Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Unapologetic Rachmaninov and a distinctive voice from New Zealand

 This blog has previously suggested that our public service broadcaster has been slow to take advantage of the fact that New Zealand has been able to mount orchestral performances for some time now with minimal anti-viral restrictions. At last, Radio 3 this week features afternoon concerts by New Zealand orchestras.

However, these seem to be restricted to recordings from 2018. Perhaps the reason for not relaying anything live or nearly live is that New Zealand Symphony and Auckland Philharmonic Orchestras are pushing their own streaming services and are slow to share their performances with broadcasters.

Be that as it may, it was still refreshing to indulge in an unhurried performance of Rachmaninov's Second Symphony on Radio 3 yesterday. That was followed by the first movement  (only! those bleeding chnnks again) of a violin concerto by Claire Cowan, a name new to me but clearly someone who can yet innovate within the tonal orchestral tradition. Like Germaine Tailleferre (mentioned on this blog before) Cowan has a broad audience, including children. Clearly someone to follow.

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