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The Lark Ascending


Fri 17 May 2013, 6:30pm

Where: Michael Fowler Centre, 111 Wakefield Street, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages


Listed by: NZSO

In association with NZ Listener

Mark Wigglesworth - conductor;
Yevgeny Sudin - piano;
Vesa-Matti Leppänen - violin.

Vaughan Williams - The Lark Ascending;
Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 2 Op. 19 in B flat major;
Elgar - Symphony No. 1 Op.5 in A flat major.

The NZSO extends another warm welcome to British maestro Mark Wigglesworth in a concert dedicated to all-time favourites. Vaughan Williams’s velvety The Lark Ascending is indebted to British folk-music traditions and was completed after the First World War in a nostalgic look back to a simpler time. Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 is an early masterpiece, written when the composer was still in his early twenties. The concerto will be in the safe hands of the ‘wonder’ pianist Yevgeny Sudbin. Acclaimed for his fresh and often scorching performances, he is perfectly matched to this tempestuous and occasionally rugged concerto. Elgar waited until his early fifties before venturing to compose a symphony. And the wait was worth it; his First Symphony is now one of the most beloved in the repertoire.

The Lark Ascending paints a stunning landscape of the British wilderness. With our Concertmaster Vesa-Matti Leppänen as the solitary lark, lovely lyrical melodies soar over a gentle body of sound. In contrast, Beethoven’s concerto will stir you from your reverie with music that is dramatic and provides our soloist with plenty of opportunities to dazzle. Expansive and unashamedly romantic, Elgar’s symphony is wonderfully grandiose. However with just three notes from the clarinet, we find a brief, wondrous moment of calm as the composer creates a sanctuary of quiet sound.

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