AYO - 2019 June Concert Series

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THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS We acknowledge and thank The Wallace Foundation for its generous support in enabling us to offer a free concert in the Auckland Town Hall.

This concert series is dedicated to the memory of Margaret Neutze (formerly Leman, nĂŠe Cardno) who passed away on 16 June 2019. Margaret was involved with AYO in many varied ways from the time she first played harp with the orchestra in 1956: player, instrument registrar, Executive Committee member, Honorary Life Member and, latterly, Vice-President of our society. Her musicianship, practical support and enthusiasm will be sadly missed.

Next AYO Concerts: Cambridge, Howick, Orewa (see website) and Saturday 28 September, 7.30pm, Auckland Town Hall New Composition Winner of current AYO Composition Competition, to be confirmed Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2 Soloist: Kent Isomura Strauss Don Juan

Please be respectful to fellow audience members and our players by switching off all electronic devices and by remaining seated during the performance. Please avoid interrupting noises during the performance, which is being recorded. No photography or recording of any kind is permitted without our prior consent.


June 2019 Concert Series

Whangarei Old Library Saturday 22 June, 7.30pm Warkworth Town Hall Sunday 23 June, 4pm Helensville War Memorial Hall Saturday 29 June, 7.30pm Auckland Town Hall Sunday 30 June, 2.30pm


Richard Strauss Horn Concerto No.1 in Eflat Major, Op.11 Soloist: Henry Close Mouquet La Flute de Pan Soloist: Jacob Webster Interval Prokofiev Symphony No.7



Golden Supporters Lodge of the Liberal Arts Philip Galloway Margaret Leman & Derek Neutze The Wallace Foundation

Special Supporters Alison Buchanan & Eric Johnston

General Supporters Rosemarie & Alex Biland Anna Brooker Bleau Bustenera Kerin Buttimore Nigel Chadwick Mark Close Gillian & Harold Coop Glenys & Michael Daniell Marcia Dwyer Ruth Ell Bruce Fergusson Richard Galloway

Diana Gash Julie Goodyer Dora Green Judith Gust Diane & Mark Hall Bob Kinnear Acer Lin Louise & AndrĂŠ Molon-Noblot Janis & Peter Metcalfe Mike & Sara Sullivan Tony Sullivan Pip Townend Elisabeth Wilson

And 13 anonymous General Supporters

ABOUT AYO Founded in 1948, the Auckland Youth Orchestra (AYO) is the premier regional youth orchestra in New Zealand and was the first youth orchestra established in the Southern Hemisphere, designed to bridge the gap between school orchestras and adult professional groups. AYO inspires young people to excel through their love of musical performance and provides them with a wide range of cultural experiences, thus shaping our leaders of tomorrow. AYO makes an important contribution to the cultural life of Auckland and NZ. AYO performs up to 12 concerts a year throughout the upper North Island region and has attracted full houses at their concerts in many locations. This endeavour requires large operating costs and AYO relies upon the generosity of our Sponsors, Subscribers, and Supporters. All grants and donations are helpful and greatly appreciated.


SOLOIST Henry Close Henry is currently a student at the University of Auckland in his second year of study, pursuing a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Commerce conjoint, learning from Nicola Baker. He was introduced to the horn midway throughout 2013, having previously been a viola player for a number of years, and quickly took to the instrument, achieving his ABRSM Grade 8 in 2017. 2019 marks Henry’s third year playing with AYO, having been a member of the touring orchestra last year. Further ensemble experience includes playing with the NZSO National Youth Orchestra last year, and being Principal Horn of the NZ Secondary Schools Symphony Orchestra in 2016. He has played as a soloist with the Westlake Chamber Orchestra in 2017, and last year took part in the Gisborne International Music Competition.

