raised and Juilliard-trained pianist Benjamin Martin, must immediately take its place at the top of the pile. There is something quite unique about this disc, which presents a well selected programme of solo piano music by a group of fine orchestral English composers whom we we do not initially associate with the solo keyboard (Bax, Vaughan Williams, Bridge and Delius), immaculately played and intimately performed by Martin. All of this music ranks amongst the earliest inspired by the Great War – all of it being written during the 1920s and all of it is as equally affecting as the best of the period’s song cycles.'' 


                                        - Brett Allen-Bayes, Limelight Magazine, October 6th 2015 

'In honesty, what makes this disc so extraordinary for me are the performances of the other works on the program including the most impressive performance of the Bridge Sonata that I’ve heard in quite some time. The same virtuosic temperament that make the Bax so fascinating is put to even better use in a performance of the Bridge that is shattering in its anger and grief. Martin has the full measure of this work which has received several superlative interpretations in recent years including those by Kathryn Stott, Mark Bebbington and Ashley Wass – but Martin for me is the most emotionally involving. The performances of the Delius Pieces and VW Hymn are intensely thoughtful as is Martin’s own arrangement of Charles Chaplin’s Smile.'


                      - Richard R.Adams, The Sir Arnold Bax Website, February 16th 2015 

  

Dances to a Black Piper

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'There is nothing chilly about Martin Fröst, he is a red-hot performer with extraordinary control over, and absolute mastery of his instrument. He superbly augmented the wonderful Australian Chamber Orchestra in a fiery but wide ranging concert on the Adelaide leg of their National tour [...] From the first note that he extracted from absolute nothing to a series of leaps and an improvisation against shimmering pipe-organ-like chord clusters on the strings, in the opening of Peacock Tales by his countryman Anders Hillborg, his mastery and control were apparent...There are passages of unified conversational agreement between piano (Benjamin Martin) and clarinet; there are sustained and tranquil passages; there are angular, rhythmic exchanges, and there are beautifully executed transitions between these moods from the troubled to the exuberant.'  

                                                                                                                                                               -  Peter Bleby,  Australian Stage

In Anders Hillborg's clarinet concerto Peacock Tales (without the trappings of mime and masks), his clarity across all registers and a superlative contrast in textures and dynamics revealed a master at work in an almost uninterrupted solo, the ACO strings and Benjamin Martin's mirroring piano a mobile series of struts supporting the clarinet's persuasive brilliance.
                                                                                                                                                                    - Clive O'Connell, The Age 

Clarinet - Martin Fröst 
The Australian Chamber Orchestra 
directed by Richard Tognetti 
Piano - Benjamin Martin

 

BIS Records (Released 2011)
Available at Itunes

Frost presents a wide-ranging selection of works all connected with dancing. The principal work on this disc is Copland's Clarinet Concerto, and with special permission from the Copland Fund, the disc ends with the fireworks of the original and later revised, dazzling ending of the Concerto. Frost also includes on this disc works by Lutoslawski, Anders Hillborg and Piazzolla, as well as an arrangement of Brahms' Four Hungarian Dances arranged by his brother, Goran.'

Arcadia Lost

Tenor - Steve Davislim
Violin - Michael Dauth Piano - Benjamin Martin
Hamer Quartet 
Sydney Symphony Orchestra 
Conductor Mark Wigglesworth

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS The Lark Ascending*; Flos campi**; On Wenlock Edge***
BRITTEN Sinfonia da Requiem, Op 20

Available at Melba Recordings (Released 2011)

'The finest performance on the disc is undoubtedly that of the Song Cycle On Wenlock Edge. Vaughan Williams composed this setting of six poems by AE Houseman in 1908 following his period of study with Ravel in Paris earlier that year, and the influence of the French master is clearly evident in the writing. On this SACD it is performed in its original version for tenor, piano and string quartet though Vaughan Williams did compose an orchestral accompaniment for it in 1924.

 

Steve Davislim has already demonstrated his outstanding talent on both the operatic stage and as a lieder singer. His distinctive and plaintive sounding vocal quality is ideally suited to conveying the essence of these lovely poems. His subtly nuanced performance and firm delivery is a delight, and he receives stylish support from pianist Benjamin Martin and a fine young Australian group, the Hamer Quartet. The recording venue, the Iwaki Auditorium, Melbourne provides an intimate acoustic perfectly suited to the performance and the engineering is first-class.' 

        - Graham Williams, SA-CD.NET (UK) 

ENCORE MY GOOD SIR

Horn - Lin Jiang

Piano - Benjamin Martin


Available at Melba Recordings (Released 2009)

In a diverse recital of virtuoso music for horn and piano, from Schumann’s ‘Adagio and Allegro’ – regarded as being unplayable for 100 years – to contemporary pieces at the cutting edge of horn technique, this program evinces the formidable talent of these two musicians with direct stream digital technology providing state-of-the-art sound.  The disc includes music by horn player/conductor/composers Esa-Pekka Salonen and Gunther Schuller as well as Poulenc’s Elégie for the doyen of horn virtuosi, Dennis Brain. There are transcriptions of music by J.S. Bach, Marais and Ketting and works by Hindemith and Maxwell Davies. Also featured are some of Lin Jiang’s personal showpieces, including the disc’s title work, Encore My Good Sir, specially composed for him by Thaddeus Huang. This recording was supported by the Ian Potter Foundation. 


                                      'Benjamin Martin, an excellent pianist, in energetic, sensitive, and nuanced performances.' 

