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Wed 5 Mar 2008, 7:30pm–9:00pm

Where: Wellington Town Hall, 111 Wakefield St, Wellington

Ticket Information:

  • 'A' Reserve: $75.00
  • 'A' Reserve- Friend: $70.00
  • 'B' Reserve: $65.00
  • 'B' Reserve - Friend: $60.00
  • 'C' Reserve: $45.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: Olivia Bruce

You haven't heard Mahler's Fourth Symphony until you've heard it played by an ensemble of a dozen players. This chamber-scale performance offers the listener a transparent, lucid view of the work that shows how every strand of music fits into the whole.

Arranged by Mahler's pupil, Erwin Stein, in 1918 for Arnold Schoenberg's Society for Private Musical Performance (a secret society where music of the day could be performed without criticism or judgement of any kind), this reduced setting allows you to appreciate fully the beauty of what's underneath. The Ensemble is joined by Sara Macliver, one of Australasia's leading sopranos.

Paired with a crystalline reduction of one of Debussy's most famous works, Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, this chamber music concert offers a fresh view on two much-loved works from the orchestral repertoire.

Conductor Kristjan Järvi
Soprano Sara Macliver

Mahler arr Stein Symphony No 4
Debussy Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune

About Absolute Ensemble
Since its inception in 1993, the Absolute Ensemble has served up classical music with large helpings of energy. The Ensemble's consummate musicianship is evident whether it is crafting the intricate opening phrases of Mahler or improvising a crazy, fiendish solo.

Kristjan Järvi, whom the New York Times refers to as a "kinetic force on the podium", lovingly describes his musicians as "musical omnivores". The group fuses its classical roots with everything from jazz and rock to world music and hip-hop - lending itself to the kind of performance usually foreign to the classical breed.

Music is the family business; Järvi comes from a dynasty of classical conductors - son of Neeme and brother to Paavo Järvi. Currently music director of the Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra, Järvi has extensive commitments as guest conductor and has cultivated special relationships with a number of orchestras including Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and NDR Radio Philharmonie.

Primarily based in the United States, the Absolute Ensemble has toured the globe and has an extensive list of recordings which have won numerous accolades, including the German Record Critics Prize and a Grammy nomination for best small ensemble classical recording.

Absolute is not preoccupied with defining themselves as a chamber orchestra, jazz band, big band or rock band - "they are equally comfortable with classical music, jazz and rock and have the techniques to address these styles in their own terms" (New York Times).

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