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Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra - Prokofiev 5 & Cresswell Première

Lyell Cresswell

Lyell Cresswell Photo: Supplied

Michael Houstoun joined the Auckland Philharmonia to perform the World Premiere of Lyell Cresswell's Piano Concerto No 2, commissioned by Houstoun himself.

Cresswell was born in Wellington in 1944. He’s based in Edinburgh and has been a full time composer there since 1985 but nevertheless insists that he’s still a New Zealand composer.

The Concerto is based on six old chorale hymn tunes as harmonised by J S Bach and it comes with the subtitle Ach wie flüchtig, ach wie nichtig, "Ah how fleeting, ah how futile", taken from one of those chorales. Cresswell says that it's basically a set of variations on the six themes.

The big symphony in the second half of the concert was Sergei Prokofiev's Fifth Symphony – a symphony in which he "wanted to sing the praises of the free and happy human being—of such a person’s strength, generosity and purity of soul. I cannot say I chose this theme; it was born in me and had to express itself.”


Recorded: Auckland Town Hall, 19 October 2017
Producer: Tim Dodd
Engineer: Adrian Hollay