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Fireworks & Fantasy

Fireworks & Fantasy

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  • Sat 9 Nov ’13, 7:30pm


Michael Fowler Centre, 111 Wakefield Street, Wellington


All Ages



Julian Kuerti - conductor
Plamena Mangova - piano

Britten: A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique

Please note: The Wellington concert intermission will be extended to accommodate the Sky Show fireworks display.

Crashing chords, exuberant snare drums and the thud of the guillotine - this is a concert of fireworks and fantasy. Tchaikovsky’s brilliant Piano Concerto No. 1 was first met with thunderous condemnation, called unplayable and described as the work of an imbecile. The composer refused to change a single note. Rightly so - it is one of the most recognised and beloved concertos in the repertoire. Britten’s imaginative and adventurous A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra was commissioned to introduce children to orchestral music and quickly became a favourite of the young and old alike. Wrapping up this feisty concert is Berlioz’s deliciously melodramatic Symphonie Fantastique. Composed while hopelessly in love with the actress Harriet Smithson, it recounts a familiar story of love, obsession and madness.

Taking a theme from Purcell, Britten’s music takes us on a tour of the orchestra, revealing the qualities that make each instrument special. In Berlioz’s fantasy, the orchestra dances, sings and then chops off its head with music that is descriptive, violent and passionate. The accomplished Portugese conductor Joana Carniero drives this fiery concert and is joined by Plamena Mangova, a pianist ‘so musical, so sensitive and possessing a sublime, sophisticated legato’, that the Tchaikovsky concerto cannot help but come alive in her hands.

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