RNZ Concert is broadcasting the classical music that listeners said they would most love to share with the rest of New Zealand all day on Labour Day Monday.
We received hundreds of Settling The Score: Your Choice suggestions which the RNZ Concert team has lovingly crafted into a wonderful day of music listening and stories about the relationships people have with that music, all day Monday 25 October. Here's how to listen to RNZ Concert radio
Earlier this month we asked people what made this piece of music special to them, and why they wanted others to hear it. We've collected some of the best responses for you to read - and listen to - here:
"Somewhere in the late 1950s, almost completely ignorant of classical music, I was invited to attend a National Orchestra concert in the Dunedin Town Hall. I was stunned by the number of players, the magnificent sounds and - my greatest surprise - the shininess of the instruments. I still remember the intoxicating impact of two of the items: The Radetsky March by Strauss and Ravel's Bolero. They may be old war-horses now but they had a shattering impact on me. I was hooked on classics permanently...
"RNZ Concert has brought me through two Covid lockdowns, especially when the young children tell us what orchestras or choirs they perform in.
So, I'm suggesting Ravel's Bolero, just to re-live a precious moment of my own youth, and to thank those young singers and musicians for their enthusiasm." - Trevor, Christchurch
Another person says simply: "It’s a bop".
BEETHOVEN: Piano Trio No 7 in Bb Op 97, Archduke
"Its like having a dear friend turn up to invite you on a walk. And the whole of life unfolds from there just like a completely frank conversation with a very dear friend in a stimulating and changing environment as the walk proceeds. It is a most perfect and complete package for an intimate understanding of life, love and beauty. Nothing wow! about it. I find the third movement especially moving." - Hans, Auckland
BIZET: Au Fond du Temple Saint, from The Pearl Fishers
"I adore this duet. The whole piece is beautiful and intoxicating. It’s irresistible. I love the way it slowly works up from the quiet harp and flute to a crescendo and the sudden interruption. It gets louder and then quieter again but they both sound even stronger and more resolved in their friendship. Amazing and absolutely magnificent to experience live." - Rose, Auckland
ELGAR: Enigma Variations
"This piece connects the human soul with the earth so that the weary find their strength is renewed. - Tracey, Kaiapoi
"It makes me feel good and forget the impact of lockdowns. I can just close my eyes and relax. - Danita, Auckland
"This music is evocative and tells us so much about Elgar, his friends and family. Each separate part was written with someone in mind. - Hilary, Wellington
FARQUHAR: Ring Round the Moon
"Ring Round the Moon (the Suite) is my favourite piece of New Zealand music. A a dance suite, it is light, refreshing and eminently joyful. Even the small snippets that are played as part of the RNZ Concert ident make me smile!" - Jo, Upper Hutt.
"The Tango from the Dance Suite makes me want to dance. The tune, the harmonies - where did he find them? Maybe behind the piano? - add the syncopation, and wow!!" - Helen, Dunedin
"My gardening is carried out by following the moon phases and it is always successful, so this is my thanks to the moon!" - Rosemary, Whanganui.
Others said of Ring Around the Moon, David Farquhar's dances composed in 1953: Fabulous!! and written by a kiwi!; It’s cheerful >:-); Just a very jolly piece to hear; Written the year I was born, the piece reflects the optimism of those simpler times; I love playing it. I'm a 1st violin in local orchestra; A great suite of fun music that appeals to all; It's quirky and always lifts my spirits.
Salina FISHER: Rainphase
"Salina Fisher is the future of NZ music, the one marked for greatness, and our only composer aged under 30 with a genuine international reputation." - Richard, Auckland
"I have long followed Salina's career going back to her chamber music competition days when she was in high school. She would appear as a violinist with one group, then a pianist with another. Then has name started appearing increasingly as a composer. In due course CSO played 'Rainphase'- amazing piece." - Peter, Christchurch
"Salina Fisher's 'Rainphase' is a work I performed in NZSO National Youth Orchestra in the premiere performance. During the week of rehearsals, I enjoyed rehearsing the the piece and trying out different notes and textures of pizzicato during the improvisation section. This surely does sound very much like rainfall!" - Jessie, Rotorua
"I heard this evocative piece on RNZ Concert, and also heard a delightful insightful interview with Selina Fisher about other things that chimed with me." - Judy, Auckland
RODRIGO: Concierto de Aranjuez
"When I began learning the guitar at high school, I wasn't allowed to join the school orchestra despite learning both classical and modern styles. The unspoken message was that the guitar wasn't good enough, no matter how well it was played. My other instrument that I played, the piano, also wasn't regarded as an orchestral instrument so I had limited opportunities to perform with others (I never wanted to be a soloist as well as sadly lacking such ability). One day, while aged in my mid 20s, as I returned home from work, Rodrigo’s guitar concierto was played on Concert. I parked the car and sat outside my flat utterly spellbound. Finally, the guitar felt worthy of being a respected instrument in its own right.
"I took up the double bass aged in my mid 40s and have since joined a community orchestra so this ambition has been fulfilled!" - Helen, Dunedin
FARR: From the Depths Sound the Great Sea Gongs
"I heard it first on RNZ Concert but it would be a great one to see live - so exciting. It is both evocative of the sea and in the people that live in the south pacific and of course the percussion is fabulous." - J Clough
"I had the absolute pleasure and joy of being at the first NZSO performance after the first lockdown. The Michael Fowler Centre was packed by a very enthusiastic audience, the orchestra was fabulous, and the performance of this piece was, for me, the absolute highlight of and extraordinary evening. I will never forget the joy, delight and love of music and our NZSO." - Bobi M
"It resounds with the sea-poetry of Charles Brasch and it feels the power of Tangaroa." - Melanie, Otautahi / Christchurch
"Gareth Farr is probably our best ever composer equal to any in the world. We do not celebrate him enough in this country." - Holly, Nelson.
Márquez: Danzon No 2
"This piece never fails to bring a grin to my face. It has a mixture of serenity and joyful music that leaves me unable to stay sitting still. It is truly a beautiful piece that deserves to be far better known and celebrated." - Jo, Upper Hutt
performed by Bridget Douglas (flute) and Alistair Fraser (taonga puoro) 2017.
"The use of taonga pūoro fascinates me. While at university, I studied 'Trial Run' which I'm pretty sure contains music from such instruments and added an amazing effect. This was the first time that I encountered such sensuous sounds. Then along came Hinewehi Mohi and Jaz Coleman's "Oceania" which brings alive the mystical side of taonga pūoro. In recent times, these instruments have become more mainstream and talked about. Gillian Whitehead’s composition is an example of this. It's wonderful to think of how Māori traditionally expressed their musicality and how we can embrace them in a shared modern Māori/Pākehā context." - Helen, Dunedin
"This great piece of music suits every mood. I find consolation in it during times of trial, I find it soothing in times of perplexity, it makes me feel jubilant. It brings serenity & peace. I always begin the New Year by playing the Hallelujah Chorus as the New year dawns. It's a divinely inspired & spiritually uplifting piece of music." - Fernando
Performed by Anna Leese (soprano), Sarah Court (mezzo), Frederick Jones (tenor), Robert Tucker (bass), The Tudor Consort, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gemma New. 2020.