Wednesday, November 21
The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra was in great form for its
concert in Dunedin's Regent Theatre yesterday.
The programme, conducted by young Finnish conductor Pietari
Inkinen, comprised three very contrasting works and was a
real treat for the large early evening audience.
The programme began with Mozart's Symphony No 29, K
201. Light floating string timbre with a buoyancy which
never sagged, highlighted the opening movement, and the whole
was accorded refreshing individual moods and character within
Concerto for Two Violins BWV 1043 was an exciting
Baroque work with soloists Pietari Inkinen and Vesa-Matti
Leppanen. A familiar work for followers of classical music,
the Bach Double as it is sometimes nicknamed, is a
three-movement work crammed with fugal imitation and
The assembly of 20 strings appeared visually a tad sparse on
the Regent stage, backed by empty chairs and abandoned timps,
but volume of sound was forthcoming, with impressive nuance
and disciplined homophonic weight.
Mandatory balance between soloists was brilliant and evenly
poised, as pathways were negotiated through Bach's ingenious
fugal themes and devices.
The second movement Adagio was breathtakingly beautiful.
After the interval, it was Beethoven - big, bold and
boisterous. Completed in 1812, Symphony No 7 Op 92
opens with a rousing movement in a bright key, before giving
way to focus on the more lyrical and compelling rhythmic
themes of the popular Allegretto.
Inkinen then jollied the Presto along with youthful
giocoso ambience and passion, before the energy of the
opening movement returned, relentlessly driving an
exhilarating finale allegro con brio with its exciting and
energised rhythmic focus.
It is easy to see why the composer referred to his seventh
symphony as "one of my best works".
- Elizabeth Bouman