***THE DATE OF THIS CONCERT HAS BEEN CHANGED TO FRIDAY 19 NOVEMBER OWING TO THE TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF THE MICHAEL FOWLER CENTRE***
Resisting the atonal world of his contemporaries, Hindemith explored a neobaroque flavour with this work, which takes the form of a concerto grosso. The surging,
muscular lines of the orchestra are set in counterpoint against florid solos from a trio
of oboe, violin and bassoon.
Commissioned and performed by Orchestra Wellington in 2010, Djinn is a marimba concerto inspired by references to ancient Greek legends and Homer’s Iliad. The first two movements are about Pandora’s Box and the Labyrinth. The last movement, “Out-dreaming the Genie” returns to modern themes drawn from familiar TV shows, stories and images from our childhood that “convinced us we would turn our crawling into walking, then into running, and finally that we would lift up from the earth and fly free”.
This is one of Bartók’s most accessible works; its five movements progress towards from darkness to light. It begins with haunting fragments from different solo instruments or groups; the second movement, “Games of Couples,” shows the instruments off, dancing in pairs or sounding a soft brass chorale. The middle movement is written in Bartók’s mysterious “night music” style. After that, every instrument gets a moment to shine in the carefree, dance-like Intermezzo. Bartok’s genius provides a formidably complex fugue at the end.