+ About the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra NZSO is the national orchestra of New Zealand It is owned and funded by the NZ government There are 90 full-time players The orchestra was formed in 1946 and was originally called the NZBC orchestra The orchestra has a busy schedule touring in NZ and sometimes travels overseas.
+ Instruments of the orchestra In the concert you are going to, you will see lots of different kinds of instruments played by musicians of the NZSO. Find out more about these instruments and the families they come from. instruments
+ The layout of the orchestra Can you name all the instruments?
+ Timeline Before we get started learning about this fantastic concert here’s a task for the whole class: Clear a space on your classroom wall and create a timeline that starts at 1750 and finishes at today. Each time you come across a date, mark it on your timeline with a colourful illustration- this way you can start to get a sense of where all this fabulous music fits into history. Add other important historical events that occurred around these dates. Here’s an example of a timeline about George Washington. Do a google search on “timelines for kids” to get lots of other ideas for timelines.
+ Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Born in 1884 in Russia Loved to listen to Russian folk- songs, church music and opera when he was growing up He composed his first symphony while working on a navy ship
+ Flight of the Bumble Bee An orchestral interlude in the opera “The Tale of Tsar Saltan” composed in 1899. The music plays when the magic Swan-bird turns the Tsar’s son into a bee so he can fly away to visit his father.interlude“The Tale of Tsar Saltan” Listen to Flight of the Bumble Bee being played. Close your eyes and imagine those bees buzzing all around your head!Flight of the Bumble Bee The music has been arranged for lots of different instruments. Listen to it here played on marimba and here it is being played by a 7-year old boy on the piano for Australia’s Got Talent and how about this one on 101 bottles!marimbapiano101 bottles!
+ Activity-play Class game Create a hive by getting half of the class to stand in a circle facing towards the centre of the circle with their hands by their side. The other half of the class stand inside the circle and are the bumble-bees. Play Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee while the bees weave in and out of the players making up the hive. When the music stops the hive players grab the hands of the others in the circle and trap the bumble- bees. These trapped bumble-bees now become members of the hive. Repeat the process until only one bumble-bee remains. This bumble-bee is the winner of the game.
+ By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart The Abduction from Seraglio (Overture)
+ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Born in Salzburg, Austria, in 1756 A child prodigy who composed his first piece of music at the age of 5 and his first opera when he was 12. By the time he was 6 he was an excellent pianist and violinist and travelled all around Europe performing for royalty with his sister, Maria Anna He moved to Vienna and tried to earn a living but had trouble accepting he was no longer a child prodigy Even though he died at age 35, he composed over 600 works Mozart’s childhood home in Salzburg
+ Overture to The Abduction of Seraglio The Abduction of Seraglio is an opera in three acts. It tells the story of the hero, Belmonte, assisted by his servant, Pedrillo, to rescue his girlfriend, Konstanze from the governor’s palace where she is a prisoner. Listen to the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra playing the Overture to The Abduction of Seraglio.Overture to The Abduction of Seraglio The Emperor, Joseph II commissioned the opera, but when he heard it, he complained to Mozart: “That is too fine for my ears-there are too many notes” and Mozart replied, “There are just as many notes as there should be. ” Mozart attended a performance of “The Abduction of Seraglio while visiting Berlin in 1789
+ Activities-listen/categorise Listen to the first three pieces Mozart ever wrote when he was only four! Which of these instruments do you think is playing this music? Can you name each of these instruments?first three pieces
+ Now watch and listen again to the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra playing the Overture to The Abduction of Seraglio.Overture to The Abduction of Seraglio Write down all the instruments you can identify and group them into the four orchestral families: Strings Woodwind Brass Percussion
+ Edvard Grieg Born in Norway in 1843 Learnt piano from his mother when he was 6. When he was a teenager, he went to Leipzig in Germany to study. He travelled all round Europe as a concert pianist but in the summer always went back to Norway to compose.
