Harold in Italy
In the South (Alassio)
Francesca da Rimini
NZSO’s well-travelled music director emeritus, Maestro James Judd, is our guide on this grand musical tour of Italy.
Inspired by Byron, Hector Berlioz’s Harold in Italy imagines a solo viola as a melancholy dreamer, journeying through the Abruzzi region of Italy and always at odds with the orchestra. Poetic and demanding, this work needs a stunning soloist to bring Berlioz’s score to life. Viola virtuoso Antoine Tamestit’s ‘rich, burgundy timbre’ is perfect for conjuring our Byronic hero.
We then travel to Alassio in Edward Elgar’s In the South. Inspired while walking ancient Roman roads, this overture recalls previous Italian-flavoured works and the shadow of Don Juan peeks from the shadows to seduce us all.
No artistic journey through Italy would be complete without some Dante. In Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini the composer takes us into the depths of the Inferno with frenzied music that whispers of forbidden, adulterous love.