NZTrio masters of the musical mix

FULL REVIEW:

Musicians’ Chinese collaboration explores versatility of strings.

 

NZTrio wrapped up their latest Lardelli commission, Between Strings, within two fragrant specimens of romantic chamber music.

Beyond the windows of Q Theatre’s Loft, the city was obligingly quiescent on this Sunday evening, the flickering blue and red light of a police car just a momentary distraction during the second concert in NZTrio’s Loft series.

Once again these musicians affirmed their status as masters of the musical mix, wrapping their latest commission, Dylan Lardelli’s Between Strings, within two fragrant specimens of romantic chamber music.

Amy Beach’s 1938 Piano Trio would have been old-fashioned in its time. However, its meld of misty impressionism, lushly woven textures and Gaelic hoe-down, all gathered together from older material, is the American composer at her best. It was given a lovely rendering. In the first movement, Sarah Watkins provided the sheen, while Justine Cormack and Ashley Brown engaged in delicately poised dialogue, heightened by the occasional flirtatious portamento.

The new Lardelli work was a collaborative venture, enlisting Xiyao Chen on the guzheng, or Chinese zither. Yao introduced himself by enchanting us with two solos on a traditionally tuned instrument. One was an ethereal folksong, with a soupcon of Oriental blues in its wispy bent notes; the other was the spirited Celebrating the Lantern Festival, by Yao’s grandfather Cao Dongfu, letting loose with some bold dramatic gestures. Moving to a second, specially tuned guzheng, Yao joined NZTrio in Lardelli’s exhaustive and fascinating exploration of the sonic possibilities of four string instruments.

A complex score (with three pages of instructions) made for a beguiling soundscape. Much was whispered, often ingeniously in harmonics, with perhaps some secrets left undivulged. Yet, in scale and sonorities, this was an exquisitely crafted rapprochement of East and West.

These musicians included Arensky’s First Piano Trio in a concert nine years ago, marking the group’s residency with Auckland University’s School of Music. NZTrio has been an independent entity for some years now, and on the night the confidence and sheer thrust in tackling this Russian score compelled, even if a slight edge occasionally crept into the string tone.

 

William Dart – New Zealand Herald, 3 Sept 2013

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NZTrioSunday, May 28th, 2017 at 9:00am
A big shout out to NZ On Air and SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music for funding these Resound films of our 2016 FLARE adventure with Simon O'Neill. Performed live at the Great Hall of the Arts Centre of CHCH, this is Alex Taylor's transcription of Strauss's 'Four Lieder' Op.27. More to come.... https://vimeo.com/209649644
NZTrio
R. STRAUSS: Four Lieder, arr. ALEX TAYLOR
This is "R. STRAUSS: Four Lieder, arr. ALEX TAYLOR" by SOUNZ on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.
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NZTrio
NZTrioSaturday, May 27th, 2017 at 6:06pm
Tuesday night's final performance with Justine was special in so many ways - it really felt like a celebration of the incredible music we have enjoyed and the enormous contribution she has made over the years. We were therefore enormously honoured to have been presented, on stage, with a citation and grant by The Lilburn Trust for outstanding services to New Zealand music - the first time in the history of the award that the citation has been given to an ensemble. We couldn't be more proud of our fellow composers, and we will continue to champion their vital and vibrant voices on stage throughout Aotearoa and the world. It truly is a privilege. Thank you!!
NZTrio
NZTrioThursday, May 25th, 2017 at 1:33pm
A big THANK YOU and fond farewell from Justine.
NZTrio
NZTrioWednesday, May 24th, 2017 at 10:31am
And that's a wrap for our beloved Justine. It was a beautiful #swansong and a room/theatre/bar(!) full of palpable love. Thankyou to all our wonderful guests, friends, family, and supporters for sharing it with us.
NZTrio
NZTrioTuesday, May 23rd, 2017 at 11:38am
A few tickets left for tonight's concert. Here's William Dart's review of Sunday's performance. Book here: http://bit.ly/booknztrio. See you there!
NZTrio
NZTrioMonday, May 22nd, 2017 at 2:42pm
Sarah leads a toast to Justine at last night’s concert 🍾🥂

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