From the first solo ‘cello note of the Wellington Youth Orchestra’s performance of the “William Tell” Overture, I was spellbound – I’d never heard that opening ascending phrase speak more eloquently and poetically. Naturally, I couldn’t straight-away rustle about in my seat turning my programme’s pages to discover who the ‘cellist was - which was good, because my attention wasn’t then diverted from the playing of the other individual...
These days I count myself proudly, if also a little ruefully, among the grey-headed majority who attend classical concerts – of course, these are the people whose loyal and continued support of our various concert series and occasional special events helps to ensure their continuance. Nevertheless it was a refreshing change to find myself sitting in an auditorium for a classical concert with what seemed like hundreds of... read more
Elizabeth Kerr's pre-concert talk, gratifyingly well-attended and enthusiastically received, placed its listeners right in the epicenter of things relating to Olivier Messiaen and his final completed work Éclairs sur l’au-delá (Illuminations of the Beyond), whose performance by the NZSO/NYO was to follow shortly after.
In a masterstroke of juxtapositioning she took us straightaway to an event that took place in January 1941, in a German prisoner-of war camp... read more
A joy, right from the beginning, this concert, which featured bright-eyed and bushy-tailed orchestral playing from a talented ensemble of young musicians, squaring up to a couple of well-known classics and an engaging cello-and-orchestra concert rarity.
Under Andrew Joyce's on-the-spot direction, the music in every instance took off, the Beethoven with bright-eyed and chirpy accents, the Tchaikovsky piece with bold, impassioned wing-beats, and the Elgar with gentle, early-morning ruminations developing...
What with the Arohanui Strings delighting us at the concert's beginning, and the city's annual Guy Fawkes' firework display illuminating the interval in a most spectacular way, this was an event which had plenty of what economists like to call "added value" - but it's all part of what we've come to expect from an Orchestra Wellington occasion! In other words there's nothing routine about what happens, even... read more
To demonstrate the ethos and value of this programme for primary school children from Taita and Pomare, I quote in full the note on the printed programme from the concert:
"[This] is part of a visionary global movement transforming the lives of children through music.
"Right here in the Hutt Valley, we are building a youth orchestra in a neighborhood where children normally do not have access to private music lessons...
So, what on earth has Mozart got to do with Douglas Lilburn? By a happy coincidence, the concerto (Mozart's K.466) with which the brilliant soloist Xing Wang earlier this year won the NZSM Concerto Competition First Prize was again performed by her during this concert, to stunning effect. But alongside Lilburn? Mountains and Mozart?
Anybody who has read Lilburn's beautifully-wrought treatise on being a composer here in New... read more
Also sprach Zarathustra
, many taxing concertos and other large and challenging works. Back in 2007, they played La Mer
... read more
The National Youth Orchestra has generally played a major symphony in the second part of its main annual outing (and this is its 56th year). They’ve included Mahler’s First and Seventh, Tchaikovsky’s Fourth and Fifth, Shostakovich’s Tenth, Rachmaninov’s Second, Brahms’s First and Second, as well as Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra,
“In 1870, Brahms's friend Carl Ferdinand Pohl, the librarian of the Vienna Philharmonic Society, who was working on a Haydn biography at the time, showed Brahms a transcription he had made of a piece attributed to Haydn titled Divertimento No. 1. The second movement bore the heading... read more
One might as well begin by quoting the information about the provenance of the theme of the Brahms variations that is offered in
was familiar, but seldom programmed recently, within my hearing. It provided a good work-out for a student orchestra. There was plenty of scope for the... read more
Once again, the audience was treated to a very demanding programme brought off with skill and panache by the NZSM orchestra, with the help of quite a number of guest players.
It coupled the familiar with the unfamiliar. The opening piece from Smetana’s