SOLOIST Jacob Webster This is 17-year-old Jacob’s second year playing with AYO. He is an APO Young Achiever as well as NZSO Mentoring recipient for 2019. In 2018 Jacob won the AYO Soloist Competition with his performance of Mouquet’s La Flute De Pan, which he plays in the May concert series. In 2018 he was a Chamber Music New Zealand National Finalist winning a Joan Kerr Gold Award with his chamber group “Orbit”. Jacob has played the flute for 9 years. His teacher is Melanie Lançon (APO) and his previous teachers include Eric Lamb, Catherine Bowie and Raewyn Donaldson. He has received additional individual lessons with Bridget Douglas (NZSO) and Kathryn Moorhead (APO). He achieved distinction for ABRSM Grade 8 flute in 2015. Jacob was a Pettman National Junior Academy of Music Scholarship recipient from 20162018. Jacob attended masterclasses at the 2016 NZ Flute Fest with Uwe Grodd, where he also performed as a soloist. He attended the Akaroa music festival in 2017, placing 2nd in the solo competition for open instrumentalists. Jacob was section leader in both the Westlake Symphony Orchestra and Westlake Concert Band during his time at Westlake Boys High School. He has played in the APPA Festival Orchestra and APO Summer School Orchestra for two years. In 2014 he won the top prize in the APPA Knights Templar Competition culminating in a solo performance of Poulenc in the Auckland Town Hall. Jacob hopes to become a professional flutist in the future, travelling around the world performing solos, doing chamber music and entering competitions.


MUSIC DIRECTOR Antun Poljanich Born in Croatia, Antun studied piano and theory at Dubrovnik School for Musical Education then studied conducting at the University of Ljubljana. Following post-graduate studies in Austria, he won a scholarship which took him to Leningrad for a three-year Master Course in Conducting at the RimskyKorsakov Conservatory. He has since worked with the Leningrad State Symphony Orchestra, the Veneto Philharmonia, the Slovene and Croatian National Orchestras and other prominent orchestras in Russia and Europe. Antun is the Orchestra’s fourth Musical Director.

Photo: Gloria Tian

A Message from our Music Director Dear Audience, As AYO’s Music Director, I would like to welcome you to a very special concert which is centred around our AYO 2018 Soloist Competition winners, Jacob Webster and Henry Close, two young musicians of outstanding ability. It is also a concert that we dedicate to our longstanding member, outstanding supporter and benefactor of AYO over many years, Margaret Leman Neutze who recently passed away. I remember my first time listening to Prokofiev’s 7th Symphony in Leningrad’s Philharmonic Hall, and how astonished I was by the style, simplicity and beauty of the symphony. Was this music written by the same composer who composed the 2nd, 5th and 6th Symphonies? Did this simplicity mean that he had given up his colossal and complex approach, reflected throughout his previous symphonic works in order to satisfy the Soviet authorities? Later on during my studies I had many interesting conversations with Isaac Glickman, professor at the Leningrad Conservatory, and the man who knew very well, and worked with, both Shostakovich and Prokofiev. He offered me valuable and curious insights into the life and work of both composers and that important part of Russian history. One of the things that he often reflected on was: how the West often overestimates the influence of Soviet oppression on the music of Shostakovich and Prokofiev, leading to a simplified and one-sided interpretation of their work. Yes, life was incredibly difficult, complex and at times very dangerous, but not all of their music reflected just that, and not all of their music was permeated with the symbolism of the time and its political issues. One aspect that is often forgotten in the interpretation of Prokofiev’s symphonic music is his dedication and love for the theatre and his immense achievement in ballet music (Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella etc…) and opera (War and Peace, Love for Three Oranges etc…).


