In recent years the New Zealand Youth Choir has performed with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra a number of times but only in collaboration with other choirs. The two ‘Spirit of Anzac’ concerts, at the MFC, Wellington on 22 April and Auckland Town Hall on 23 April, was NZYC’s first ‘solo’ gig with the national orchestra for some time. A recording of the Wellington concert was broadcast on Radio NZ Concert on Anzac Day.
The Choir performed in the premiere of Australian James Ledger’s new work ‘War Music’. “The idea is the whole piece will form an arch,” James Ledger said. “The first half is going to be war-like. It’s going to be very violent and aggressive. The second half will reflect back on the travesty of war.” NZYC contribution to the Ledger piece was highly praised in reviews:
‘The second part, much sparer, has the texts of a poem by Paul Kelly sung by a choir of young singers. Stunningly written, and exquisitely sung, this 'epilogue' made an indelible impression.’ John Button, Dominion Post review of the Wellington performance.
‘Less belligerent, shorter and more affecting was the following movement in which the New Zealand Youth Choir added a skilfully layered setting of Paul Kelly's words, powerfully linking past and present, war and peace.’ William Dart, NZ Herald review of the Auckland performance.
A full text of the Dominion Post and the NZ Herald reviews can be found here.