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WINTER DAYDREAMS

Dima Slobodeniouk Conductor
Carolin Widmann Violin

Christopher Blake Angel at Ahipara
Stravinsky Violin Concerto in D major
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Op. 13 Winter Daydreams

Your winter daydreams may not be as full of snow as Tchaikovsky’s, but this concert will still warm your heart.

Russian conductor Dima Slobodeniouk opens the concert with Angel at Ahipara from Northland Panels, Christopher Blake’s award-winning work for string orchestra. Based on New Zealand photographer Robin Morrison’s iconic image of an angel at the head of a grave in a churchyard at Ahipara in Northland, the music is a beautiful evocation of desolation and hope.

Stravinsky was reluctant to accept the commission for his 1931 Violin Concerto as he believed he knew too little about the instrument. An early musical idea he developed, a chord spanning over two and a half octaves, was thought to be technically unplayable by the soloist. However, upon experimenting with the chord he found it easy to play. This gave Stravinsky the confidence to continue with the composition. German violinist Carolin Widmann joins the NZSO to perform Stravinsky’s only violin concerto.

Tchaikovsky titled his First Symphony Winter Daydreams. Despite working enormously hard, the symphony caused him much suffering. The work did not impress musicians he showed it to and individual movements were played to little enthusiasm. However, when the entire symphony was first performed, it was a great success.

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