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Posts tagged: viola

Scholarly and musical – Sergey Malov plays Bach

One might think that a recital composed entirely of unaccompanied Bach would not reveal the versatility of the performer.  In fact, it did.  The other thought is that it would pall for the audience.  Although I heard remarks afterwards from some audience members that they missed piano accompaniment, I don’t think this was a general reaction. However, I don’t believe I have been to a completely solo violin recital before... read more

Their own sounds: Viola students from the NZSM

The presence of Gillian Ansell, violist in the New Zealand String Quartet, as a teacher of viola at the School of Music appears to be producing excellent results, in the numbers of skilled violists who are her students, emerging there. Even so, there is definitely a difference between the performers and in the sounds they make; no carbon copies here.  The variety thus produced provided some of the interest in... read more

Students explore viola repertoire at St Andrew’s

These major twentieth-century viola works (excluding the Schumann) made an impressive muster.  The latest composition was Bloch’s, dating from 1958 (and the most modern-sounding it was); 1928-29 was the period of Walton’s concerto, though it was revised in 1961, and Hindemith’s was the earliest, composed in 1919. The Hindemith was the first work played, by Vincent Hardaker.  The composer was himself a violist.   The work opened with low-pitched notes for... read more

Viva Viola at Lower Hutt campaigns for full recognition with both hits and misses

By , 26/09/2012
I find that I heard other embodiments of this ensemble last year, and a solo performance by Megan Ward in June. Previous experiences entertained me more than this one did, though there were things, such as the arrangement of Handel’s Fireworks Music, that I thought came off splendidly. Almost all music for a group like this must be arrangements, and so there is the risk of running foul of the... read more

Adventurous and rewarding recital by Richard Mapp and Donald Maurice

By , 04/07/2012
Students at New Zealand schools of music, and those at the school in Wellington in particular are fortunate in working in an environment that both encourages original composition and its performance, and encourages the exploration of not so new music. Obviously, that is not at the expense of furnishing students’ memories with the great music of the past, though many will have come from secondary schools where exposure to very... read more

Sergey Malov and Michael Houstoun – capturing the ebb and flow

By , 22/06/2012
Rarely does a concert begin more poetically than when Schubert's music is involved - or so it always seems at the time. The opening exchanges between piano and, in this case, viola, of the intriguingly-named "Arpeggione" Sonata brought their own resonance and warmth to the somewhat ungrateful acoustic of the Lower Hutt Little Theatre, thanks to both pianist Michael Houstoun's and violist Sergey Malov's lyrical, deeply-felt playing. Schubert's "Arpeggione" Sonata... read more

Viola students of New Zealand School of Music on show at St Andrew’s

By , 20/06/2012
This lunchtime recital was a showcase of four viola students, taught variously by Donald Maurice, Claudine Bigelow and Gillian Ansell. Three of the four pieces were of parts of the whole. The first and second movements only of Carl Stamitz’s Concerto in D were enough, which was enough to exhibit the strength’s of Alexa Thompson, large tone, confident, relishing the big sound from her C string; inevitably there were minor... read more

Megan Ward launches 2012 Hutt lunchtime series with Bach on viola

By , 06/06/2012
The long-standing series of lunchtime concerts at Lower Hutt has started; they run through till the end of October. Bach instructed players of his fifth cello suite to tune the A string down a whole tone, to G, so the score shows notes that would be played on the A string a tone higher than they actually sound. The viola is tuned exactly an octave higher than the cello, so... read more

Boris Pigovat’s Requiem – a stunning CD presentation

By , 15/09/2011
This recording commemorates the first performance outside the Ukraine of Boris Pigovat's Requiem, given by violist Donald Maurice, with the Vector Wellington Orchestra conducted by Marc Taddei, on November 9th, 2008 at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington. The composer, whose grandparents and aunt were victims of the Babiy Yar tragedy in 1941, when thousands of German Jews were massacred in cold blood by the Nazis, had wanted for a... read more

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