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Lamb & Hayward Masterworks Homecoming


Sat 17 Mar 2012, 7:30pm–9:30pm

Where: Aurora Centre for the Performing Arts, Cnr Greers Rd and Memorial Ave, Burnside, Christchurch

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Adult A Reserve: $40.00
  • Adult B Reserve: $30.00
  • Child: $10.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Tecwyn Evans: conductor
Martin Riseley: violin

Ritchie - French Overture
Prokofiev - Violin Concerto No.2
Brahms - Symphony No.3

Composed in 2009 for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra at the request of conductor Tecwyn Evans, Anthony Ritchie wrote the overture during a period of study leave in Paris. Like so many before and after, he was beguiled and inspired by the great city's elegance, grandeur and history.

First performed in Madrid in 1935, Prokofiev's Second Violin Concerto draws on Russian folk music and Spanish rhythms. After the experimentation and sharp contemporary flavours of his earlier works, Prokofiev decided to return to a more conventional style for this work. The first movement was written in Paris, the orchestration completed in Russia before the premiere was performed in the Spanish capital with the French violinist Robert Soetens as soloist. The Spanish loved it – sending a deputation of musicians to thank Prokofiev afterwards. Written in three movements, it is flavoured by his typical tart, acerbic flavours and sense of irony as he displays the qualities of the violin and orchestra to perfection.

Brahms gives the impression that his third symphony is a liberating experience; a move away from the pessimism and resignation of earlier works. Here was a 50 year old bachelor who was "free but happy" (Frei aber froh) and injects this mood into this work. A richness and contentment emerges throughout the symphony. It's the shortest of Brahms' symphonies but perhaps one of the most satisfying. Each of the four movements exudes warmth and relaxation – the third movement remains as one of the most intensely lyrical moments in music before the passion of the final section ends the symphony on a note of heroic determination and optimism.

Fittingly this concert is named Homecoming to mark the performances from New Zealanders, violinist, Martin Riseley and conductor, Tecwyn Evans. Both have paved successful international careers, Riseley recently returning to NZ to take up the position as Head of Strings at the New Zealand School of Music whilst Evans has been the Erster Kapellmeister und Stellvertreter des Chefdirigenten of Grazer Opera, Austria.

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