Homage explores music that draws inspiration from the work of other composers.
Arnold Schoenberg was an ardent admirer of the great romantic composer Johannes Brahms. As a young composer, Schoenberg studied the orchestral works of the German master extensively and considered them exemplars of how to write for orchestra.
As a gesture of his great respect, Schoenberg arranged Brahms’ Piano Quartet for full symphony orchestra. The resulting work eloquently captures the flair, rhythmic and melodic bravado of gypsy folk tunes.
Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina composed Offertorium for the renowned violinist Gidon Kremer. It was immediately lauded for its striking beauty and reverential qualities. With overarching themes of sacrifice and offering, it also contains musical inspiration from Bach and Webern – composers greatly admired by Gubaidulina.
Opening the concert is Bach’s Ricercare a 6 from his Musical Offering arranged by Anton Webern. It is a masterful treatment of instrumental colour, exploring Bach’s 18th century composition through the musical consciousness of a 20th century composer.
New Zealand violinist Mark Menzies has been described in a recent Los Angeles Times review as an “extraordinary musician” and a “riveting violinist”. Based in the United States for 26 years, he was appointed Head of Performance at the University of Canterbury in July 2016.
Menzies will be giving the pre-concert talk prior to the performance.