Orchestra Wellington bringing in some help
Orchestra Wellington has joined forces with Orpheus Choir to bring a well-known Greek love legend to life.
The two artistic institutions have chosen to take on Maurice Ravel’s lushly evocative musical love story Daphnis and Chloe, much to the delight of the orchestra’s music director Marc Taddei.
‘‘I can’t begin to say how excited I am to be performing Daphnis and Chloe - it may well be the most sumptuous work ever written for orchestra,’’ Taddei said.
‘‘With an orchestra and full chorus of 200 performers, this towering work is a delight from start to finish and has my vote for the greatest ballet score of the 20th century.’’
The performance, on August 5 at the Michael Fowler Centre will see the orchestra play Ravel’s full ballet, rather than the Daphnis and Chloe orchestral suites which are usually performed – something Taddei believes might be a first for the country.
‘‘From the most delicate effects to the most shattering climaxes, this may very well be the New Zealand premier of this masterpiece.’’
Taddei’s role in putting the production together is an allencompassing one, helping everyone involved ‘‘get from point A to point B.’’
‘‘While I’m not making any of the music, I’m directing the musicians and I’m overlaying the work with the way I think it should go.’’
Daphnis and Chloe was written in 1912 for ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes during the height of their artistic triumph.
Diaghilev was at the pinnacle of his success and everything he touched was infused with genius.
Also on the programme is Auckland pianist Stephen de Pledge who will play one of the most beloved romantic piano concertos, written Schumann for his wife.
Clara Schumann became its first champion and performer, and Taddei said it was no wonder that a concerto so filled with love and affection has remained a staple of the repertoire.
The concert opens with four movements from Schumann’s piano showpiece Carnaval, orchestrated by Ravel to create a ballet for Nijinsky.
A contemporary critic described the result as, ‘‘Music that makes sport of love and mocks passion, yet sets the blood dancing…’’ by
Marc Taddei conducting Orchestra Wellington and the Orpheus Choir.