28 Sep 2012
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Vector Wellington Orchestra Subscription Series Four:
Houstoun plays Rachmaninov
Michael Houstoun, piano
Marc Taddei, conductor
Haydn Symphony No 44 ‘Trauer’
Rachmaninov Piano concerto No 2
Schmidt Symphony No 4
One of the greatest Romantic piano concertos ever written, Piano concerto No 2 marked the young Rachmaninov’s triumph over a depression that had blocked his creativity for nearly three years.By turns tender, nostalgic, and filled with hope, this concerto never fails to move audiences. It’s a perfect vehicle for a powerhouse performer such as Michael Houstoun.
Vector Wellington Orchestra’s Music Director, Marc Taddei, has been exploring the great Haydn symphonies. Audiences have heard the orchestra dust off Haydn favourites with performances that are vital and sympathetic. Their performance of Haydn’s well-known ‘Trauer’ or ‘Mourning’ symphony should be no exception. Written in 1772 during his Sturm und Drang (“storm and stress”) period, its dramatic contrasts and high emotion make it one of Haydn’s most operatic works.
The Fourth Symphony by Austro-Hungarian composer Franz Schmidt has never before been heard in New Zealand. Taddei is not alone in calling it “one of the great symphonies of the 20th century”. As a cellist, Schmidt was a colleague of Mahler in the Vienna Opera; as a composer he was an exact contemporary of Schoenberg.
But Schoenberg’s 12-tone experiments held no attraction for Schmidt. He wrote lushly Romantic music in the tradition of Beethoven, Schubert and Bruckner. His Fourth Symphony was written in 1933 as a Requiem for his daughter, who died in childbirth. Like the Rachmaninov, the music is full of tenderness, longing and hope.
'Houstoun plays Rachmaninov' is at the Wellington Town Hall on
Saturday 17 November at 7.30pm. Pre-concert talk 6.30pm .
Tickets available from Ticketek 0800 842 538. Service fee will apply.
For more information or images, contact:
Adán E. Tijerina
Vector Wellington Orchestra
DDI: +64 4 801 3956 Mob: +64 21 967 396