ROSS HARRIS (b.1945): Symphony No. 4 "To the Memory of Mahinarangi Tocker", Cello Concerto.
Catalogue Number: 06P010
Description: The concerto is in a continous span, falling into four clearly delineated movements. The work charts a clear progression from darkness to light, beginning in the mysterious, umbral depths of the lowest registers of the orchestra, from which the soloist progressively strives to rise, the music accumulating energy and textural embellishment as it goes. The idiom is very much mainstream mid-20th century, very tonal, and strongly reminiscent of Shostakovich in harmonic language and even specific gestures. The five-movement symphony is less conventional, though retaining elements of the same style, but with excursions into an exuberantly Ivesian layering of diverse material in places. The piece memorialises a Maori/Jewish poet, songwriter and performer, and incorporates elements of her music while illustrating moods and images from her poetry, with an increasingly important concertante viola part depicting her personality. Li-Wei Qin (cello), Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra; Garry Walker, Brett Dean (symphony).