The Best of the Week
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 15
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.
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 16
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.