The Best of the Week
SUNDAY APRIL 15
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).
TUESDAY APRIL 17
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.
THURSDAY APRIL 19
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.