Music Futures’ praiseworthy venture with young Wellington musicians

Music Futures

The Sound of Wellington Youth Music 2015

Manu Tioriori (selected students from the combined choir of Wellington College and Wellington East Girls’ College), conducted by Katie Macfarlane
Claudia Tarrant-Matthews (violin and piano)
Trio Glivenko (Shweta Iyer – violin, Bethany Angus – cello, Claudia Tarrant-Matthews – piano)

St Andrew’s on The Terrace

Sunday 26 July, 3 pm

This was the second annual concert by a group set up last year to help young musicians in Wellington. The organisation exists to provide performance opportunities, access to masterclasses and workshops, mentoring by professional musicians, financial awards and the hire of musical instruments.

The choir which opened the concert showed one of the advantages of co-education while at the same time being in nicely segregated institutions; the two colleges virtually share the same property, though emphatically apart when I attended the boys’ institution a long time ago. Then, the only (illicit) contact was at the corner of the tennis courts close to Paterson Street or (licitly) at dancing classes tutored by Wellington East’s physical education mistress and graced by a phalanx of girls who marched after school across our segregated territory.

Katie Macfarlane achieved lovely effects in three songs, balanced, unforced and comfortable; the second was , two Maori and one in English though French by origin: one of the better, certainly more touching, songs from Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Les misérables: ‘Empty chairs at empty tables’.  (Intriguingly, the song is not in the original French version of the musical; it was added later for the revised French version as “Seul devant ces tables vides”). The talented young William Pereira sang it, an attractive, natural voice; he sang with feeling and nice sentiment.

Their second bracket consisted of the Psalm-derived ‘I will lift up mine eyes’, the Zulu wedding song ‘Hamba Lulu’ and the locally-relevant ‘Poneke E’, a highly characteristic, catchy Maori song. Each performance caught the widely varied character of the three songs.

The presence of the pair of NZSO players earlier known as Flight: flutist Bridget Douglas and harpist Carolyn Mills, purported to be to offer something to aspire to. That was hardly necessary but the piece they played Persichetti’s Serenade No 10, was good to hear again; it’s been in their repertoire for several years. It’s just eight short movements, none of them around long enough to tire or to require the services of musical elaboration, counter-melodies, development, what-have-you…

Claudia Tarrant-Matthews offered examples of both her violin and piano gifts, both without ostentation, with discretion and insight: the 3rd and 4th movements of Bach’s violin sonata in A minor and later, Rachmaninov’s Prelude in D, Op 32 No 4.

Tarrant-Matthews also took part as pianist in the Glivenko Trio’s (which also involved violinist Shweta Iyer and cellist Bethany Angus) performance of Shostakovich’s first piano trio which they played at the NZSM Queen’s Birthday Chamber Music Weekend on 1 June (see my review of that date, where the name is explained).  This performance, like that in June in the Adam Concert Room, was played with an understanding that seemed beyond their years.

The whole enterprise was another admirable initiative that in a small way fills the great gap left by our educational authorities in the area of the arts and music especially.

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