Review: 'Bernstein at 100 by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra'

 Brett Mitchell led the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra's centennial celebration of Leonard Bernstein.

Brett Mitchell led the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra's centennial celebration of Leonard Bernstein.

Stuff (New Zealand) has published a review of Brett Mitchell's 'Bernstein At 100' concert with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, presented at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington on Friday, May 11:

What a fabulous concert this was.

A wonderful subject, superb programming, scintillating playing, marvellous singing and absolutely first rate conducting by Brett Mitchell.

Leonard Bernstein was a larger than life personality of incredible talent, whose composing life was spread across serious concert music and the world of musical theatre. His musical style made more conservative music lovers uncomfortable, his conducting was incandescent, his personality both complex and immensely communicative.

All of Bernstein's intensely individual story was brought to life in this marvellously involving concert under the baton of one of America's up and coming conductors.

Yes, there was the predictable - a lengthy, and very welcome, selection from West Side Story - but there was also a rare, and equally welcome, performance of the symphonic suite from his only film music - On The Waterfront. And also, not heard too often, was music from On The Town and some titillating pieces from Candide.

The orchestral playing was marvellous; both free and dazzlingly precise at the same time. One could have been in New York. 

To read the complete review, please click here.