NZTrio masters of the musical mix

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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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NZTrioTuesday, September 19th, 2017 at 3:55pm
Congrats Jeroen - superb piece of music :)
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SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music
This week we’re featuring SOUNZ Contemporary Award finalist Jeroen Speak, who is nominated with ’Serendipity Fields’. This is the second time Jeroen has been nominated for the Award. “It is very inspiring seeing the high quality of new music being composed by New Zealand's younger generation today. Salina Fisher and Chris Gendall are both remarkable composers, with unique voices, I congratulate them both.” Jeroen introduces 'Serendipity Fields' below and you can read more about him and the work on SOUNZ Online: http://bit.ly/2xhZoOk APRA AMCOS NZ RNZ Concert NZ On Air NZTrio #silverscrolls17
NZTrio
NZTrioWednesday, September 6th, 2017 at 10:20am
Last two outings of Exotica (before heading to Kokomai Festival) are this weekend Sept 9 and 10 at #MairangiBayArtsCentre and Leigh Sawmill Cafe - tickets via Eventfinda NZ. This is a RIPPER of a programme, performed in fantastic venues - don't miss it!
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NZTrio
NZTrioFriday, September 1st, 2017 at 5:31pm
Shout out to our fabulous friends at #WORLDBrand, live streaming their show at #NZFW 8.30pm tonight - we'll be watching! Why don't you join us? https://www.facebook.com/WORLDBRAND/photos/a.225832990764414.74363.225828760764837/1810424325638598/?type=1&theater
NZTrio
NZTrioMonday, August 28th, 2017 at 3:26pm
So great when someone who is new to your work says all the right things! Hope you'll join us for EXOTICA with guest violinist #AndrewBeer at Nathan Homestead this weekend (perfect #FathersDay gift!) Sept 3, 5pm. Tickets via #Eventfinda:http://bit.ly/NZTrio0903
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NZTrio
NZTrioThursday, August 24th, 2017 at 10:07am
Thanks for a great day #MacleansCollege - lovely kids with awesome ideas!
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NZTrioTuesday, August 22nd, 2017 at 3:57pm
So thrilled that another of our commissions is a finalist for this year's SOUNZ Contemporary Award - way to go, Jeroen!! And a big congrats to the other finalists, our friends Chris Gendall and Salina Fisher - the depth and quality of New Zealand music is truly extraordinary, and we couldn't be more proud. Check out the video links of the finalists - stunning stuff!!

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