Music Alive

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8:00 pm Saturday 19 April: The Seven Last Words of Christ

Joseph HaydnThe “Seven Last Words of Christ” refers to the seven short phrases uttered by Jesus on the cross, as gathered from the four Christian Gospels. The Crucifixion of Jesus has served as inspiration to a great many visual artists and composers over the centuries. In particular, at least 16 composers have written musical settings of the Seven Last Words including Josef Haydn. 

Deeply solemn in spirit, yet devoid of excess of emotionalism in spite of its subject, Haydn’s version clearly asserts itself as a sacred work to provide a musical accompaniment to religious ceremonies for Good Friday.

Andréa Benoit, Hanna Wilberg, Jessica Wells (sops), Penelope Watson (contralto), Iain Tetley (ten), Thomas Lowen (bass), Timothy Noon (org), Musica Sacra/Indra Hughes

HAYDN: The Seven Last Words of Christ

Recorded in St Matthew-in-the-City by Radio New Zealand

8:00 pm Monday 21 April: John Chen

John ChenNew Zealand pianist John Chen launched his career by winning the 2004 Sydney International Piano Competition, where he also won prizes for his interpretations of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chamber music and Concerto.

Since then, he has performed across Europe, Asia, North America, Africa and extensively in Australia and New Zealand, including performances at significant festivals such as Klavierfestival Ruhr and Singapore International Piano Festival.

SCHUMANN: Four Fugues Op 72; BACH: French Overture (Partita) in B minor BWV831; SCHUBERT: Piano Sonata No 20 in A D959; RAVEL: A la manière de Borodine

This concert was recorded live in Auckland University School of Music’s Music Theatre by Radio New Zealand

8:00 pm Wednesday 23 April: Verdi’s Requiem

SalzburgComposed to mark the passing of two great Italian heroes – composer Gioachino Rossini and author and poet Alessandro Manzoni – Verdi’s Requiem is an overwhelming expression of grief, and yet it is reassuring in its message of comfort.

The work is filled with recognisable musical moments, from the dramatic and despairing ‘Dies Irae’ with its thunderous percussion and brass to the imploring beauty of the ‘Lacrimosa’ that grows in its intensity with every phrase. Once considered too ‘operatic’ for the church, this work is filled with Verdi’s trademark glorious melodies.

(3) Krassimira Stoyanova (sop), Elina Garanca (mezzo), Piotr Beczala (ten), Dmitry Belosselskiy (bass), Concert Association of the Vienna State Opera Chorus, Vienna Phil/Riccardo Muti

VERDI: Requiem; HAYDN: Sixth & Seventh movements, Lento; Largo, from The Seven Last Words of Christ

This performance was recorded live and made available to Radio New Zealand by WFMT

8:00 pm Friday 25 April: Requiem for the Fallen

PoppiesThe work was a collaboration between Ross Harris (composer) and Vincent O’Sullivan (poet) and performed by Horomona Horo (taonga puoro), Richard Greager (tenor), Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir, NZ String Quartet conducted by Karen Grylls.

Ross Harris says more than 18,000 New Zealanders died in World War 1. Requiem for the Fallen is written to honour the memory of those soldiers who gave their lives in a war that changed the direction of human history. “Somewhere between the landing at Anzac and the end of the battle of the Somme New Zealand very definitely became a nation.” The work combines movements from the Requiem Mass in Latin with words by Vincent O’Sullivan.

(2) Requiem for the Fallen

Horomona Horo (taonga pūoro), Richard Greager (ten), Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir, New Zealand String Quartet/Karen Grylls

PURCELL: Hear my prayer, O Lord; MESSIAEN: O sacrum convivium; BEETHOVEN: Third movement, Molto adagio, from String Quartet in A minor Op 132; SCHNITTKE: Three sacred hymns; HARRIS: Requiem for the Fallen (première performance & broadcast)

Recorded live in the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul by Radio New Zealand