Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


NZSO Dedicates Concert To Modern Masters In Hear & Far


11 April 2013 - NZSO Media Release for immediate release
NZSO Dedicates Concert To Modern Masters In Hear & Far

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra celebrates home-grown contemporary compositions alongside the works of international composers in Hear & Far, a fresh annual concert dedicated to Modern Masters.

American composer John Adams’ wonderfully strange, yet riveting piece, Harmonielehre, shares a complementary vitality and vibrancy with fellow Pacific composer, John Psathas’ work for choir and orchestra, Orpheus in Rarohenga.

Harmonielehre was composed in 1985 following an 18-month period of writer’s block. This beautifully textured three-movement work was inspired by a dream in which Adams’ was driving across the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge when he saw an oil tanker on the surface of the water abruptly turn upright and take off like a rocket. Each of its three movements reflects Adams’ feeling at the time: liberation (I), spiritual sickness (II), and grace (III).

Its powerful opening, featuring the minimalist repetition of E minor chords, forms the work’s recurring theme, before the cello section takes on an expressive melody eventually adopted by the entire orchestra. Famously, this impressive work, which means "study of harmony" in German, appears in the video game Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

“What is beyond doubt is that Adams is one of those contemporary voices we all need to hear and keep hearing.” The Guardian.

Composed only 17 years later, in 2002, Orpheus in Rarohenga shares Harmonielehre’s dramatic, “larger than life” quality.

“It’s like a movie without the visuals,” says New Zealand composer John Psathas. “It’s storytelling on a grand scale.”

Also constructed in three movements, Psathas’ major oratorio was commissioned to mark the 50th anniversary of one of New Zealand’s most accomplished choral ensembles, the Orpheus Choir of Wellington. This NZSO performance will feature New Zealand soprano Jenny Wollerman, tenor Richard Greager, bass-baritone Paul Whelan, and successful New Zealand conductor Tecwyn Evans.

Orpheus in Rarohenga tells a unique tale of Captain James Cook’s 1769 voyage to the Southern Hemisphere, ostensibly to view the Transit of Venus but which also resulted in the European discovery of the islands of New Zealand. This voyage, and its resulting historical ramifications, are literally merged with the journey by the mythical figure of Orpheus to the Underworld.

Respected New Zealand poet Robert Sullivan, of Ngā Puhi and Irish descent, was commissioned to write the book-length poem Captain Cook in the Underworld as the libretto for Psathas’ Orpheus in Rarohenga. The poem offers fresh perspectives on the familiar story of Cook’s Pacific explorations with its broad bi-cultural (European/Polynesian) frame of references and bold risk-taking approach.

“The entire work is rhythmically driven and builds in momentum towards the moment of Cook’s death in the second movement,” says Psathas. “When Cook dies it’s like an action sequence with the choir engaged in the battle itself. Then, the story continues when Cook enters the Underworld in the third movement, guided by Orpheus – it’s mystical and other worldly.”

Enjoy the best of New Zealand with the best of the world and experience the voice of Aotearoa as it resonates with international voices in this innovative NZSO concert series Hear & Far.

“A moving, captivating and frightening work… Robert Sullivan re-ignites Cook’s Pacific explorations. This book will make many readers think deeply… Captain Cook in the Underworld really achieves its end through rhythm, intensity and extreme focus.” – Hamesh Wyatt, Otago Daily Times


NZSO Hear & Far
Modern Masters

TECWYN EVANS Conductor
JENNY WOLLERMAN Soprano
RICHARD GREAGER Tenor
PAUL WHELAN Bass-Baritone
ORPHEUS CHOIR OF WELLINGTON

JOHN ADAMS Harmonielehre
JOHN PSATHAS Orpheus in Rarohenga

WELLINGTON / Town Hall / Friday 10 May / 6:30 pm
TICKETEK / 0800 842 538 / TICKETEK.CO.NZ

AUCKLAND / Town Hall / Saturday 25 May / 7.30 pm
THE EDGE / 0800 289 842 / BUYTICKETS.CO.NZ

www.nzso.co.nz


Composer John Psathas.
ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Scoop Review Of Books: From Here And There

Being Chinese: A New Zealander’s Story
by Helene Wong.
This is the fascinating story of Helene Wong, born in 1949 in Taihape to Chinese parents: her mother, born soon after her parents migrated here, and her father, born in China but sent to relatives in Taihape at seven to get an education in English. More>>

Chiku: Hamilton Zoo's Baby Chimpanzee Named

Hamilton Zoo has named its three-month-old baby chimpanzee after a month-long public naming competition through the popular zoo’s website. The name chosen is Chiku, a Swahili name for girls meaning "talker" or "one who chatters". More>>

Game Over: Trans-Tasman Netball League To Discontinue

Netball Australia and Netball New Zealand have confirmed that the existing ANZ Championship format will discontinue after the current 2016 season, with both organisations to form national netball leagues in their respective countries. More>>

NZSO Review: Stephen Hough Is Perfection-Plus

He took risks, and leant into the music when required. But you also felt that every moment of his playing made sense in the wider picture of the piece. Playing alongside him, the NZSO were wonderful as ever, and their guest conductor, Gustavo Gimeno, coaxed from them a slightly darker, edgier sound than I’m used to hearing. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: King Lear At Circa

In order to celebrate it's 40th birthday, it is perhaps fitting that Circa Theatre should pick a production of 'King Lear,' since it's also somewhat fortuitously Shakespeare's 400th anniversary. If some of the more cerebral poetry is lost in Michael Hurst's streamlined, full throttle production, it's more than made up for by plenty of lascivious violence designed to entertain the groundlings. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Tauranga Books Festival

Escape to Tauranga for Queen’s Birthday weekend and an ideas and books-focused festival that includes performance, discussion, story-telling, workshops and an Italian-theme morning tea. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news