Enzso, NZSO and guests,
Christchurch Town. Hall, Sunday,
March 31, 8pm.
Reviewed by John Reid
in "Christchurch Press" 1 April 1996
Flamboyant appearance and clever pop music carried Split Enz far.
They shaped an aspect of themselves that was intrinsically New
Zealand, and managed to persuade a fickle poppy slashing public to let
thein live long.
Concerts like this ask whether the miniature performance and idiom of
pop can translate to the much larger scale and momentum of the
symphony orchestra language.
It is like taking a fine drawing and shifting it onto the scale of
mural. I was not sure if the mural would be full of empty holes.
What was achieved was something like film/TV music. The song remained
secure and was relocated in the larger landscape of orchestral music.,
a sort of BBC adaptation of important novels crossed with travelogue
sequence in a great detective film.
An impressive array of varying orchestral sound boosted and coloured
the original ballad.
This successful and artistic development found a ready response from
the audience with two encores and a standing ovation.
Part of their pleasure was due to a large input from many of the
original band as a mini-concert within the larger structure of the
night. In these moments fluid style, cramped by orchestral demands,
returned to their performance.
The other guests also gave a very good account of themselves. The
National Youth Choir, wriggling like puppies, although asked to do
little but ethereal sounds, managed these with aplomb.
Annie Crummer squeezed the last drop of angst. Dave Dobbyn showed his
bold performance. Sam Hunt entertained with style.
It was a wonderful night that appealed deeply to those in the audience
listening to the anthems of their youth, lightly reshaped and made
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