“Every age has a secret society of congenial spirits.
Draw the circle of friends tighter,
that the truth of art may shine ever more clearly.”
Robert Schuman German composer, pianist,
and influential music critic. 1810 – 1856

The Circle of Friends is the name chosen for the 2022 series for Orchestra Wellington. The reason for this is the music for the series all comes from the 19th-century circle of music friends – Robert and Clara Schumann, Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, Johannes Brahms and many others. It is recognised that these musical greats constitute one of the most remarkable interactions in musical history. So the stage/scene was set and we were tempted.

Each year the orchestra produces six concerts and last night, unfortunately, was the final for the year. This was an amazing performance. Titled “Faust Robert Schumann, Scenes from Goethe’s Faust.”

Our Book of Words for the season tells us “As a fitting culmination of this season, we present the New Zealand premiere of Schumann’s Faust – one of the most astonishing works of the 19th century. “

And we are told “It combines the choral weight of that genre with the dramatic power and grandeur of opera and the intimacy and thought of Lieder. It’s mammoth proportions are mirrored by the forces required for performance, including two choirs, and nine soloists!”

And amazed, delighted and astonished we were as we sat through this performance based on Goethe’s epic poem. Besides the full orchestra, we had eight vocal soloists (Not the promised nine, but who is that picky?) and The Orpheus Choir Wellington and St Marks Schola Cantorum.

We can’t wait to see what is on offer for the next season, although of course, we have already secured our seats by paying for the tickets.

JB Sunday, December 4, 2022
Wellington, New Zealand