Rapturous applause for brilliant programme

FULL REVIEW:

A brilliant programme was vigorously applauded by a capacity audience at the newly refurbished Glenroy Auditorium yesterday.

True to their reputation, the NZTrio represented works from the 20th and 21st centuries balanced as it were by one work from the late 19th century. While this might suggest that the second half smoothed the rough edges of the first, this was far from true or necessary.

Tchaikovsky’s long Piano Trio, composed in 1882, is wrung from simple melodies used initially as question and answer and finally after a series of variations to create a grand unison. Given a strong, dazzling, fiery and light interpretation, particularly from the pianist Sarah Watkins, it left the audience overawed at the closing reference to the Chopin Funeral March. Bravo.

The first half of the evening was equally enrapturing. Bright Sheng’s Four Movements for Piano Trio relays his native Chinese musical tongue via this Western media with amazing verity. Notes slide, melodies ring out from single tones, harmonics create a sense of distance, while the infectiously rhythmic percussive use the bodies of the instruments provided a fourth dimension. Wonderful.

Aucklander Claire Cowan’s Subtle Dances took the audience through a delightfully eclectic musical world tour with snatches of Piazzolla, the gravity of Shostakovich melded with earthy blues and Reich’s hypnotic rhythmic shifts. It is a measure of her talent that she achieves these allusions while creating a voice of her own.

Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, a pupil of Roger Sessions and Elliott Carter, allows her Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello to talk to the audience while retaining her obvious allegiance to the European avant-garde. There is also perhaps a nod in Shostakovich’s direction. NZTrio gave the Zwilich work its New Zealand premiere calling attention to its chilling discords and highlighting its emotional swirling from the furious to the sweet. All four works, interpreted with compelling strength, connected well with an audience grateful to hear a programme nearly replete with contemporary works.

 

Marion Poole – Otago Daily Times, 4 May 2013

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NZTrio
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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