James Judd Conductor
Voices New Zealand Choir
Verdi Nabucco Overture
Brahms Schicksalslied, Op. 54 (Song of Destiny)
Dvořák Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88
The NZSO closes our 2021 season with a concert of hope, drama and triumph.
Verdi composed the opera Nabucco at a very emotional time in his life. After personal tragedy and the failure of his most recent opera, he resolved to never write another opera. Fortunately, he was persuaded to change his mind and Nabucco, from which the Overture is derived, became the work that established Verdi’s reputation as a composer.
While visiting friends in 1868, Brahms came across a poem by Friedrich Hölderlin. He was so deeply moved by this work he immediately began sketching ideas that would become Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny). Featuring a chorus of singers from Voices New Zealand, Brahms’ Song of Destiny traverses the tranquillity, havoc, drama and mystery of Hölderlin's original poem.
Compared to Dvořák’s more sombre 7th Symphony, the 8th is often seen as joyful and idyllic, although it is not without its darker moments. From the brooding opening theme in the cellos to the joyful trumpet fanfares of the final movement, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 is a work of great contrasts.
Song of Destiny is performed under Alert Level 2 conditions – capacity is reduced, audiences are required to wear masks throughout the concert and social distancing is in place.