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New Massey Edition: Papanui Road by John Ritchie

Apr 9th, 2009

Promethean Editions welcomes the release of Papanui Road by John Ritchie (PME11) as part of the Massey Edition series. Robert Hoskins says of the work: 'Rich with kaleidoscopic images, Papanui Road gives a vivid 'snapshot' of bustling central Christchurch during the 1950s?one that encompases not only the cityscape but much of the composer's own experience and spirit.'

The composer writes: 'Having lived near Papanui Road for most of my life?having cycled, driven and walked on it, having shopped, eaten and prayed in or on it, I feel at home there. As young people say, it has 'vibes' for me. It certainly has memories... This concert overture tries to hint at the bustle, the vitality and the peace of Papanui Road; an impression rather than a picture... For all its pictorialism this concert overture is a serious, even a solemn and nostalgic work. Its aim is to evoke memories and the atmosphere of an important, busy thoroughfare in the composer's home town.'

This concert overture was commissioned by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra for its 25th anniversary concert season in 1987, (the orchestra was conducted by John Ritchie for its first five years). The work received its first performance on 2 May 1987 under American conductor Donald Johanos. It has subsequently entered the repertory of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia and the Southern Sinfonia.

A Radio New Zealand Concert recording, made in 1998 by the NZSO under Marc Taddei, was released in 2002 on the CD Aquarius: Music by John Ritchie (HRL Morrison Music Trust MMT2040).

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