Concerts - New Zealand

2008 May 9 Wellington Town - Hall Made In New Zealand concert

NZSO - (New Zealand Symphony Orchestra)
Conductor - Kenneth Young

Symphony in F min, one movement
A movement from this symphony (World Premiere)

Steven Sedley (Fuchs biographer) writes: Fuchs used the same movement, re-worked as the first movement of the 4 movement symphony of the following year. I understand that Ken Young made alterations to this to make it perform- able. Fuchs of course had never heard the work, and would have probably made such corrections himself had he had the opportunity of hearing the piece.)

Scores: Photocopies available for both the original Fuchs score and the Kenneth Young modified score. click here to order scores

Recording: Recorded by New Zealand National Radio, Concert FM

click here to order recording


2008 August 5 Government House Ballroom, Wellington - Opening of the Richard Fuchs Archive

1945 String Quartet in E Major

1937 In der Fremde
1937 Auf den Tod eines Kindes

Soprano: Jenny Wollerman
Piano: Richard Mapp

1941 Piano Quintet in D minor

Donald Armstong - violin
Richard Mapp - Piano
Cristina Vaszilcsin - violin
Vyvyan Yendoll - viola
Brenton Veitch - cello


2009 April 25 Raye Freedman Centre, Auckland. In remembrance of the Holocaust and ANZAC Day

1932 String Quartet in D minor

In der Fremde
Auf den Tod eines Kindes

Musicians: Jade String Quartet
Miranda Adams, violin
William Hanfling, violin
Robert Ashworth, viola
Claudia Price, cello

Soprano:  Gina Sanders
Accompanist: Kay Shacklock

Review by Philip Bradley

Richard Fuchs’ string quartet in D minor received its second public performance on 25 April 2009, three quarters of a century after the first and on the other side of the world.  The Karlsruher Tagesblatt acclaimed the first performance.  The second may have had no reviews in the press, but it was acclaimed by a capacity audience at the Raye Freedman Arts Centre in Epsom, Auckland.


Each of the quartet’s four movements is very succinct, and each is a jewel.  The first movement seems to be in sonata form.  In a passage just before its final bars the music becomes very serious, if not grim, and this sets the tone for the moving slow movement.  The superb third movement is fugal.  It has humour, as befits a scherzo, but it is not “happy music”, the title Fuchs aptly gave to his wind quintet.  Quite often the mood is dark.  The scherzo’s humour is slapstick, but with a bitter tinge.  The final movement of the work seems to express such foreboding and anguish that what I knew of the composer’s life could not be suppressed.  It cut me up.  However, it ends with what may be a prayer for hope.


Many Germans may have thought Hitler was not to be taken seriously or would not last long in the unlikely event that he came to power.  I can’t help feeling Richard Fuchs saw what a dire untruth that was and expressed that in the music of this quartet.  He was an amateur composer (so was Borodin, so was Ives) but nevertheless for me the work had an impact which I unhesitatingly compare with that of Beethoven’s quartet in A minor, op 132. 


The quartet was followed by a performance of three of Fuchs’s lieder.  Here, I wish to refer back to the “Happy Music”.  When I first heard the wind quintet on the sound track of “The Third Richard” I thought “Ah, Richard Strauss”.  Except, as much as I’m fond of the Strauss’s music I thought here Fuchs’ was better.  Strauss’s wind music often has very Straussian chromatic fingerprints which can get dangerously close to tiring.  But Fuchs gives it to us straight.  I like that in music.  The Fuchs songs were very beautiful and moving.  They were not better than Strauss’s – that would be so difficult.  They are simply “as good as”.  And they are Straussian to my ears – after all, Richard Strauss’s lifetime encompassed that of Richard Fuchs and I can think of no better way of describing Fuchs’s music to an enquirer than by referring to the senior composer.


The performances – by the Jade String Quartet and the soprano Gina Saunders accompanied by Kay Shacklock – were excellent. 







2009 24 May - Raye Freedman Centre. Concert for Rabbi Lau

1945 String Quartet in E Major

Violins: Donald Armstrong, Cristina Vaszilcsin
Viola: Vyvyan Yendoll
Cello: Ashley Brown

1941 Piano Quintet in D Minor

Violins: Donald Armstrong, Cristina Vaszilcsin
Viola: Vyvyan Yendoll
Cello: Ashley Brown
Piano: Richard Mapp

Songs: Auf Den Tod Eines Kinder, Erhorung, In der Fremde. 

Tenor: Michael Gray
Piano: Richard Mapp