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

 


NZSO debuts American cellist Alisa Weilerstein

NZSO debuts the “distinctive musical voice” of American cellist Alisa Weilerstein


The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra welcomes the “distinctive musical voice” of American cellist Alisa Weilerstein to New Zealand for her debut with the NZSO.

At only 32 years of age, the New York-born virtuoso has won international acclaim for her impassioned virtuosity, technical precision and spontaneous interpretations. She is the 2011 MacArthur “genius grant” Fellowship recipient and the first cellist to be exclusively signed by the prestigious label Decca Classics in more than 30 years.

Under the baton of her husband and charismatic Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare, this NZSO concert series Wounded Hearts will fittingly explore themes of passion and pain with Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante - a rarely-performed large-scale work for cello and orchestra, Schumann’s Manfred Overture, and Mahler’s impressive Symphony No. 1 ‘Titan’.

Sinfonia Concertante - Prokofiev’s last major masterpiece - is a notorious technical challenge, urging its musicians and the audience to perilous yet soaring heights. Dedicated to esteemed Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich (1927-2007), this work is a revised version of an earlier Cello Concerto written some 20 years before. Prokofiev's interest in the cello was reawakened after hearing Rostropovich play it at the Moscow Conservatory in 1947 and, with advice from the famous cellist, the new Sinfonia Concertante emerged. It premiered in 1952 with conductor Sviatoslav Richter.

An impassioned, modern performance in the hands of this thrilling musical actress, fresh from performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, is inevitable.

Known for her prodigious talent, Weilerstein made her professional debut with the Cleveland Orchestra when she was only 13. In 2010, she performed Elgar’s Cello Concerto in an iconic performance with conductor Daniel Barenboim and the Berlin Philharmonic. The concert was televised live around the world and lauded by The Guardian:

Alisa Weilerstein gave the most technically complete and emotionally devastating performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto that I have ever heard live.

Mahler’s wild and uninhibited First Symphony, the ‘Titan’, was composed some 60 years earlier than Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante. It takes centre stage in the second half of Wounded Hearts, with prize-winning conductor and Chief Conductor of the Ulster Orchestra, Rafael Payare, leading from the podium.

Inspired by the breadth of nature and humanity, Mahler’s ‘Titan’ unbolted the conventions of the symphony and broke open its possibilities. Unlike a typical four-movement symphony, Mahler switched what is normally the second slow movement with the third - a technique also used by Beethoven. Opening the final movement in F minor, before its final resting place in D major, was a dramatic break from convention.

Scored for a large orchestra of 100 players, it unsettled early audiences and remains a monument to Mahler’s creative ambition - the ideal combination of a tone poem and a symphony.

A symphony should be like the world, it must contain everything. Mahler.

Opening the concert is Schumann’s Manfred Overture – a work drawn from the dramatic world of Lord Byron and written some 40 years before Mahler’s First Symphony.

First performed in 1852, the music historian Peter Ostwald wrote that Schumann’s Manfred was written when he was facing “exquisite suffering” from “inner voices”. Byron’s 1816–1817 poem Manfred, on which it is based, contains supernatural elements, in keeping with the popularity of the ghost story in England at the time.

This June/July, experience passion and pain in Wounded Hearts featuring the debut New Zealand performance of prodigious US cellist Alisa Weilerstein with Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare.

...Alisa Weilerstein, one of the most exciting American cellists of the new generation. New York Times.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Werewolf: Katniss Joins The News Team

From the outset, the Hunger Games series has dwelt obsessively on the ways that media images infiltrate our public and personal lives... From that grim starting point, Mockingjay Part One takes the process a few stages further. There is very little of the film that does not involve the characters (a) being on screens (b) making propaganda footage to be screened and (c) reacting to what other characters have been doing on screens. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Ko Witi Te Kaituhituhi

Witi Ihimaera, the distinguished Māori author and the first Māori to publish a book of short stories and a novel, has adopted a new genre with his latest book. But despite its subtitle, this book is a great deal more than a memoir of childhood. More>>

Werewolf: Rescuing Paul Robeson

Would it be any harder these days, for the US government to destroy the career of a famous American entertainer and disappear them from history – purely because of their political beliefs? You would hope so. In 1940, Paul Robeson – a gifted black athlete, singer, film star, Shakespearean actor and orator – was one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. More>>

ALSO:

"Not A Competition... A Quest": Chapman Tripp Theatre Award Winners

Big winners on the night were Equivocation (Promising Newcomer, Best Costume, Best Director and Production of the Year), Kiss the Fish (Best Music Composition, Outstanding New NZ Play and Best Supporting Actress), and Watch (Best Set, Best Sound Design and Outstanding Performance). More>>

ALSO:

Film Awards: The Dark Horse Scores Big

An inspirational film based on real life Gisborne speed-chess coach An inspirational film based on real life Gisborne speed-chess coach Genesis Potini, made all the right moves to take out top honours along with five other awards at the Rialto Channel New Zealand Film Awards - nicknamed The Moas. More>>

ALSO:

Theatre: Ralph McCubbin Howell Wins 2014 Bruce Mason Award

The Bruce Mason Playwriting Award was presented to Ralph McCubbin Howell at the Playmarket Accolades in Wellington on 23 November 2014. More>>

ALSO:

One Good Tern: Fairy Tern Crowned NZ Seabird Of The Year

The fairy tern and the Fiji petrel traded the lead in the poll several times. But a late surge saw it come out on top with 1882 votes. The Fiji petrel won 1801 votes, and 563 people voted for the little blue penguin. More>>

Music Awards: Lorde Reigns Supreme

Following a hugely successful year locally and internationally, Lorde has done it again taking out no less than six Tuis at the 49th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news