New APO and NZSO concerts feature rarely-performed works

The Auckland Philharmonia and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra have recently put on some major performances of works rarely performed.

The Auckland Philharmonia’s concert version of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde was a triumph, with riveting performances by Lars Cleveman (Tristan) and Annalena Persson (Isolde).

It followed that last week with Bach’s St John Passion, the closest the composer got to an opera. Tenor Nicholas Mulroy who sang the role of the Evangelist and bass Derek Welton in the role of Pilate gave the work a real sense of theatre.

The emotional qualities of the music were enhanced with the dramatic singing of these two singers, who gave the work an urgency and drama. The NZSO’s  major work following its huge success with the Beethoven symphonies was Mahler’s ninth symphony which it performed in four centres over the past few weeks. Under conductor Edo de Waart, the orchestra gave the great brooding work an intense and inspiring performance enveloping the audience in a soundscape which could be said to express elements of the composer psychological, emotional and spiritual states.

The NZSO’s next major work will be Haydn’s great oratorio, The Creation, which will feature some of the country’s leading singers with Madeleine Pierard, Jonathan Lemalu, Andrew Staples and Nicholas McGegan.

The APO’s next concert will see the return of soprano Christine Brewer who was in Auckland a couple of years ago singing Strauss songs. This year she will be singing works by Beethoven and Joseph Marx whose songs were in the style of Hugo Wolf.

Auckland Philharmonia Songs From Vienna featuring Soprano Christine Brewer Mozart, Symphony No 41, The Jupiter Beethoven, Ah Perfido Joseph Marx, selected Songs Mahler, Adagio from symphony No 10 New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Joseph Haydn The Creation Wellington August 29 (with the Orpheus Choir), Auckland August 30 (with Auckland Choral), Dunedin September 3 (with City Choir Dunedin).