                                                                                                                                                                            - Fanfare Magazine

 ‘A Surefire Winner’ - a fascinating, uniquely diverse recital; happily brought to us with Melba Recordings' customary artistic and technical flair... how fortunate Lin is with an accompanist as conspicuously sensitive as Benjamin Martin' .                                                                                                                      

- Music and Vision Daily (UK)  

SONG OF THE ANGEL

Works by Astor Piazzolla (Arr. Crabb) 

Australian Chamber Orchestra
Leader - Richard Tognetti
Classical Accordion – James Crabb
Piano – Benjamin Martin 

Available at Chandos Records (Released 2003)

The world's best chamber orchestra (Times, UK) brings us an exhilarating collection of Tango master Astor Piazzolla.One of the most successful classical albums in Australia, this album shows us that it is possible to transcent genres: the greatness of Piazzolla and the incredible abilities of the ACO to excite and entertain are both amply demonstated here!‘…clean-cut and invigorating…resplendently recorded…’

- Robert Maycock, BBC Music Magazine, UK'

…Accordion wizard and company delight in a seductive and exuberant sound world  [...] A word is needed here about the Australian Chamber Orchestra and pianist Ben Martin, whose contributions, far from just mere accompaniments, are a major factor in this programme’s success.' 
 - Guy Rickards, Gramophone (UK)


 

Tango Jam Volume I

Astor Piazzolla - The Quintets

Classical Accordion – James Crabb
Violin – Richard Tognetti
El.Guitar – George Vassilev
Piano – Benjamin Martin
Double Bass – Maxime Bibeau 

Available at Mulberry Hill Recordings 001 (Released 2004)

The recording brings together several dynamic and distinguished musicians – Richard Tognetti lead violin and artistic director of the ACO and his colleague, principal double bass, Maxime Bibeau, Melbourne pianist Benjamin Martin, Bulgarian guitarist George Vassilev and James Crabb, classical accordionist - “a performer of perfect poise, taste ."

Enticingly entitled Tango Jam, the disc is co-produced and engineered by Daniel Denholm, who produced No. 1 songs for The Whitlams and Midnight Oil, arranged strings for silverchair and Powderfinger and engineered so much of the ACO's recent acclaimed recordings including Song of the Angel and Sculthorpe – Cello Dreaming and other works. This is his first venture under his new label Mulberry Hill Recordings, set up to introduce non mainstream music to a wider audience.“You would be hard-pressed to hear better performances of Piazzolla’s intoxicating tango nuevo conceptions.”
   - The Australian 

“...the authentic hellfire of creative sonic imagination.”  - The Sydney Morning Herald



 

Lindemann Series Volume IV

Featuring works by Clark, Delius, Dvorak, Hindemith, Kreisler and Sarasate.

Viola - Hatmut Lindemann Piano - Benjamin Martin

Available at Tacet Records (Release

When asked about his reasons for choice of repertoire, Lindemann responded that he wanted to put together a "nice old-fashioned programme". Behind this seemingly harmless answer is a highly understandable intention: Lindemann did not want to offer himself and his listeners music which is strictly determined right from the first second but music which draws the listener and his or her imagination into the musical event..."Hartmut Lindemann on viola along with pianist Ben Martin, perform works of Clarke, Delius, Dvorak, Hindemith, Kreisler and Sarasate for Volume IV of the Lindemann Series."[...] With Lindemann, even the opening bars go through you to the bone: and you begin to guess the reason for the motto to this sonata: “Poet, take thy lute; the wine of youth still ferments in God’s veins.” The viola cannot sound more sensual, more penetrating or more addicted than this.[...]" (stereoplay) "He wanted to put a "nice old-fashioned programme", answered Hartmut Lindemann when I asked him about his reasons for the choice of repertoire. Behind this seemingly harmless answer is a highly understandable intention: Lindemann did not want to offer himself and his listeners music which is strictly determined right from the first second but music which draws the listener and his or her imagination into the musical event..."



"Bratscherwitze fallen noch in die Zeit vor Hartmut Lindemann! Wer Rebecca Clarkes Viola-Sonate mit ihm und Ben Martin gehört hat, ist um einige Erfahrungen reicher. Er wird die oft vergeblichen Bemühungen der wenigen anderen Interpreten verstehen, Komponisten als große Komponisten zu zeigen - und die dafür entweder nicht über das erforderliche spieltechnische Potenzial verfügten oder denen es schlicht an tragfähigen Konzepten fehlte."  -  klssik-heute.com

Lindemann Series Volume III

Featuring works by Vitali, Joachim, Brahms, Paganini, Wieniawski, Rachmaninov.

Viola - Hartmut Lindemann
Piano - Benjamin Martin


Available at Tacet Records (Released 1996)

Lindemann Series Volume II

Featuring works by Bax, Hummel, Brahms and Bach.

Viola - Hartmut Lindemann
Piano - Benjamin Martin

Available at Tacet Records (Released 1993)

Memories of John Browning: The Lhevinne Legacy Continues

Available at Arkatov Productions (Released 2005)

Throughout his life, John Browning gained world-wide acclaim for his incomparable recitals, concerts and chamber music performances. His musical legacy continues in the memories of those who were fortunate to have heard him and learned from him, through this film, and in his impressive discography.
He is remembered in intimate conversations with his sister Elizabeth and colleagues and friends: Martin Canin, David Dubal, Marilyn Horne, Steven Mayer, Leonard Slatkin, John Williams, Mira Armij Gill and Benjamin Martin. 


 

"Arkatov’s artistic film on John Browning transcends its relevance to music and music education. It is a masterful teaching tool for higher education in its reflection of pedagogical principles." 

- Norma D. Feshbach, UCLA