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Old Wine, New Bottles

This disc by Floyd Williams & JANUS illustrates the cross fertilisation of folk/popular and jazz genres that occur in classical music. The original premise was to play early music (14th - 16th centuries) on modern instruments without regard for any historian's "purist" concerns.

This approach was also used for the songs of Leonard Cohen where they were arranged by the very talented Jonathan Henderson for a chamber music ensemble.

This was taken further by the songs being sung in a manner closer to art song or lieder. I also thought it would be interesting to juxtapose the Cohen songs with earlier songs by Machaut and Josquin in order to emphasise what they have in common as regards the concerns expressed in the texts (the pain of love, jealousy, and betrayal).

This CD is a result of a concert organised as part of the staff concert series at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University in April, 2008.

Mitchell Leigh's improvisations between the old and the new serve brilliantly as a transition to each of the Cohen songs. Also, I think early music from the 14th to 16th century can sound very effective on modern instruments which preserve and honour the music's melodic and especially its rhythmic impact. This has long been a practice in the performance of J.S. Bach's music which can now be heard on anything from a grand piano to a brass quintet.

A number of works show the importance of jazz influence in the 20th century. In Khai-Wei Choong's Logic in Transit we hear a very unusual rendering of A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square by Eric Maschwitz and music by Manning Sherwin and Jack Strachey. This is preceded by John Stefulj and Pat Marchisella's version of the song. Their imaginative improvisation will further enhance the listener's appreciation of Choong's version for bass clarinet and piano.
Finally, we close with a dance form: Gustavo Beytelmann's Airs au tour du Tango.
- Floyd Williams, August 2009


Floyd Williams

Floyd Williams is a Senior Lecturer in Clarinet at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, Brisbane. He has performed with orchestras world wide as principal and solo clarinettist and is a leading lecturer in the clarinet.

Audio preview

Track Listing

    Benny's Gig Morton Gould

  1. slow and nostalgic
  2. brisk, with drive
  3. very slow and hesitant
  4. brisk
  5. slowly
  6. Calypso Serenade
  7. lazily moving
  8. jaunty
  9. Phyton le Mervilleus Serpent Guillaume de Machaut
  10. Famous Blue Raincoat Leonard Cohen
  11. Mille Regretz Josquin Des Prez
  12. Hallelujah Leonard Cohen
  13. Blue Jeans William Thomas McKinley

  14. Drone
  15. Vamp
  16. Tango
  17. To Bird
  18. Browning Elway Bevin
  19. Sit Fast Christopher Tye
  20. A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square Eric Maschwitz Manning Sherwin
  21. Logic in Transit Khai-Wei Choong
  22. 8 Airs autour du Tango Gustavo Beytelmann

  23. No. 4
  24. No. 6
  25. No. 8



Where to buy

Old Wine, New Bottles is available for download from the iTunes Music Store.
It's available for streaming through Apple Music.

Old Wine, New Bottles is available as as CD. It can be purchased online through Buywell Music or the Australian Music Centre which both offer secure online ordering.

Move CDs can be ordered through music retailers across Australia including Readings.

Product details

List price
$25.00 AUD
Floyd Williams
David Spearritt
David Spearritt
David Spearritt
Release date
© 2010 Move Records
℗ 2010 Move Records
Australian, Baroque, Classical, Jazz
Catalogue number
MD 3337
Alternate catalogue number
EAN 9314574333725