University cellists bring ensemble to St Andrew’s lunchtime concert series

New Zealand School of Music Celli

Samuel Berkahn, Alex Hoare, Emily Peterson, Toby Pringle, Lavinnia Rae, Rebecca Warnes, Olivia Wilding, Inbal Megiddo (cellos)

Bach: Suite no.6 in D, Prelude
Albéniz: Malagenia (normally spelt Malagueña), arr. Claude Kenneson
Mozart: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, K.525, arr. Blaise Dejardin
Pergolesi: Stabat Mater, arr. Robert Legg

St. Andrew’s on The Terrace

Wednesday, 13 August 2017, 12.15pm

A well-filled church was treated to a very enjoyable concert performed by the New Zealand School of Music cello ensemble, made up of current and past cello students of the NZSM.  It opened with supremely well-played Bach, performed by Olivia Wilding.   There were a few slight lapses of intonation in this difficult music, but the cellist’s playing was highly competent and confident, her tone and volume excellent.

She was followed by the full ensemble of eight cellos playing, firstly, a Spanish piece.  I find that the arranger, Claude Kenneson, was a Canadian, who died a few years ago.  There was some magnificent playing, especially from those who did short solo parts.

Another arrangement was of the well known Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.  This was arranged by Blaise Dejardin.  Google informs me that he is a young French cellist now playing in the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  After a slightly shaky start to the allegro first movement, the ensemble showed excellent rhythm and phrasing throughout.  The players produced a pleasant tone, and the balance between the parts was fine.  However, the lack of variety in sound quality compared with hearing the full family of strings play the work made it pall a little.

The minuetto third movement seemed to me to be played too fast to allow a graceful dance to be performed to it.  There were a few rough moments.  The rondo final movement was brisk and robust.

The final item was another arrangement.  Pergolesi’s work was arranged by Robert Legg, a staff member of the New Zealand School of Music.  This was a very fine performance; the playing seemed somewhat better controlled than in the Mozart, with a lovely, cohesive tone.

The concert was proof of the excellent teaching going on at the School; the teacher, Inbal Megiddo, was part of the ensemble.


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