News from Orchestra Wellington
Orchestra Wellington followers will get another chance to appreciate the dazzling skills of its leader, Amalia Hall, when she returns to centre stage to perform the modern masterpiece, Jennifer Higdon’s Violin Concerto.
The piece was written for American star Hilary Hahn, who like Amalia Hall studied at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.
With it Amalia Hall continues her tradition of taking on new and challenging works, beginning with the premier of Kiwi composer Claire Cowan’s Stark in 2017, an epic performance of Bartok’s 2nd Violin Concerto in 2018, and a sumptuous rendition of Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto last year.
Hall is appearing as soloist in Orchestra Wellington’s Rachmaninoff Rapture concert on Sunday 15th November at the Michael Fowler Centre, conducted by Marc Taddei. Re scheduled from August, the concert is now playing on a Sunday evening.
The concert concludes with a continuation of Orchestra Wellington’s celebration of the great Russian romantic, Sergei Rachmaninoff, with a performance of his troubled first symphony, a work which nearly cost Rachmaninoff his career.
It was savaged by the critics after its first performance in 1897, a premiere which may have been marred by conductor Alexander Glazunov being drunk at the time.
The response deeply hurt Rachmaninoff and almost convinced him to give up composing.
The complete score was set aside, and after the Bolshevik Revolution forced Rachmaninoff to leave Russian, was lost altogether.
It only survived when the separate instrumental parts were discovered after his death, allowing conductor Aleksandr Gauk to reconstruct it for its second performance in Moscow in 1945.
These days the symphony occupies its rightful place as one of Rachmaninoff’s early mature works, and a fitting finale to Orchestra Wellington’s Rachmaninoff Rapture concert.
At the other end of the programme sits Antonin Dvorak’s sunny Serenade for Strings, one of his happiest works, and one which was an immediate hit with listeners when first performed in Prague in 1876.