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Orchestra Wellington presents The Song of the Nightingale

Orchestra Wellington presents The Song of the Nightingale

7:30pm, Saturday August 9
Michael Fowler Centre

Featuring: Jian Liu, piano
Marc Taddei, conductor

Haydn: Symphony No. 83 in G minor, The Hen
Ravel: Piano Concerto in G
Stravinsky: Song of the Nightingale
Rimsky-Korsakov: The Golden Cockerel

6:30pm: Free pre-concert talk with Music Director, Marc Taddei, and guest(s).

On Saturday, August 9, pianist Jian Liu joins Orchestra Wellington for Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, a work combining Gallic sass and sparkle with moments of bluesy reflection.

Liu has become a sought-after soloist throughout New Zealand since taking up his position as Lecturer in Piano at the New Zealand School of Music. His performances convey a sense of ease and an infectious enjoyment for the music, but underneath the charm lies a ferociously brilliant technique.

Ravel is followed by two Russians with a similar flair for colour. Stravinsky created The Song of the Nightingale by adapting music from his opera of the same name, based on the famous Hans Christian Andersen story. The orchestra displays all its sonorities as a mechanical nightingale and a real forest bird compete for the attention of an Emperor.

The modern Russian taste for musical satire did not come out of nowhere. Rimsky-Korsakov’s last works include The Golden Cockerel, a suite drawn from his 1907 opera satirising Russian imperialism. It is a coded reaction to the disastrous, unpopular Russo-Japanese war and the violent repression that was already beginning to mar the country’s entry into the 20th century.

Orchestra Wellington has made Haydn’s Paris symphonies a feature of this season; appropriately for this bird-themed concert, the orchestra opens with Symphony 83, named The Hen. Though a gentle clucking theme in the first movement gives this symphony its name, much of its music is stormy and dramatic.

Tickets: $15 to $55 from Ticketek 0800 842 538; Service fee will apply


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