In thinking of this symphony, Prokofiev No 7, I actually hear all of Prokofiev: the monolithic passages from Alexander Nevsky, tenderness from Romeo and Juliet, humour from Peter and the Wolf and wittiness from his revelatory and genial Classical Symphony. This is a composer in the late stage of his life who, like so many others in the past, (Mozart, Dvorak...) returns to the most blissful part of his life and musical memories to conclude his work. There is a tenderness and glimpse of suffering in his opening theme and a ray of inextinguishable hope in his second subject of the first movement, which then returns in the last movement. The waltz in the second movement is not completely revealed but stutters, stumbles and whispers an old-fashioned tune from the distant past. It breaks out at the very end, triumphantly, but also somewhat terrifyingly. A quiet moment in the third movement is full of gentle poetry followed by a swift transition to the vigorous childhood Soviet pioneer marches of the fourth movement, a memory of boyish happiness with a touch of humour, interrupted by a sunny second subject, from the first movement. This eventually turns into the ticking clock: gentle glockenspiel, xylophone and piano repetition of motion without motion. This gives the inevitability of the ending and perhaps a slight reference to Tchaikovsky’s Sugar Plum Fairy from his Nutcracker ballet and the magic world of the theatre, a world much better than reality. When I asked Prof. Glickman about the alternative ending, written later, he just laughed and did not want to give me a clear answer. Maybe the best answer can be understood through the words of a great Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova: And from my hand a dove eats grains of wheat... As for my unfinished page, The Muse's tawny hand, divinely calm And delicate, will finish it. I wish you all ‘happy’ listening. Antun Poljanich


PROGRAMME NOTES Horn Concerto in E flat opus 11

Richard Strauss (1864-1949)

1 Allegro-2 Andante 3 Allegro Exceptional, even prodigious musical talent for performance is something which many gifted children have attained, given the right background and teaching. Almost all successful soloists have been child prodigies even if they have not been exploited as such, as they frequently were in the past. It is much rarer for exceptional creative musical ability to manifest itself in childhood. Mozart and Mendelssohn are the best known examples but Richard Strauss, too, displayed precocious talent at a very early age. He began piano lessons at the age of four, and when he was six composed his first piece of music. By the time he was 18 he had composed 140 works, most of them songs and piano pieces. He was born into a supportive and musical home, his father being the principal horn player in the Court Opera in Munich, now the Bavarian State Opera, and his mother coming from a wealthy brewing family. His father had taken part in the premiere performances of most of Wagner’s operas, including Tristan and Isolde, and was regarded as one of the finest horn players in Germany. Recognising his son’s abilities, he was able to use his contacts in the Opera House to ensure that as a child Richard received the best instruction available in harmony and orchestration. Richard’s father had risen from a humble and disadvantaged background and perhaps as a result was extremely conservative in all his views, detesting Wagner’s music and making no secret of his dislike. Wagner, not surprisingly, thought him an unpleasant person while appreciating his ability as a horn player. Having grown up with the sound of the horn constantly present in his life as his father practised, it is only to be expected that Richard Strauss developed a special affinity with the instrument and a detailed knowledge of its unique qualities. The horn concerto which he wrote at the age of 18 is both a tribute and a challenge to his father. Although he had been expressly forbidden to study the music of Wagner, his discovery of the score of Tristan at the age of 16 had been a revelation to him and a huge influence on his future development. Nevertheless the horn concerto is the most conservative of his major works, and clearly influenced by Schumann. An additional reference to his father’s conservatism is that the work was initially described as a concerto for the Waldhorn, i.e. the natural horn without valves which was still in use at that time, though the modern horn with valves had been invented as long ago as 1818. Although it is theoretically possible to play the concerto on the natural horn this would be extremely difficult, and it is significant that Richard’s father never attempted to play the concerto in public, the first performance being given by another horn player, Gustov Leinhoe, in 1885. Perhaps the horn concerto was the young Richard’s Strauss’s first attempt at exerting his independence from a father who he himself described as quick tempered, tyrannical, and extremely temperamental.

La Flute de Pan 1.

