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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NZTrioThursday, February 15th, 2018 at 10:54am
In celebration of #ChineseNewYear , we're remembering our wonderful collaboration with guzheng artist #XiaJing in a RNZ Concert recording of Fa 发 - a programme of new music that merges Western and Eastern cultures, performed and recorded listen in 2016 at the NZSM in Wellington. Tune into #MusicAlive
at 7pm on Sat, Feb 17th (here's how: https://www.radionz.co.nz/listen/amfm)
PROGRAMME LIST:
ZHOU LONG: Spirit of Chimes; HUI-RAN WANG: Yi Dance; SPEAK: Serendipity fields (première); LARDELLI: Shells (première); KER: String Taxonomy (première); GAO PING: Feng Zheng (première) RNZ)
NZTrio
NZTrioWednesday, February 7th, 2018 at 3:29pm
Thanks #PonsonbyNews ... two fabulous artists on the same page...
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NZTrioTuesday, January 30th, 2018 at 8:28am
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NZTrioFriday, December 1st, 2017 at 9:17am
Congratulations to our fabulous friends at WORLD #newstoreopening - lucky you Christchurch!
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NZTrioTuesday, November 21st, 2017 at 9:51am
We’re proud to count NZTrio as part of the Q whanau ... so deserved Q team!! Congratulations
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NZTrioFriday, November 17th, 2017 at 2:34pm
Amazing night at the VMAS NZTrio SWAY winner of Classical Artist thanks to #rattle & all our NZ composers

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