16 Jul 2018

Review: NZSO & Simon Trpceski plays Grieg

From Upbeat, 1:00 pm on 16 July 2018

The concert’s publicity headlined pianist Simon Trpčeski’s “star soloist” involvement in the proceedings at the expense of Shostakovich’s music, which actually opened and closed the evening's music-making! - but Trpčeski’s playing certainly left its mark, enabling a poetic and characterful performance with conductor Jaime Martin and the NZSO of Grieg’s ever-fresh Piano Concerto, followed by an unexpected but disarmingly beautiful encore piece by the same composer.

Pianist Simon Trpceski

Pianist Simon Trpceski Photo: Supplied

Here, Trpčeski was joined by Vesa-Matti Leppänen, the orchestra’s concertmaster,playing  the second movement of Grieg’s C Minor Violin Sonata!

But Shostakovich’s music made an equally memorable impression, the concert beginning with his brilliant and stunningly-delivered “Festive Overture”, and then after the interval, concluding with the epic Tenth Symphony, by turns a grim, desolate, savage and ironic narrative on the Stalinist era in Soviet Russia.

Jaime Martin’s performance with the orchestra was no mere showcase for brilliant and spectacular playing, but brought out the music's different aspects and characters across its four-movement symphonic journey, conveying a real sense of the claustrophobic unease and isolation experienced by creative artists in the Stalinist years of Soviet Russia, in a wholly memorable way.