Pan and the shepherds

Jules Mouquet (1867-1942) 2. Pan and the birds

3. Pan and the nymphs

The flute is one of oldest instruments known to man and also one of the most universal, all musical cultures having one form or another of the instrument. In ancient Greek culture the


flute and the lyre were the two most important instruments, the lyre being associated with the god Apollo and played by men only, while the flute was often played by dancing girls at banquets and other festive gatherings. The invention of the flute, according to the English writer Robert Graves, in his critically acclaimed The Greek Myths, was attributed to the goddess Athena, though in some versions of the myths the instrument is thought to be the aulos, which is a set of twin double reed pipes. La Flute de Pan by Mouquet, though it is written for the modern descendant of this ancient instrument, is an embodiment of a very different legend. Pan, the god of woodland and pasture, fell in love with the beautiful wood nymph Syrinx who, fleeing from his amorous advances, sought refuge among the reeds growing in a nearby stream and was transformed by the water nymphs into a reed herself. Pan, unable to find her among the other reeds, gathered her up with a number of others and, stringing them together, created the pan pipes in which her voice can still be heard today. Jules Mouquet studied composition at the Paris Conservatoire and in 1896 won the prestigious Prix de Rome, the prize which all aspiring young French composers at that time desired to win as a means of establishing their reputation. He composed La Flute de Pan in 1906, seven years before Debussy composed Syrinx, his piece for solo flute which originally had the same title as Mouquet’s work. Mouquet went on to become professor of harmony at the Paris Conservatoire but none of his other compositions ever attained the popularity and success of La Flute de Pan.

Symphony No 7 in C sharp minor opus 131

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)

1 Moderato 2 Allegretto 3 Andante espressivo 4 Vivace With the onset of the great depression Prokofiev, who had enjoyed remarkable success as an iconoclastic avant-guard composer in 1920s Paris, with four ballets commissioned by Diaghilev, found that the financial restraints, and the new conservatism in the west, meant that performances of his music were rapidly diminishing. All composers need to have their music performed, and he had never cut his links with his homeland, registering himself as a Soviet citizen with the French authorities. After a concert tour of Russia in 1927, where he was welcomed as a celebrity and accorded VIP status, he received his first Soviet commission, a request to write music for the film Lieutenant Kije, followed immediately by a commission from the Moscow Radio Orchestra to arrange the music from the film into an orchestral suite. The huge success of this project must have been behind his decision to return permanently to the Soviet Union in 1936. At first all went well. Peter and the Wolf, the first piece he wrote on his return, was a great success, but there were troubling signs of things to come. First of all his massive Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution was rejected for performance, and then the premiere of his first Soviet opera Semyon Kotka was postponed when the director, Meyerhold, was arrested and later shot. In 1948 the Soviet Politburo issued a resolution, the famous Zhanov decree, accusing Prokofiev along with Shostakovich, Myaskovsky and Khachaturian of ‘formalism’, which was described as “a renunciation of the basic principles of classical music in favour of muddled, nerve-racking sounds that turned music into cacophony.” Eight of Prokofiev’s works were banned, and as a result his other works were no longer programmed. He was soon in dire financial straits and deeply in debt. Finally his


estranged wife, who had been attempting to send money to her mother in Spain, was arrested as a spy and sentenced to 20 years hard labour. In a desperate attempt to rehabilitate himself he entered his 7 th symphony for the Stalin Prize which carried a reward of 100,000 roubles. In the symphony he aimed for a simplicity which would be accessible to all people, in compliance with Marxist-Leninist principles, even describing it as a symphony for children. Many passages and themes do have a childlike quality imbued with a nostalgia for a lost innocence, but the overall feeling is of a pervasive melancholy contrasting with episodes of almost forced gaiety as he attempts to portray the positivity required by the Soviet authorities. The original ending was sad and quiet but the conductor persuaded Prokofiev to add a rousing coda if he was to have any chance of winning the prize. Sadly, of course, he didn’t win it, and a year later he was dead. The irony is that the principles of Marxist-Leninist artistic policy are in fact better served by the global capitalist market economy today, which aims to give consumers what they want. Most people, it seems, do not want symphonies and concertos. What they want, apparently, is what American popular culture gives them: simple, easily assimilated pop songs linked to a heavily marketed performer who can be adulated, even worshiped - the rock star phenomenon and the cult of the celebrity. Most performances and recordings of the symphony omit the coda which was added, but it was decided that AYO on this occasion would give listeners the rare opportunity to hear this alternative ending, in which Prokofiev, while pretending compliance, can be heard giving a final defiant gesture to his oppressors.