+ Gavotte from the Holberg Suite The Holberg Suite is a suite of five movements based on 18 th century dance forms. At this concert you will hear the third movement, the Gavotte. It is an example of music written in the 19 th century that uses musical styles from the preceeding century. Listen to Gavotte being played by the Franz Lizst Chamber OrchestraGavotte This piece is written for string orchestra. What are the four instruments you will find in a string orchestra? Remember you can check back in the NZSO Education resources to find out more about string instrumentsNZSO Education resources
+ Activity-make Now it’s time to make your own string instrument! Have a look at these ideas for homemade string instruments.ideas Once you have gathered up the materials you need, make your instrument, experimenting with different ways to get the best sound. How can you change the pitch of a string? How does a violin player change the pitch of a string? Can you play a tune on your instrument?
+ By Joseph Haydn Symphony 100 Allegretto (2 nd movement)
+ Joseph Haydn Born in Austria in 1809 He developed many new musical forms and is known as the “Father of the Symphony” He struggled to make a living as a composer until he was employed by a wealthy family, the Esterhazys He composed symphonies, operas and string quartets for the family and conducted their orchestra. He was considered a celebrity in his time in the same way we consider Lady Gaga or Justin Timberlake celebrities!! A postage stamp issued by Hungary in 1959, commemorating the 150 th anniversary of the death of Haydn
+ Allegretto from Symphony 100 There are four movements in this symphony.symphony. 1. Adagio/ Allegro 2. Allegretto 3. Menuetto/ Moderato 4. Presto At the NZSO concert you will be listening to the 2 nd movement, the Allegretto. The whole symphony is nicknamed the "Military” because the second movement features prominent fanfares written for trumpets and percussion which sound like soldiers heading off to war. Listen to the Allegretto being played by the London Philharmonic and see if you can hear the mighty fanfare of trumpets and percussion.Allegretto
+ Activity-define/listen Remember that this symphony has four movements. 1. Adagio/ Allegro 2. Allegretto 3. Menuetto/ Moderato 4. Presto Find out what each of these Italian words mean. This website will help youwebsite Follow along to this graphic animation of the Allegretto and listen out for this main theme written below. How many different instruments do you hear playing this theme?graphic animation
+ By Györgi Ligeti 6 Bagatelles for Woodwind Quintet
+ Györgi Ligeti Born in 1923 in Transylvania (no, he wasn’t a vampire!!) He was very interested in contemporary styles of classical music. He was a professor of composition at Hamburg University of Music and Theatre
+ Bagatelles for Woodwind Quintet Research questions: How many instruments will you find in a woodwind quintet? Which instruments will you find in a woodwind quintet? Why are these instruments called woodwind?
+ Activity-improvise Divide your class into groups of six to create quintets with a conductor for each group (you may have a quartet or a trio left or maybe create a septet!) Each group member, except the conductor, to select an untuned percussion instrument. The performers sit in a circle and take a few moments to explore all the ways they can make a sound on their instrument. When everyone is ready, the conductor walks around the outside of the circle tapping performers on the shoulder. On the first tap they start to play, making sounds on their instruments any way they want, and on the second tap they stop playing. The conductor gets to decide who plays and for how long. 2,3,4 or 5 players could all be playing at once. Perhaps the conductor could devise a signal to vary the dynamics (louds and softs). For example, a double tap on the shoulder means play loud and a single tap means play softly.
