Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra - "Landscapes"

Superb New York-based pianist Alessio Bax joins the orchestra for a favourite concerto.

Alessio Bax

Alessio Bax Photo:

Edvard Grieg only made one attempt at a Piano Concerto, but he hit it out of the park, so to speak.

"In many ways it's a perfect concerto," says our soloist for this performance, Alessio Bax, "it's somewhat compact; a huge range of emotions; there's a great cadenza; beautiful tunes; beautiful contrasting moments; great writing for the piano and for the orchestra. And then at the same time, it's really uniquely Grieg – it has this Nordic feel throughout."

The Nordic theme continues in the second half with Sibelius's overwhelming Fifth Symphony.

The concert opens with a slice of New Zealand and a gorgeous work for string orchestra by John Ritchie.

JOHN RITCHIE: Suite No 1 for Strings
GRIEG: Piano Concerto in A minor
SCRIABIN: Prelude for the left hand Op 9 No 1 (encore)
SIBELIUS: Symphony No 5

Recorded by RNZ in Auckland Town Hall, 4 April 2019
Producer: Tim Dodd; Engineer: Adrian Hollay