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Auckland Youth Symphony Orchestra

Auckland Youth Symphony Orchestra

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  • Sun 15 Apr ’12, 2:30pm – 4:30pm


Forum North, Rust Ave, Whangarei


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • 10-seat block booking: $100.00
  • Adult: $20.00
  • Senior/unwaged: $15.00
  • Student: $10.00
  • Child (u. 12): $5.00
  • Family (2 adults, 2 children): $40.00

Antun Poljanich (musical director)
Albee Ai (bassoon)

Programme -
Vaughan Williams - Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis
Mozart - Bassoon Concerto
Rimsky-Korsakov - Symphonic Suite “Scheherazade”

The first of the AYSO’s three Whangarei concerts this year (the others are on 21 July and 29 September) opens with what is surely one of the great masterpieces of the string orchestral repertoire. Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis is music both mystical and magnificent, an awe-inspiring affirmation of his ethos. VW scored it for string orchestra, a chamber-sized string band, and a string quartet. Whether it will be possible, within the confines of the Exhibition Hall, to comply with his instruction that these three groups should be spatially separate, remains to be seen!

Although evidence suggests that Mozart wrote maybe four bassoon concerti, only one survives – and that by the skin of its teeth. This, “the” Mozart Bassoon Concerto, contains a theme later re-used in The Marriage of Figaro (whose bustling overture opens the AYSO’s third concert). The bassoon has acquired the nickname, “the clown of the orchestra”. Although, of course, the bassoon (along with several other instruments I could mention) is entirely capable of it, clowning is in fact just one of its many talents, as you will hear in Mozart’s exquisite display of agility, power, tenderness and nobility.

After “circumstances beyond their control” last year robbed Whangarei of Rimsky-Korsakov’s sumptuous Scheherazade, music director Antun Poljanich had this to say: “I promise we are trying our best to bring you the Scheherazade next year. I am trying to [assemble] best possible group to perform this marvellous piece. It deserves best possible effort. I hope we succeed.” Well, barring a further strike from the aforementioned “robber”, they have!

Scheherazade is arguably the supreme masterpiece of the art of orchestration. In refusing to call it a symphony, Rimsky-Korsakov was being too modest. Like any “symphony” it develops an argument. However, unlike other symphonies, which base their arguments on themes, Scheherazade argues in terms of colours, through the strategic planning of its iridescent orchestration. That’s the “how”, now here’s the “why” – Rimsky-Korsakov’s evocation of the exotic Tales of the Arabian Nights is a mind-blowing, musical “magic carpet” guaranteed to whisk you away from your daily cares, and deposit you in a romantic realm of utterly irresistible fantasy.

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