Music Alive

Saturday, 4 July 2015
Visions of Happiness

Mikhail Ovrutsky photo by Steven HaberlandHappiness can be hard-won, as was the case for all three composers in this New Zealand Symphony Orchestra concert. Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll was composed during a moment of marital bliss for his wife’s birthday, while Erich Korngold’s Violin Concerto was written during a period of success in America after he fled Nazi Germany.  Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 with its famous Fate theme was composed during a particularly dark time in the composer’s life, but still the composer was able to find joy in the simple pleasures of life.

Thus all life is an unbroken alternation of hard reality with swiftly passing dreams and visions of happiness.

– Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

The young Russian Virtuoso violinist Mikhail Ovrutsky joins the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and music director Pietari Inkinen for this concert.

Mikhail Ovrutsky (vln), New Zealand SO/Pietari Inkinen

WAGNER: Siegfried Idyll; KORNGOLD: Violin Concerto in D Op 35; MASSENET: Meditation, from Thaïs; TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No 4 in F minor Op 36

Recorded and broadcast by Radio New Zealand

Photo of Mikhail Ovrutsky by Steven Haberland

Coming Up on Music Alive

8:00 pm Monday 6 July: Fauré Requiem by Candlelight

Voice NZThe nation’s premiere chamber choir, Voices New Zealand, performs Fauré’s tranquil Requiem by candlelight with Orchestra Wellington at the Wellington Cathedral of St. Paul. Fauré’s setting of the Requiem mass stands in stark contrast to its predecessors by Verdi and Mozart with its sweeping lyrical themes, and emphasis on comfort and peace to the living as much as the departed. Paired with the later Maurice Duruflé setting, the works are like two sides of the same coin, full of lush melody and harmony that evoke the later days of the Belle Epoque.

Soprano Jane Tankersley, mezzo soprano Bianca Andrew, and baritone Christopher Hillier join Voices New Zealand and Orchestra Wellington in this performance directed by Karen Grylls.

Jayne Tankersley (sop), Bianca Andrew (mezzo), Christopher Hillier (bar), Matthew Ross (vln), Jane Young (cello), Voices New Zealand, Orchestra Wellington/Karen Grylls

FAURÉ: Requiem Op 48; DURUFLÉ: Requiem Op 9 (recorded in the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul by RNZ)

Recorded in Auckland by Radio New Zealand

8:00 pm Tuesday 7 July: Guildhall Trio Reunion

Guildhall Trio ReunionIn 1974, three young New Zealanders arrived in London to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and were looking for a flat. Flutist Barbara Hill, viola player Donald Maurice and clarinettist Debbie Rawson ended up moving in together with a couple of other music students. Fast-forward 40 years and those three young musicians have become established artists and teachers.

Together with NZSM piano lecturer Jian Liu they will present a highly unusual programme featuring masterworks for wind, string and piano combinations.

Guildhall Trio: Barbara Hill (fl), Debbie Rawson (cl/sax), Donald Maurice (vla) with Jian Liu (pno)

BRUCH: Eight Pieces for clarinet, viola & piano Op 83, Nos 2, 5, 6 & 7; VILLA-LOBOS: Chôros No 2; DURUFLÉ: Prélude, récitatif et variations Op 3; UHL: Kleines Konzert; DEVIENNE: Duo No 1; MCLEOD: Suite on Jazz Themes

Recorded at Adam Concert Room, Victoria University Wellington, by Radio New Zealand