Programme notes by Alexander Cowdell Š 2019

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Special thanks to Franco Viganoni who generously gives his time and professional expertise in digitally recording our concerts using state-of-the-art electronics and a unique system of microphones. These recordings can be found on the AYO website. www.viganoni.com

PLAY YOUR PART Our Executive Committee would welcome some new members. Please contact our Secretary, Anne-Marie Forsyth ayo@ayo.org.nz if you would like to investigate or discuss ways you could become involved in this enjoyable and rewarding work. Attend our concerts! Check our website regularly for concert information: ayo.org.nz Sign up to receive the Chairman’s e-newsletter on our website homepage Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/AYOrchestra Join us by emailing auditions@ayo.org.nz Subscribe, support or sponsor us: ayo.org.nz/support-us


AYO MEMBERS Governance Dame Catherine Tizard ONZ GCMG GCVO DBE QSO DStJ, Patron Michael McLellan, FTCL LRSM, President Alastair Clement, Vice-President

Executive Committee Alexander Cowdell Anne-Marie Forsyth Mary Lin Helen Lewis

Chairman Secretary Manager Treasurer

Antun Poljanich Rachael Brand Lachlan Grant Bryan Lin

Music Director Communications Player Representative Player Representative

Administration Alison Dunlop and Louise Roe Librarians

Honorary Members Alastair Clement Michael McLellan Anne Draffin

Cameron Stuart Lynn Pettit

Barrie Ross Lois Westwood

Subscribing Members Philippa Black Rachael Brand Alexander Cowdell Ian Cunningham Warren Drake Anne-Marie Forsyth Judith & Alistair Freeman Mary Greig-Clayton

Judith Gust Bob Kinnear Helen Lewis Acer Lin Mary Lin Elizabeth Morris Stephanie Morris T. McD. Morton

Grant Reay Diana Richardson Kevin & Jan Sutton And 1 anonymous Subscriber

Cover art by Mary Lin Š 2019 Auckland Youth Orchestra | Here Plays the Future www.ayo.org.nz


AYO PLAYERS Violin I ‡ Jim Wu #Zosia Herlihy-O’Brien Kauri May Walter Xu Mana Waiariki Bryan Lin Chelsea Hong Angeline Xiao Ericia Chang Amber Edwards Jasper Yang Darren Breeze Leonardo Zhuyan Violin II #Joseph Chen Kenny Li Gemma Nash Erin Lorenzo Santiago Romano Sadie Stroud Annalise Wong Martin Qiang Bethany Yates Kelly Siew Niki Ng Sungju An John Yang Isabella Healy Athena Shiu Sebastian Romano

Legend ‡ Concertmaster # Principal

Viola # Jessie Anderson Jasper Lin Isaiah Kaiawe Tal Amoore Elise Ji John Donaldson Irene Kim Cello #Marcus Ho #Gabrielle Wu Phoebe Pierard Masha Pavlenko Damon Herlihy-O’Brien Michka Kangsathien Claire Xu Nathan Chen Wendy Ni Double Bass # Thomas Hall Alicia Kidd Hana Agatsuma John Moon Flute #Anna Zhang Micah Sullivan (Piccolo) Linda Lin Oboe # Akari Ouchi Matilda Hur Jesse Niu (Cor Anglais) Clarinet # Kiara Kong Gautam Pathumanithy Matthew Donnelly Bassoon # Ricky Shi Sarah Li


French Horn # Evan Metcalfe Jade Zhang Max Glazier Sean Tang

Trumpet # Jake Krishnamurti Sang Hyun Kim James Brady

Trombone # Daniel Nihotte Amy Laithwaite Alexander Botha Mark Bingham

Tuba # Lachlan Grant

Timpani # Michael Cai

Percussion # Naomi Kelly Donovan Kelso James Tang Michael Luo

Harp Harrison Chau Piano Alexander Botha