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Posts tagged: chamber music

“Hammers and Horsehair” (joined with birdsong) enchant an Aro St audience in Wellington

By , 25/10/2018
We sat amid soft lighting on comfortable, homely furniture, talking softly with our fellow audience-members while listening to pianist Douglas Mews “tuning up” his square piano and then “playing us in” with music that I for one didn’t know – it actually sounded, appropriately enough, like a kind of improvisation, perfect for warming up player, instrument and our increasingly attentive ears, until all was ready. ‘Cellist Robert Ibell having... read more

A lunchtime concert for the exploratory and spirited on violin and cello

By , 24/10/2018
Duos between the piano and many other instruments are numerous, but between pairs of other instruments, without a keyboard, rare; though string quartets and less often string trios and quintets seem to be popular and work well. This was an opportunity to put it to the test. Halvorsen’s Passacaglia based on a theme from Handel’s harpsichord suite in G minor is not completely obscure. The tune lends itself to variations and... read more

Polished viola student performances of Bach suites plus some unfamiliar music at St Andrew’s

By , 17/10/2018
One rarely goes to a recital by students from Victoria University’s school of music (also known as the New Zealand School of Music and Te Koki), without being surprised to be exposed to interesting, often unfamiliar music played admirably by gifted players. Zephyr Wills began with the first two movements of Schubert’s sonata for Arpeggione, the odd and short-lived hybrid guitar-cello (D 821). No one today plays the weird instrument... read more

No better way of concluding a year’s worth of glorious music-making! Ensemble LTJJI at Hutt Valley Chamber Music’s final 2018 concert.

By , 15/10/2018
Undoubtedly a mouth-watering prospect on paper, this concert nevertheless had some surprises in store, almost entirely in the realm of the transcription of Mozart’s Piano Concerto K.414 for piano and string quartet, made by the composer himself to increase the music’s likelihood of being played in whatever form.  He obviously had very little faith in the extent of his audiences’ musical sensibilities, describing in a letter of December 1782... read more

Sending it up on the double bass and sparkling at the piano, plus other strings

By , 11/10/2018
This concert in Chamber Music New Zealand’s subscription series had an unusual character. It featured two international-class musicians alongside three of the members of the New Zealand String Quartet. Piers Lane has made several visits to New Zealand, including at least a couple of times to the Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson. As in the present concert, both pianist and bassist have often been in combination with chamber music... read more

Violin and piano competition winners show robust musical and technical gifts and fine rapport

A concert of illustrious music from an illustrious duo.  Ioana Cristina Goicea is the winner of the 2017 Michael Hill a Violin Competition, and Andrey Gugnin the winner of the 2016 Sydney International Piano Competition.  Their tour of New Zealand with Chamber Music New Zealand is in association with the Michael Hill Competition.  A good-sized audience heard this noteworthy recital, the last in the Waikanae Music Society’s 2018 series It... read more

Aroha Quartet with animated, robust, delightful evening concert at St Andrew’s

It was most unfortunate that this concert had had to be rescheduled; this made it clash with another chamber music concert in the city, which was presumably responsible for the rather small audience. Anne Loeser substituted for the regular second violinist Ursula Evans, the latter having had an injury. The two older works on the programme had been played By this group at a St. Andrew’s lunchtime concert less than a... read more

Too important to let go – Ashley Brown with a “new” NZTrio for Braid, a Suffrage Year concert

By , 26/09/2018
This is the second concert with overt connections to the recent 125th suffrage anniversary that I’ve recently reviewed, very different to the earlier one (Cantoris Choir, Wellington), though packing a similarly powerhouse punch on behalf of women’s musical creativity. It was titled Braid, and is one of three concert series given by the trio this year featuring the work of women composers, the other two being called Weave and Twine. As with Cantoris Choir’s presentation... read more

Amici Ensemble consolidates its reputation as valuable, adventurous Wellington adornment

By , 16/09/2018
We have owed a great deal to this splendid, many-facetted ensemble over the years, held together by NZSO Associate Concertmaster Donald Armstrong. Most ‘chamber music’ groups are either trios or quartets, and occasionally a quintet by adding a piano, a cello, a clarinet... Here we had enough variety to give us Mozart’s clarinet quintet, and also Ravel’s septet that is disguised as Introduction and Allegro for string quartet, flute... read more

Polished recital from Steel and Irons of flute and piano masterpieces at St Andrew’s

By , 05/09/2018
While the series of concerts from students that occupies St Andrew’s lunchtime series regularly around this time of the year, are always a delight and sometimes expose unusual and interesting music, it’s nice to get back to the mainstream, with truly accomplished professional musicians. The concert’s pun-prone title (Steel and Iron{s}} did announce a couple of New Zealand’s finest artists in their fields. Though I tend to be wary of arrangements-of-convenience... read more

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