NZSO to perform Russian masterworks

Published: Thu 1 Nov 2018 04:52 PM
NZSO to perform Russian masterworks in Dunedin and Christchurch
The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra will perform two dazzling works by the Russian greats Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky exclusively in Dunedin and Christchurch in November.
Conducted by the NZSO’s Music Director Edo de Waart as part of his acclaimed Masterworks concert series, Prokofiev & Tchaikovsky will feature NZSO Concertmaster Vesa-Matti Leppänen as soloist for Sergei Prokofiev’s imaginative and dramatic Violin Concerto No. 2.
First performed to acclaim in 1935, it has become one of Prokofiev’s best-known and loved works for violin.
Tchaikovsky’s bold Fifth Symphony, which the Orchestra will perform in the concert’s second half, is one of the composer’s most popular works. While it divided audiences when it premiered in 1888, its lush orchestration and unforgettable melodies have made it one of the greatest works of the Romantic tradition in classical music. “It’s a great piece and great music,” says Maestro de Waart.
Prokofiev & Tchaikovsky will also be an opportunity to enjoy one of the finest works by German composer Paul Hindemith.
Hindemith, who fled to the US in 1940 to avoid persecution by the Nazis, was asked to adapt music by 19th-century composer Carl Maria von Weber for a ballet. The project didn’t evenuate, but Hindemith was inspired to write the striking Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber, which will open the Prokofiev & Tchaikovsky concert.
“This is such a lively, gorgeous piece,” says de Waart. “Orchestras love to play it, audiences love to hear it.”

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