+ Anthony Ritchie Born in 1960 One of NZ’s most prolific composers Studied composition at Canterbury University and now lives in Dunedin Has written over 100 works In 2009 he was named in the NZ croquet team to compete in the world championships!! “I have tunes running around in my head when I am playing croquet,"
+ French Overture French Overture was composed for The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for inclusion in the 2009 tour of the North Island. It was written while the composer was on study leave in Paris and was inspired, by some of his experiences in that city: the ancient buildings, the noise and bustle of the place, the people living on the streets
+ Activity-Listen/Create Listen to these other pieces which have been inspired by cities. Here’s the New York Philharmonic playing Gershwin’s American in Paris. Listen out for the car hornsAmerican in Paris This one is about New York-Central Park in the Dark by Charles IvesCentral Park in the Dark Imagine you have been asked to write a piece of music about your city or town Work with a friend and write down all the things about your city or town that you could express through music. E.g. cars, church bells chiming, sirens, people talking, buskers performing, dogs barking... Create a short piece of music that depicts your city or town-include percussion instruments, found sounds (paper, water bottles, chair legs etc) and voice sounds. You might even be able to record your composition.
+ The Brass Family The Brass section of the orchestra is made up of french horns, trumpets, trombones and a tuba. You can read up more about these instruments by checking these NZSO resources.NZSO resources There’s lots of great music written for brass ensembles. Listen to the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble playing a piece titled War. You’ll see a few different brass instruments in this video. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
+ By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Symphony 40 (Molto Allegro)
+ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Born in Salzburg, Austria, in 1756 A child prodigy who composed his first piece of music at the age of 5 and his first opera when he was 12. By the time he was 6 he was an excellent pianist and violinist and travelled all around Europe performing for royalty with his sister, Maria Anna He moved to Vienna and tried to earn a living but had trouble accepting he was no longer a child prodigy Even though he died at age 35, he composed over 600 works
+ Molto Allegro from Symphony No. 40 One of the most well-known and recognised symphonies ever written. This symphony has four movements: 1 Molto Allegro 2 Andante 3 Menuetto. Allegretto 4 Finale. Allegro Assai At the NZSO concert you will hear the first movement, the Molto Allegro Listen to the Molto Allegro being played by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.Molto Allegro Here is the very well-known first theme-how many times do you hear it played? Perhaps someone in your class could play this on an instrument for you to hear.
+ Activity-interview/write Mozart is, without doubt, considered one of the greatest composers of all time. Take yourself back in time and imagine that you are a journalist preparing for an interview with him. You will need to research thoroughly so you can plan relevant and appropriate questions. Write a report for your school magazine, outlining what you found out about this musical genius. What will your headline be?
+ Gareth Farr Born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1968 A composer and percussionist One of his most well-known works is “From the Depths Sound the Great Sea Gongs” which he wrote for the NZSO’s 50 th anniversary in 1996.
+ Little Seagongs This piece was commissioned by NZ percussion group, StrikeStrike It is written for percussion quartet and uses a variety of drums and a crash cymbal. Watch and listen to Little Seagongs being played by Soundstruck PercussionLittle Seagongs
+ Activity-drum Watch this amazing street drummerstreet drummer Organise the class into small groups and give everyone a plastic bucket. Groups to work together to create a drumming composition including varied dynamics (loud and soft) and tempi (fast and slow) Each group to perform their drumming composition to the rest of the class
+ Johann Strauss Johann Strauss, Jr. was born in Vienna in 1825 father was an enormously famous musician When he was 19, Johann Strauss, Jr. started his own orchestra, and conducted his first public concert. Strauss toured internationally with his orchestra. And everywhere he went, he wrote new music dedicated to the places he visited.
+ Tritsch Tratsch Polka Strauss wrote this polka during a trip to Russia in 1858 Tritsch Tratsch can be interpreted as “Chit Chat” and it is thought Straus may have been poking fun at the Viennese love of gossip. Strauss’s first wife, Henrietta had a poodle called Tritsch Tratsch! Listen to the Tritsch Tratsch Polka being played by the Vienna PhilharmonicTritsch Tratsch Polka
+ Activity Learn how to dance the polka!dance the polka In the James Bond film, Moonraker, this piece is played while 007 is driving his hovercraft gondola through St Mark’s Square in Venice. Listen again to the Tritsch Tratsch Polka being played by the Vienna Philharmonic and describe what you think might be happening if this was the music to a scene in a movie. Tritsch Tratsch Polka