Thursday, 30 July 2015
A Fateful Symphony
Tonight’s concert opens with a work written by New Zealander Kenneth Young. Then Michael Hill International Violin Competition 2005 winner, Ning Feng, returns to Auckland to perform Britten’s arresting Violin Concerto. Composed in 1938-39, the piece shows a diverse array of influences, from Purcell to Prokofiev.
“Rather serious I’m afraid,” said Britten, when asked about the character of this work. It was a classic bout of English understatement. One has to remember that this profoundly pacifist composer was writing in 1939, at a time when the Spanish Civil War was still brutally fresh in the mind and World War II was only some four weeks old. Britten’s painful anxieties over the dark developments of the time are transferred into his music, and this Violin Concerto bears many scars. The concert closes with Tchaikovsky’s 5th symphony.
Ning Feng (vln), Auckland Philharmonia/Carlos Miguel Prieto
K YOUNG: Invocation (première performance); BRITTEN: Violin Concerto in D minor Op 15; TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No 5 in E minor Op 64
Recorded live in Auckland Town Hall by Radio New Zealand