NZTrio’s compromise-free programme offers drama and beauty

FULL REVIEW:

NZTrio play their final concert for the year at Q Theatre in Auckland on Sunday, and the opportunity of a Wellington preview proved irresistible.

It was a compromise-free programme, setting off with the wild sonic scramble of Sciarrino’s Second Piano Trio that thrilled Aucklanders in September. On Wednesday, the City Gallery acoustics spiked up Sarah Watkins’ flamboyant assaults on her piano, hands in protective bandaging, while new eerie birdsong seemed to emerge from the string clusterings of Justine Cormack and Ashley Brown.

New York composer John Zorn is a self-described radical often bent on deconstruction. His 2001 Amour Fouseemed long at 20 minutes but the musicians caught its obsessional power with its violent eruptions and those abrupt disorientating shifts that are part of the composer’s armament.

Leonie Holmes’ …when expectation ends is a serious and engaging eight minutes, exploring the ironies of finding an inner peace in the midst of turmoil. It was an exquisitely mapped journey, signposted by a harmonically modulated tension that sustained expectancy. Holmes’ restraint with touches of ricochet bowing or a flurry of changing time signatures was admirable; there was passionate lyricism and, at one point, the dramatic chime of E major among harmonies that sometimes evoked the hear-through beauties of gamelan.  

The theme of expectation carried through to Eduard Steuermann’s 1932 arrangement of Schoenberg’s Verklarte Nacht (Transfigured Night). Written in the very end of the 19th century, this late romantic bloom compresses a Wagnerian epic into 30 minutes; love is threatened and regained under the light of the same moon that would inspire Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire decades later. In the composer’s original string scorings, Verklarte Nacht can wring the emotions almost unbearably, as the various themes wend their way from despair to elation. And so it did, with Watkins working overtime to evoke surging strings with just two hands while Cormack and Brown, representing the two protagonists of the drama, created a poignant blend of strength and vulnerability.

Good news: Aucklanders can enjoy this fine concert on Sunday, with the added bonus of a Beethoven Trio replacing the already heard Sciarrino.

 

William Dart – NZ Herald, 29 Oct 2014

Review by:

Subscribe to E-news

Latest from Facebook

NZTrio
NZTrioWednesday, October 18th, 2017 at 10:55am
Come and show your support for NZ's emerging talent this Friday Oct 20th at 7:30pm at The University of Auckland School of Music NZTrio Composing Comp 2017 Winners Concert. Free event, general admission. Watch video for more info or visit www.nztrio.com/event-directory/
https://vimeo.com/236826902
NZTrio
2017 NZTrio Composing Competition: Turn a Phrase
Ashley and Sarah discuss their 2nd biennial composing competition and share insights into the process and purpose behind the venture.
vimeo.com
NZTrio
NZTrioFriday, October 13th, 2017 at 2:26pm
We drove over the wild and windy Rimutakas today, and appear to have arrived in Ye Olde England!
We are serving up a tasty tapas-style programme in Featherston tomorrow night as part of the Kokomai Festival - would love to see lots of toe-tapping friends there if you fancy a grand night out :-)
NZTrio
NZTrioFriday, September 29th, 2017 at 1:26pm
If you've got a quiet Friday night ahead, put your feet up and tune in to #MusicAlive on RNZ Concert tonight at 7pm to re-live our #MessiaenQuartetFortheEndofTime collab with clarinetist #JulianBliss: http://www.radionz.co.nz/concert/programmes/musicalive
NZTrio
NZTrioThursday, September 28th, 2017 at 6:02pm
Good luck to all the fabulous finalists! We'll be watching :)
NZTrio
NZTrioTuesday, September 26th, 2017 at 5:35pm
It's been a whirlwind week at the Shanghai Conservatory with the lovely Yuri Cho - a concert at the New Music Week, and 11 new compositions performed last night for the composing competition. At least a million notes flew by.... great to catch up with old friends, make some new ones - and the beer was well earned (and enjoyed) afterwards!!!!

Latest from Twitter

© 2015-2017
Made in Tel Aviv, Israel by Virtuti-D
rfwbs-sliderfwbs-sliderfwbs-slide