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

 
Sheep: Shearing Record Smashed In Hawke’s Bay

Three shearers gathered from around New Zealand have smashed a World record by 264 sheep despite the heat, the pumiced sheep of inland Hawke’s Bay and a year’s wool weighing an average of over 3.5kg a sheep. More>>

ALSO:

Carrie Fisher: Hollywood In-Breeding & The Velocity Of Being - Binoy Kampmark

There was always going to be a good deal of thick drama around Carrie Fisher, by her own confession, a product of Hollywood in-breeding. Her parents, Debbie Reynolds and the crooner Eddie Fisher, provided ample material for the gossip columns in a marriage breakup after Eddie sped away with Elizabeth Taylor. More>>

  • Image: Tracey Nearmy / EPA
  • Gordon Campbell: On The Best Albums Of 2016

    OK, I’m not even going to try and rationalise this surrender to a ‘best of’ listicle. Still…maybe there is an argument for making some semblance of narrative order out of a year that brought us Trump, Brexit and the deaths of Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Alan Vega, who I missed just as much as the Big Three. So without further ado….oh, but first a word from the sponsor More>>

    Emojis: World’s First Māori Emoji App Launched

    It’s here - the world’s first Māori emoji app Emotiki has landed just in time for summer roadtrips and santa stockings, with 200 Māori and Kiwi cultural icons for people to share their kiwiana moments with each other and the world. More>>

    ALSO:

    Howard Davis: Album Of The Year - Van Morrison's 'Keep Me Singing'

    2016 was a grand year for Van The Man - The Belfast Cowboy turned 71, received a knighthood, and reissued an expanded set of soul-fired live recordings from 1973 ('It's Too Late to Stop Now'). In the game for 53 years now, Morrison's albums consistently open new windows into the heart and soul of one of the most enigmatic figures in modern music. More>>

    Review: The NZSO Performs Handel's Messiah

    Max Rashbrooke: Saturday night's performance took the piece back to something like the way it would have originally been performed when premiered in 1742, with an orchestra of 20-30 players and only a few more singers. More>>

    Culture: Rare Hundertwasser Conservation Posters Found After 40 Years

    When Jan and Arnold Heine put a roll of conservation posters into storage in 1974 they had no idea that 42 years later they would be collectors items. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Culture
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news