Conductor Giordano Bellincampi
Cello Julian Steckel
Gemma Peacocke White Horses
Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.2
Tchaikovsky Symphony No.6 ‘Pathétique’
It should really be known as the ‘Passionate’ Symphony: it’s a closer translation of the Russian word Tchaikovsky wrote on the score, and a vastly better description of music which is an intense, desperate struggle between the energetic will to live – and oblivion.
That same struggle fires Shostakovich’s glittering, sardonic concerto, albeit with its composer’s characteristically gnomic style.
The concert starts with Gemma Peacocke’s piece about the mysterious death of Viva Waud Farmar, one of New Zealand’s first female pilots, who leapt without warning from a biplane into the Cook Strait. The pilot reported seeing her plunge into a sea ‘with white horses everywhere’.