NZTrio and Julian Bliss

At the outset, I must say, this was a superb concert – cleverly constructed, beautifully balanced and wonderfully well played.

We all know just what a fine piano trio NZTrio has become over the years, but I have never heard them play better than here, and their partnership with brilliant young British clarinettist Julian Bliss gave us a concert worth travelling for. Fortunately a good sized audience was on hand to enjoy the music making, and what music making it was!
The concert opened with the Brahms Clarinet trio, one of the magical late works Brahms wrote for the clarinet and immediately we heard the quality of Julian Bliss. Matched by his NZTrio partners, he caught the rich, autumnal quality of the piece to perfection. Ross Harris’ There may be light was commissioned for this tour; a beautifully understated piece whose spare, almost Webernesque textures and subtle colours somehow managed to link with main work on the programme – Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time.

The Messiaen work was composed in a prisoner-of-war camp and first performed to 400 prisoners and guards in 1941. Performed on decrepit instruments outdoors in the rain, Messiaen said, “I was never listened to with such rapt attention and comprehension”. And, even under these seemingly impossible conditions, Messiaen managed not only to communicate the same mystically religious message we find in all his works, but compose one of the great works of the 20th Century as well.

This was a performance that did full justice to Messiaen. All eight movements were miraculously recreated, but all in the audience would have been caught by the staggering clarinet playing in the solo Abyss for the birds, the rapt cello playing with equally rapt support from the piano in In praise of the eternity of Jesus and the soaring violin in the final In praise of the immortality of Jesus.

These moments transcended mere music making.

 

John Button, Dominion Post – 29 July 2016

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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!!
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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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