The Best of the Week

New Zealand Listener - - CON­TENTS - Fiona Rae


Mu­sic Alive (RNZ Con­cert, 7.30pm). The first of the week’s record­ings from the New Zealand Fes­ti­val 2018 fea­tures works com­mis­sioned es­pe­cially for Kiwi vir­tu­oso pi­anist Stephen De Pledge. In A New Zealand Par­tita, seven New Zealand com­posers have writ­ten pieces in­spired by JS Bach’s Par­tita No 3; De Pledge plays Bach move­ments and the re­sponse. Com­posers in­clude the ven­er­a­ble Leonie Holmes, who tack­les the open­ing move­ment, Fan­ta­sia, and young con­tem­po­rary com­poser Ce­leste Oram, who takes the Scherzo into new ter­ri­tory with $cher.zo (two one four-hun­dred and thir­teen dol­lars forty).


Mu­sic Alive (RNZ Con­cert, 7.30pm). There has been much ex­cite­ment over the Orava Quar­tet, four young string play­ers from Bris­bane who look like they should be play­ing in an in­die rock band, not heav­ing cel­los across the Tas­man for the New Zealand Fes­ti­val. Their first ap­pear­ance in New Zealand was called Ro­mance & Revo­lu­tion and fea­tured Haydn’s witty and beau­ti­ful String Quar­tet No 2, The Joke and Shostakovich’s wrench­ing String Quar­tet No 8, writ­ten in Dres­den in 1960. Sadly, lis­ten­ers will be un­able to see some­thing for which they’re fa­mous: their colour­ful socks.


Mu­sic Alive (RNZ Con­cert, 8.00pm). A tra­di­tional treat, live from the Auck­land Town Hall: Vaughan Wil­liams’ The Lark As­cend­ing and El­gar’s adored Enigma Vari­a­tions. In be­tween is the world pre­miere of Ross Har­ris’s Face, an in­ter­na­tional co-com­mis­sion in­spired by the story of Sir Harold Gil­lies. It’s a mul­ti­me­dia work that in­cludes vi­su­als by Tim Gruchy. Chi­nese vi­olin­ist Yanghe Yu, so­prano Al­li­son Bell, tenor Henry

Choo and bass-bari­tone Joel Amosa join the APO, which is con­ducted by Antony Her­mus. Karen Grylls con­ducts Voices New Zealand Cham­ber Choir.

Orava Quar­tet, Music Alive, Tues­day.

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