Showing posts with label Banner of St George. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Banner of St George. Show all posts

Monday, September 28, 2015

Familiar landscape emotively evoked

These Lands Are Ours

Saturday 26 September
Knox Church

A healthy-sized audience at Knox Church attended a rousing and emotive programme of nationally-inspired music performed by Dunedin Youth Orchestra and City Choir Dunedin.

The first half of the concert, performed solely by the orchestra, began with Douglas Lilburn's Drysdale Overture. This conveyed an impressionistic soundscape of New Zealand's natural beauty, transporting the audience between impetuous cadenzas and broad, elegiac melodies.

The work was performed with gravitas and rhythmic tightness, yet lapsing occasionally in brightness of tuning during some prominent melodic lines.

Thereafter, the first movement of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor featured violinist Matthew Scadden, a performance student at the University of Otago. Whilst a hint of insecurity was evident at the beginning of the work, its performance grew boldly in stature, culminating in an impressive showcase of both soloist and orchestra.

A Run in Ross Creek, written by emerging composer Merlin Callister, evoked the dense greenery of its titular inspiration, conveying the melodic splendour of national-romanticism, whilst spiritedly colouring the musical language with warm, impressionistic vistas. In this, Callister's inspiring tone-poem was performed by the orchestra with abundant relish and panache.

The first half of the concert concluded with Alexander Mackenzie's fervent First Scottish Rhapsody. Through its imitative form and contrasting, nostalgic imagery of Scotland, it is a satisfying and emotive work, conveyed in particular through the compassionate tenderness expressed by the orchestra in the middle section.

Elgar's The Banner of St George provided the second half of the concert, sung with clear appetite by City Choir Dunedin, and accompanied by the orchestra.

David Burchell's direction, passionate and eloquent throughout the concert, piloted this late-Victorian drama of singularly English fashion. In this, the legend of St George and the dragon was conveyed with swashbuckling bravado.

A warm, well-blended choral tone, despite occasional lapses in clarity of diction, crafted a thoroughly inspiring performance; the work typified the excitement of Elgarian spectacle, showcasing the performers' fruitful combination of nimble, dexterous orchestral accompaniment and engaging, charismatic choral singing.

Reviewed by George Chittenden, Otago Daily Times 28 September 2015

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

These Lands Are Ours

Saturday 26 September 2015, 7:30 pm at Knox Church

Conductor: David Burchell
Violin soloist: Matthew Scadden
Dunedin Youth Orchestra
City Choir Dunedin

These Lands Are Ours is a concert exploring New Zealand's national identity with music by Lilburn, Mendelssohn, Callister, Mackenzie and Elgar. The performance features Dunedin Youth Orchestra Young Musician’s Award recipient Matthew Scadden on violin and premières the 2015 work that won the Audrey Reed Composition Prize, A Run in Ross Creek by Merlin Callister.

Besides the winning composition the programme includes Douglas Lilburn’s Drysdale Overture, the first movement of Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor, Alexander Mackenzie's First Scottish Rhapsody, and the choir joins the orchestra for Edward Elgar’s cantata The Banner of St George.

Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, composed in 1845, was well received and soon became regarded as one of the greatest violin concertos of all time. It remains popular to this day and has developed a reputation as an essential concerto for all aspiring concert violinists to master. We look forward to Matthew Scadden's solo performance with the orchestra.

Elgar’s Banner of St George is a dramatic presentation for choir and orchestra of the legend of St George and the dragon, the mythology behind the English flag.