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NZSO presents a dazzling night of baroque music

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

NZSO to present a dazzling night of superb baroque music One of the most haunting works ever written by the popular composer Antonio Vivaldi will be performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington next month.

Vivaldi’s Flute Concerto La Notte will feature in the NZSO’s Baroque Series concert The Night, alongside equally captivating works by fellow Italian composer Arcangelo Corelli, German composer Georg Philipp Telemann and Austrian Johann Joseph Fux. Since the best-selling recording of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons by British violinist Nigel Kennedy in 1989, Vivaldi has become one of the most performed baroque composers in the world. La Notte (The Night) will feature a mesmerising performance by NZSO Section Principal Flute Bridget Douglas. "I love playing Vivaldi. His music is never dull, never boring. There’s always a lot of tension and excitement. He was a genius, a virtuosic violinist and one of the most prolific composers of his time," says Douglas.

"La Notte - The Night - has seven short, but very contrasting movements. It’s about ghosts, nightmares, and scary things that happen at night. The challenge is to make each movement feel incredibly different and to have a lot of tension and excitement between the players. I’m really looking forward to it."

Fux was most famous in his time for his book about harmony and counterpoint. But Douglas says he was also a wonderful composer and the concert will be a rare opportunity to hear his Overture in D minor. The Night features two Overture-Suite in D works by the prolific Telemann. NZSO Concertmaster Vesa-Matti Leppänen, director of the Baroque Series, says Overture-Suite D21, the first of Telemann’s works the Orchestra will play, includes "one of the most beautiful movements ever written".

Corelli was a pioneer of the concerto grosso where a small group of soloists perform within a larger ensemble of musicians. His Concerto Grosso in The Night uses this style to great effect with melodies passed between the soloists and the larger NZSO ensemble, says Leppänen.

Much of the music during the baroque period (1600-1750) was performed in churches. Rather than the traditional concert hall, the NZSO has chosen venues for their intimate settings, atmosphere and acoustics to best deliver the music. The Night will be at Auckland’s Holy Trinity Cathedral, Hamilton’s St Peter’s Cathedral and Wellington’s St Andrew’s on the Terrace. Tickets range in price from $15 for students to $35 for adults and can be booked via nzso.co.nz

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