Music Alive

8:00 PM Tomorrow

NZSO National Youth Orch/Alexander Shelley

STRAUSS: Don Juan Op 20; BALLARD: Synergos; STRAUSS: Also sprach Zarathustra Op 30 (recorded in the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington by RNZ)

Coming Up on Music Alive

8:00 pm Monday 27 October: National Youth Orchestra

Cello playersThe 96 talented young musicians perform Strauss’ famous Also Sprach Zarathustra, which immediately evokes Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Strauss’ tone poem Don Juan which takes the audience on another journey, this time into the passionate love affairs of our scandalous hero. Composed when Strauss was only 24, the work is filled with youthful optimism.

Also, the world première of the NZSO National Youth Orchestra’s Composer-in-Residence Sarah Ballard’s commission Synergos, a 12-minute work about the synthesis of colour.

NZSO National Youth Orch/Alexander Shelley

STRAUSS: Don Juan Op 20; BALLARD: Synergos; STRAUSS: Also sprach Zarathustra Op 30

This concert was recorded live in Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre

8:00 pm Wednesday 29 October: Jennifer Koh

Jennifer KohWhen he first received the commission, Berg was working on his opera Lulu, and he did not begin work on the concerto for some months. The event that spurred him into writing was the death from polio of 18-year-old Manon Gropius, the daughter of Alma Mahler (once Gustav Mahler's wife) and Walter Gropius. Berg set Lulu to one side to write the concerto, which he dedicated "To the memory of an angel."

Tonight’s violinist Jennifer Koh is recognised for her intense, commanding performances, delivered with dazzling virtuosity and technical assurance.

(4) Jennifer Koh (vln), Milwaukee SO/Edo de Waart, Andreas Delfs, Matthias Pintscher

BACH arr Webern: Ricecare in six parts, from Musical Offering; BERG: Violin Concerto, To the Memory of an Angel; BRAHMS orch Schoenberg: Piano Quartet No 1 in G minor Op 25; BRAHMS: Tragic Overture; WEBERN: Im Sommerwind (WFMT)

This concert was made available to Radio New Zealand by WFMT

8:00 pm Thursday 30 October: Soldier's Tale

StravinskyIn early 1918 the war had strangled Stravinsky’s European earnings; then the November Revolution completely cut off what he was still receiving from Russia. Casting around for practical, lucrative projects, he and his friend CF Ramuz hit on the idea of a small-scale theatrical production.

Stravinsky called The Soldier's Tale his “final break with the Russian orchestral school. The central character, (the Soldier) “was very definitely understood to be a victim of the then world conflict”. He sells his violin to the Devil in exchange for unlimited wealth. He duly becomes rich but realises that these are “false things, dead, rotten … I am a ghost among the living”.

Avan Yu (pno), Auckland Philharmonia/Eckehard Stier

STRAVINSKY: The Soldier's Tale Suite; RAVEL: Piano Concerto for the left hand


NIELSEN: Symphony No 4 Op 20, The Inextinguishable (RNZ)

This performance will be broadcast live from The Auckland Town Hall by Radio New Zealand 

8:00 pm Friday 31 October: Goldner String Quartet

GoldnerGareth Farr's Te Tai-O-Rehua is the from Māori name for the Tasman Sea, the turbulent body of water that separates New Zealand from Australia. The piece was commissioned by the Goldner Quartet and Chamber Music New Zealand and as such, is a testament to the sibling relationship our two countries have.

In Te Tai-O-Rehua, Gareth uses an unusual scale built out of minor thirds and minor seconds which contributes to the dark mood of the piece and the melodies are very rhythmically constructed with irregular phrase lengths to keep it unpredictable.

SCHUBERT: String Quartet No 14 in D minor D810, Death & the Maiden; FARR: Te Tai-O-Rehua (première performance); ELGAR: Piano Quintet in A minor Op 84

This concert was recorded in Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre by Radio New Zealand