NZTrio delivers classy performance

Reviewing NZTrio’s Flare concert, it’s difficult to resist an easy pun, as this pairing of top-class ensemble with celebrated Kiwi heldentenor showed commendable flair. Simon O’Neill certainly earned his helden credentials, with almost two heroic hours of singing, encompassing a Bach cantata, songs by Mahler and Strauss, along with a new Juliet Palmer commission.

First up were three 1906 lieder by Robert Kahn, originally scored for voice and trio, delivered with the affection that elegant but lightweight music demands.

Turning to transcriptions, Bach’s Ich habe Genug had problems. One missed the vibrancy of the original oboe solo and textural variety was somewhat dampened. O’Neill seemed more jubilantly in home territory with four of Mahler’s Wayfarer songs, sympathetically arranged by Kenneth Young. Alex Taylor took more risks rescoring Richard Strauss, underlining unease in one song with eerie string effects while providing an appropriately lush background for O’Neill’s powerful attestations of love in the final number.

Juliet Palmer’s Vermillion Songs was a fascinating response to Emily Dickinson’s elliptical lyrics. A little like a musical dissection – appropriately with her instrumental writing inspired by sound-worlds inside the human body – Palmer focused on intricate detail, occasionally taking time to highlight a single word with a flurry of virtuosity. Mid-cycle, the relaxed melodic cohesion of the third song allowed O’Neill to dispense persuasive lyricism.

William Dart, New Zealand Herald – 15 November 2016

Review by:

Subscribe to E-news

Latest from Facebook

NZTrio
NZTrioFriday, July 21st, 2017 at 12:10pm
Warm congrats to our designers at AREA Design for a well-deserved win at the 2017 PANZ Book Awards http://www.bookdesignawards.co.nz/beach-life-penguin-random-house-new-zealand-award-for-best-illustrated-book-2017-winner/
NZTrio
NZTrioWednesday, July 19th, 2017 at 10:31am
For those in or near Wellington, you may want to check out Orchestra Wellington's latest offering (Aug 5): Ravel’s 1912 Daphnis and Chloe
- a 20th century masterpiece rarely heard in its entirety
NZTrio
NZTrioFriday, July 14th, 2017 at 11:57am
6 years ago ... really?
NZTrio
NZTrioTuesday, July 11th, 2017 at 5:18pm
We congratulate all those students who entered our second NZTrio Composing Competition: Turn a Phrase – we had two days of immersive and inspiring sessions reading through your scores. To find out who has advanced to the workshop level, click on this link:
http://nztrio.com/composing-competition/
It was exciting to see words and imagery from a vast range of New Zealand writers and poets given new context through each composer's distinct musical language and we look forward to sharing our thoughts at the workshops in a couple of weeks!
NZTrio
NZTrioThursday, July 6th, 2017 at 3:28pm
Aaaand to help you with that 3:30'itis on this not-so-fine Thursday avo - one more from our FLARE series with Simon O'Neil performing #JulietPalmer's work Vermilion Songs. Thanks to SOUNZ Resound project, it can be relived :)
NZTrio
SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music
The Resound project brings you films of three works from the beautifully restored Great Hall at the Arts Centre of Christchurch. In November 2016 the members of NZTrio (Justine Cormack - violin, Ashley Brown - cello, Sarah Watkins - piano) teamed up with their old friend, the internationally renowned Wagnerian tenor Simon O'Neill, for a programme of works ranging from Bach to a new commission of Juliet Palmer, with arrangements of Strauss and Mahler (by New Zealanders Alex Taylor and Kenneth Young respectively) in between. We start with Juliet Palmer's 'Vermillion Songs', a setting of six poems by Emily Dickinson that travel "insights of science, through contemplation of pain, disorientation, a return to consciousness, acceptance of the fragility of existence, to a final song of death." The composer writes of her hope of offering listeners, "a fresh glimpse into the poetry of the human body". 'Vermillion Songs' was composed with funding from Creative New Zealand. Resound is funded by NZ On Air. The sound recording used in this film was realised by Alex van den Broek.

Latest from Twitter

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