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Posts tagged: orchestral

NZSO: Salonen’s Violin Concerto points in a fruitful, inspiring direction; Schubert’s Greatness persists through 200 years

By , 08/11/2019
Here was another NZSO concert that merited a bigger audience. Again, as at the 24 October concert, the gallery was well inhabited but the stalls rather sparse. A concert that is dominated by a very long work, unless by Mahler or perhaps Bruckner, suffers from a lack of variety and there needs to be a smaller, first-half piece that will overcome it, probably a familiar and well-loved concerto. Finnish conductor... read more

Admirable NZSO concert touching several rewarding themes: all German apart from Ken Young’s new piece

By , 24/10/2019
I had guessed perhaps a bit cynically, that this might not be a hugely well attended concert. The balcony was well populated but the stalls were rather thin. The absentees made a serious mistake. Its programme looked unorthodox: a relatively brief concerto for horn, an overture at the beginning of the second half, and two symphonies. And a new composition by Ken Young to mark the 250th anniversary of Cook’s... read more

Delightful, delicious, and declamatory – a “no-holds-barred” night with Marc Taddei and Orchestra Wellington

By , 20/10/2019
Orchestra Wellington has earned a special niche for itself amid the welter of artistic activities supported by the capital, one that’s steadily developed over the years of Marc Taddei’s tenure as Music Director, and in recent times enjoyed obvious fruition in terms of its enthusiastic audience following. Its appeal is based on several factors, not the least of which is the unflagging wholeheartedness and enthusiasm of conductor Taddei for... read more

HK Gruber’s critique of classical music with the NZSO a hit with a younger, if smaller, audience

By , 10/10/2019

'Why serious?' the programme notes asks, presumably quoting HK Gruber. The music in this programme was meant to be fun. Gruber wanted to make music simple, approachable, and break down the demarcation between classical and popular music. Simplicity, however does not mean stupidity. Gruber's models were Kurt Weill and Hans Eisler, and their iconoclastic music of Berlin of the 1920s. So this evening's music was a long way... read more

Accomplished performances from Wellington Youth Orchestra with talented Asaki Watanabe in Bruch concerto

By , 06/10/2019
Being part of a symphony orchestra is a huge commitment for young people. It involves rehearsals every Monday evening during term time. It also requires a high degree of competence on an orchestral instrument. A full symphony orchestra needs 20-24 violins, and a corresponding number of violas, cellos and double basses as well as a full compliment of winds, brass and percussion. The Wellington Youth Orchestra mustered an almost... read more

Ken Young’s final outing with the NZSM Orchestra with a new composition and a concerto with a gifted violinist

By , 04/10/2019
This was a little more than a routine concert by the music school of Victoria University, featuring a couple of its post graduate students: one, composer Luka Venter and the other, violinist Nickolas Majić. At the end  of the concert it emerged, with a large cluster of flowers and speeches, that this was the last concert with the orchestra’s regular conductor, Kenneth Young; it marked his retirement from the position... read more

Versions….and versions – Beethoven, Mahler (orch. Michael Vinten) and Bruckner, from the Wellington Chamber Orchestra

By , 22/09/2019
As Michael Vinten told Radio NZ Concert’s “Upbeat” interviewer David Morriss during the week preceding the concert, none of the three works presented by the orchestra were original versions of the pieces. The closest we came to hearing a work representing its composer’s first thoughts was in the Third Symphony of Anton Bruckner – and this was the second of no less than six (or was it eight?) documented... read more

Orchestra Wellington succeeds with an odd programme of important, challenging and beautiful works

By , 21/09/2019
For a subscription concert series labelled 'Epic', that included Berlioz's Symphonie Fantasique, Bruckner's 8th Symphony, Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, a concert by a string orchestra, with no major symphonic work was odd programming. It is not that Verklärte Nacht, or Beethoven's C sharp minor quartet were not worth hearing, but they were arrangements of works not written for orchestra. But let me not quibble, they are all beautiful... read more

Asher Fisch, Louis Lortie and the NZSO in splendid form with classical masterpieces

By , 06/09/2019
Asher Fisch is taking this NZSO programme with pianist Louis Lortie on a four city tour. It’s his first visit to New Zealand, though I encountered him as conductor of the production of Wagner’s Ring cycle in Adelaide in 2004 (it was an Australian production, in some kind of reaction to the cycle borrowed from the Châtelet Theatre in Paris, six years before). Rachmaninov's Number Two ‘Rach 2’, along with the... read more

Two sides of a genius – Beethoven’s Eighth and Ninth Symphonies from Edo de Waart and the NZSO

By , 31/08/2019
This, the final concert in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s Beethoven Festival, presented two symphonic works at what seemed like opposite ends of everything – black-versus-white parameters of style from a composer of genius. Beethoven in his Eighth Symphony appears to be “playing” with the form, parodying the classical symphony, satirising fashions and fads, heightening and debunking all kinds of gesturings and yet still producing a forward-moving, radically original... read more

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