The Best of the Week

New Zealand Listener - - CONTENTS - By FIONA RAE

Fiona Rae


Mu­sic Alive (RNZ Con­cert, 7.30pm). Western string in­stru­ments meet the mu­sic of in­dige­nous New Zealand in the first of the week’s two record­ings from the 2018 New Zealand Fes­ti­val. Te Ao Hou – This New World fea­tures the New Zealand String Quar­tet and taonga pūoro ex­po­nent Rob Thorne. The evening in­cluded the 2017 SOUNZ Con­tem­po­rary Award-win­ning work by Salina Fisher, Tōrino. On Tues­day, there’s a record­ing of the world-renowned King’s Singers, who per­formed with the Voices New Zealand Cham­ber Choir. It was a cel­e­bra­tion of the group’s 50-year his­tory and tra­versed mu­sic from the Re­nais­sance to the mod­ern, in­clud­ing a new work by New Zealan­der Leonie Holmes, This Water­shed Time.


Somme Pa­rade (RNZ Con­cert, 1.00pm). Bri­tish aca­demic and author Kate Kennedy dis­cusses com­posers and po­ets sent to the Somme in this fas­ci­nat­ing doc­u­men­tary. She in­cludes New Zealand com­poser

Wil­lie Man­son’s set­ting of AE Hous­man’s A Shrop­shire Lad and also dis­cusses fa­mous friends Wil­liam De­nis Browne, Ru­pert Brooke and Fred­er­ick Sep­ti­mus Kelly, who were all lost dur­ing World War I. Kelly’s el­egy for his friend Brooke can be heard dur­ing Mu­sic Alive at 7.30pm and there is another set­ting of A Shrop­shire Lad, by Ge­orge But­ter­worth, who was also lost in France. Madeleine Pier­ard ap­pears in the NZSO con­cert, which ends with Ross Har­ris’s Sym­phony No 2, the set­ting of po­ems on the sub­ject of New Zealand sol­diers shot for de­ser­tion in WWI.

King and Coun­try, by Dave Arm­strong (RNZ Na­tional, 8.30pm). Arm­strong may have told us last year he was over de­pic­tions of loyal lads head­ing to the front, in­clud­ing his own 2004 play, but his com­bi­na­tion of let­ters, po­ems, news­pa­per ar­ti­cles and mu­sic of the WWI era is too good to en­tirely con­sign to a less com­pli­cated past. An­zac Day on RNZ Na­tional also in­cludes A War Re­quiem at 6.06pm, which ex­am­ines the psy­cho­log­i­cal trauma of war, and the An­zac Day Dawn Ser­vice from Pukeahu Park in Welling­ton at 6.00am.

Salina Fisher, Mu­sic Alive, Mon­day.

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