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

 


Shostakovich authority conducts Russian Fire with NZSO

Shostakovich authority conducts Russian Fire with NZSO

This May, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra performs with star conductor from Russia Alexander Lazarev and acclaimed Russian pianist Alexander Melnikov.

This is an exceptional opportunity to hear New Zealand’s national orchestra perform gems of the repertoire: a Shostakovich symphony led by one of the world’s authorities on this music, Rachmaninov’squintessentially Russian Caprice Bohémien, and Schumann’s only and much-loved Piano Concerto.

In a career that has already spanned three decades, Lazarev has held many prestigious posts including Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Bolshoi Theatre, Russia’s premiere cultural institution. He was also Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and Principal Conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. A high point of Lazarev’s tenure with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra was conducting the full cycle of Shostakovich symphonies.

Under his leadership, the NZSO’s performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 15, the last the composer penned, will be spellbinding. Written from his hospital bed over a few short weeks in 1971, Shostakovich’s final symphony has evaded definitive interpretation ever since, intriguing audiences with its layered meanings and musical quotations. A talent confined within Soviet artistic restraints, Shostakovich begins the work showcasing childhood and a toy shop in the first movement. The symphony ends with intimations of the composer’s own unsolved thoughts about mortality in a very different mood. Searching out the limits of the orchestra, this work of ambiguous melancholy and optimism is one of the most profound symphonies of the last 50 years.

In 2010, Maestro Lazarev wowed audiences across New Zealand, again presenting programmes of predominantly Russian music:

“[He] demanded and got the utmost intensity from the orchestra ... His engagement with the audience was superb and infectious” (The Press).

Lazarev has a long relationship with the NZSO over many years, providing audiences with memorable performances. His returns are always greatly anticipated and his concerts always electric.

Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A Minor was an important composition when it was completed in 1846. Rising up against the influence and mode of 19th century concertos, in his only piano concerto Schumann’s focus is not to let the soloist and orchestra take turns at sharing the spotlight. Rather, the piano interacts with the orchestra, unfolding and interweaving sounds and phrases with the whole ensemble, while still providing an opportunity for the pianist to satisfy listeners with virtuosic cadenzas and incredible technique. Described as “a collaborator of rare musical intelligence” (The Observer), guest artist Alexander Melnikov is the ideal pianist to bring audiences an authentic and brilliant performance of this work.

Melnikov is the 2013-14 Artist-in-Residence at the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, and began his current season with a debut at the BBC Proms with the Warsaw Philharmonic. Like Lazarev, was also lauded when he toured our cities in 2009:

“Melnikov was an outstanding soloist, creating gentle climaxes, full sonorous chords and passages of incredible velocity…” (Otago Daily Times).

No Russian concert would be complete without the music of Rachmaninov – his Caprice Bohémien, one of his early works, is a symphonic poem for orchestra. From funeral march to vibrant gypsy rhythms, it builds with beautiful woodwind voices to an energetic and inspired close.

Don’t miss this opportunity to share in the passion and beauty of the NZSO with guest artists from Russia, Alexander Lazarev and Alexander Melnikov.

RUSSIAN FIRE

Alexander Lazarev Conductor
Alexander Melnikov Piano

RACHMANINOV Caprice Bohémien
SCHUMANN Piano Concerto in A Minor
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No.15

WELLINGTON / Michael Fowler Centre / Saturday 17 May / 7.30 pm
CHRISTCHURCH / CBS Canterbury Arena / Tuesday 20 May / 7.00pm
DUNEDIN / Town Hall / Wednesday 21 May / 7.00pm
NAPIER / Municipal Theatre / Friday 23 May / 7.00pm
AUCKLAND / Town Hall / Saturday 24 May / 7.30pm

www.nzso.co.nz

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Game Review: Midsomer Murders Meets First Year Philosophy

Developed by The Chinese Room, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture sees the player exploring what appears to be a recently abandoned idyllic English village trying to figure out where everybody's gone. Spoiler: they've gone to the rapture. (On a serious note, this review contains plot spoilers.) More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Clear Science

It was really after his move to Wellington, to Victoria University, that it became apparent that Sir Paul Cllaghan was much more than an eminent physicist... More>>

ALSO:

Francis Cook: Weekend SportzMania! All Blacks! Netball!

Sports were on all weekend. I normally don’t write about sports but with Richie McCaw tipped to be the next Prime Minister, and Colin Craig arguing sports are almost as important as politics, I thought “what better time to start!” More>>

ALSO:

Beervana: Aussie Pav Beer Declared Taste Of NZ

In a surprising upset, an Australian beer modelled on the pavlova, created by Brisbane brewery Newstead Brewing, the 250 Beers blog and Scratch Bar, has been announced the winner at the Beervana craft beer festival ‘Flag Brew’ competition, which challenged media and brewing teams to capture the distinctive taste of New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Air NZ Teams Up With All Blacks For Men In Black Video

Inspired by the Columbia Pictures global film franchise Men in Black, Air New Zealand’s latest safety instalment features All Blacks’ Captain Richie McCaw and Dan Carter as Men in Black agents. More>>

ALSO:

World Champions: BRADAS Of Identity Company Take On The World And Win Gold

This is only the second time since NZ has qualified for the HHI world finals that NZ has taken home a GOLD medal in this division. REQUEST Dance Crew being the only other NZ crew to achieve this. New Zealands only other medal this year was Silver for the Royal Family in a very close final in the Megacrew division. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Contrary To Popular Belief - Lloyd Geering

Many older Dunediners like myself, and indeed older Presbyterians and others throughout the country, will remember the controversy aroused by the articles and speeches of Professor Geering, Principal of Knox College Theological Hall in the late 1960s... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news