This music spoke more than ever from the heart

FULL REVIEW:

NZTrio appears to have claimed the welcoming space of Q Theatre’s Loft as its Auckland home, enabling Justine Cormack, Ashley Brown and Sarah Watkins to play to a capacity audience while retaining the friendliness of a house concert.

On Sunday, the first of its Loft series set off with a rarity – a 1921 Trio by English composer Rebecca Clarke. If not a New Zealand premiere, then certainly this was probably a first hearing for most in the room. Although Clarke was settled in the United States at the time, there is something ineffably English in this score’s carefully manicured lines, admitting a dash of Celtic lyricism and the occasional Debussian wash. Only in the final movement does one sense strain as Clarke ventures into tougher territory with what comes across as a rumbustious reel. It could not have had a more sympathetic performance than the one we experienced. There was much enjoyment from watching Watkins luxuriating in rhapsodical piano writing and listening in to the many conversational exchanges between the strings, at their most tender in the idyllic second movement.

Psathas’ Corybas is as far from an idyll as one could imagine, inspired by the Greek mythological figure associated with a particular brand of Aegean wildness – an image that might seem ready made for this composer’s house style. Brown warned us of “quite complicated rhythms” – an understatement for the expertly manoeuvred twists and turns in the middle section. If Watkins’ piano groove tended to dominate, there were subtler rewards in the string relationships around it, although the work does not equal the stature of Psathas’ earlier Helix, which the musicians premiered six years ago.

NZTrio has lived with Shostakovich’s E minor Trio for some years now, a relationship accentuated in the intimacy of this setting. From Cormack and Brown’s hushed opening lines to those implacable piano chords that fuel its heartrending Largo, this music spoke more than ever from the heart.

This concert was quite a journey at well over an hour – 75 minutes allowing for a slightly late start. Even a 10-minute break before the Shostakovich would have been welcome.

 

William Dart – New Zealand Herald, 16 July 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!
NZTrio
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!
NZTrio
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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