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New Zealand Symphony Orchestra: Spring 2017 Season

Live Music

The NZSO makes two big stops in Christchurch in spring as part of a busy programme in their 70th year.

Pianomania with Freddy Kempf
Where: Air Force Museum of New Zealand
When: Wednesday 20 September, 7pm

This concert will include works from Handel, Mozart, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninov and Gershwin. Join in a celebration of some of the greatest piano pieces in classical music. Pioneers of their time, these composers created some of the most memorable music of the age. Freddy Kempf, pianist extraordinaire returns to the NZSO to conduct and play in this national tour.

Kempf’s previous appearance with the NZSO provoked standing ovations. This concert of piano favourites promises even more as Kempf explores the history of the piano over the last 300 years.

The call and response within George Frideric Handel’s stately Concerto for Keyboard, op. 4 in G minor, initiates an intimacy between orchestra and soloist that is built upon in the next work, the miraculous second movement of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21. Sparkling virtuosity and translucent melodies define Frédéric Chopin’s Andante spianato et Grande polonaise brillante, while a strident fanfare launches Felix Mendelssohn’s audacious and playful third movement of the Piano Concerto No. 1.

Two 20th-century favourites follow. Sergei Rachmaninov’s unapologetically romantic second movement from his Piano Concerto No. 2, (which inspired the 1975 pop hit ‘All By Myself’) and George Gershwin’s jazz-infused Rhapsody in Blue closes this Spring celebration of pianistic splendour.

Travels in Italy
Where: Air Force Museum of New Zealand
When: Wednesday 11 October, 7pm

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s well-travelled Music Director Emeritus Maestro James Judd returns in October to take audiences on a grand musical tour of Italy.

Judd’s Travels in Italy celebrates works by three great composers that were inspired by Italian culture, literature, and the Italian landscape.

Inspired by Byron, Hector Berlioz’s Harold in Italy imagines a solo viola as a melancholy dreamer, journeying through the Abruzzi region of Italy and always at odds with the orchestra. Poetic and demanding, this work needs a stunning soloist to bring Berlioz’s score to life. Viola virtuoso Antoine Tamestit’s ‘rich, burgundy timbre’ is perfect for conjuring our Byronic hero.

We then travel to Alassio in Edward Elgar’s In the South. Inspired while walking ancient Roman roads, this overture recalls previous Italian-flavoured works and the shadow of Don Juan peeks from the shadows to seduce us all.

No artistic journey through Italy would be complete without some Dante. In Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini the composer takes us into the depths of the Inferno with frenzied music that whispers of forbidden, adulterous love.

For more details and ticketing, see the NZSO website.
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0800 479 674
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