Symphonies No. 4 & 5
Beethoven’s fourth and fifth symphonies were composed simultaneously, and they are ideal companions. After a long and serious introduction, Symphony No. 4 then transforms into a work that is light, languorous and filled with singing phrases that soothe the spirit. Such breezy joyfulness only heightens the drama of Beethoven’s mighty Symphony No. 5. Opening with four of the most famous notes in music history – the fateful ta-ta-ta-TUM – this work occupies a special place in the orchestral repertoire. Wild, uncompromising, bold, and with a vast expressiveness and mastery of structure, it is little wonder that the fifth symphony is perhaps Beethoven’s most famous work. And certainly, nothing beats hearing such an iconic piece performed live in concert!
concert duration: 1h35 (including interval)
Fri 13 June | WGTN Michael Fowler Centre | 6.30pm Fri 20 June | AKLD Town Hall | 7pm
Symphonies No. 6 & 7
Beethoven described his glorious Symphony No. 6 as ‘more an expression of feeling than painting’. In this Pastorale, with chattering birdcalls and awe-inspiring storms, Beethoven’s music recreates the comfort and calm we feel when immersed in nature. With music that is restful, his capacity to capture the restorative power of nature makes this symphony one of the most wonderfully replenishing of symphonic experiences. Completed four years afterwards, Beethoven’s seventh symphony is something different again. Described by Wagner as an ‘Apotheosis of Dance’, this symphony is quietly complex, making startling harmonic and rhythmic gestures that sound perfectly conventional. Featuring Beethoven’s beloved ‘Allegretto’ second movement, Symphony No. 7 is filled with lingering lyricisms that steal into your very soul.
concert duration: 1h50 (including interval)
Sat 14 June | WGTN Michael Fowler Centre | 7.30pm Sat 21 June | AKLD Town Hall | 7.30pm
Symphonies No. 8 & 9
PIETARI INKINEN conductor
TIFFANY SPEIGHT soprano
ANNELY PEEBO mezzo-soprano
SIMON O’NEILL tenor
PETER COLEMAN-WRIGHT bass
AUCKLAND CHORAL (Auckland only)
ORPHEUS CHOIR OF WELLINGTON (Wgtn only)
Beethoven’s eighth is a sophisticated work that takes us on a dazzling journey from elegant dances to a witty, laughing finale. Nothing, however, prepares us for the audacity and genius of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Featuring Friedrich Schiller’s Ode to Joy, the work emerges from darkness to light and brings the orchestra and vocalists together in a stupendous chorale finale that influenced every composer who has followed in his wake. Featuring the prowess of soprano Tiffany Speight, exquisite mezzo-soprano Annely Peebo, electrifying bass Peter Coleman-Wright and our own tenor superstar Simon O’Neill, this finale to our Beethoven cycle will be an unmissable event.
concert duration: 2h (including interval)
Sun 15 June | WGTN | Michael Fowler Centre | 3pm Sun 22 June | AKLD | Town Hall | 3pm
- Free pre-concert talks start 45 minutes prior
- Read more about this concert’s guest artists here
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