The Best of the Week

New Zealand Listener - - CONTENTS - Fiona Rae


Mu­sic Alive Mati­nee (RNZ Con­cert, 3.00pm). Worl­drenowned Bach in­ter­preter Masaaki Suzuki con­ducts an en­sem­ble of stu­dents from New York’s Juil­liard School in this Cham­ber Mu­sic New Zealand con­cert from last year. The 19-strong Juil­liard415 fo­cuses on early mu­sic and per­forms four works by Bach as well as an ex­cerpt from Han­del’s Motet in B flat, Si­lente venti.

Mu­sic Alive (RNZ Con­cert, 7.30pm). Amer­ica meets Rus­sia in this record­ing from the

BBC Proms of Marin Al­sop and the Bal­ti­more Sym­phony. Al­sop, a pro­tégée of Leonard Bern­stein, leads the orches­tra through that com­poser’s Slava! (A Po­lit­i­cal Over­ture), writ­ten for cel­list Mstislav Rostropovich, and The Age of Anx­i­ety, Bern­stein’s sym­phony based on WH Au­den’s post-war poem. The evening ends with Shostakovich’s Fifth Sym­phony, a work that was in­ter­preted in dif­fer­ent ways upon its de­but in 1937. There are more Amer­i­cans in the house in Tues­day’s Mu­sic Alive (7.30pm), although the Bos­ton Sym­phony Orches­tra and mezzo-so­prano Su­san Gra­ham are con­ducted by their Lat­vian mu­sic di­rec­tor, An­dris Nel­sons. They are joined by the City of Birm­ing­ham Cho­rus and Youth Cho­rus for Mahler’s teem­ing and joy­ful Third Sym­phony. On Mu­sic

Alive later in the week, Strauss is the or­der of the day: the Ber­lin Phil­har­monic per­form Strauss’s Don Juan and Death and Trans­fig­u­ra­tion on Wed­nes­day, and on Fri­day, so­pra­nos Miah Pers­son and Adela Za­haria join Vasily Pe­trenko and the Royal Liver­pool Phil­har­monic Orches­tra to sing four Strauss songs and the world pre­miere of a work by Bri­tish com­poser Iain Bell.


Opera on Sun­day (RNZ Con­cert, 6.00pm). The re­views for

Opera North’s pro­duc­tion of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera in Fe­bru­ary weren’t stel­lar, but we can tell you that the opera stars New Zealand bari­tone Phillip Rhodes as the Count who dis­cov­ers his wife’s af­fair with the King of Swe­den and joins in a con­spir­acy to kill him at a masked ball. Hun­gar­ian so­prano Adri­enn Miksch is his wife, Amelia, and Mex­i­can tenor Rafael Ro­jas is King Gus­tavo.

Miah Pers­son, Mu­sic Alive, Fri­day.

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