Trio’s high energy Loft performance worthy of its growing audience

FULL REVIEW:

NZTrio’s Loft concerts have become something of a signature for the group; Aucklanders now know this is where you can experience chamber music up close and personal, with vigorous and invigorating programming. It was cheering on Sunday to see extra chairs being brought in to accommodate swelling numbers.

Justine Cormack, Ashley Brown and Sarah Watkins have a special rapport with their loyal audiences and there was the intimacy and goodwill of a friendly house concert. Informal spoken introductions were in relaxed conversation mode and high-energy music-making sometimes inspired the lusty cheering one associates with victories on the sports field.

The highlight also happened to be the most challenging work, a 1987 Second Piano Trio by the Italian Salvatore Sciarrino. While one could be seduced by the airy weave of the strings’ harmonics, Watkins’ increasingly manic piano interruptions created an unstoppable fury of Futurist proportions.

John Elmsly’s new Ritual Triptych was launched with a generous dialogue of poetic contrasts. At the start, slashes of sonic entanglement melted into poised chords and gestures; at the end, glowing string harmonies stood unperturbed against stalking piano octaves. The central movement, described as “explosive”, could have been more consistently so; too often there was a sense of pulling back when things needed to surge on and take us to the edge.

The evening had set off with Beethoven, and the second of his Opus 1 Trios is very much the work of a young composer. In the occasionally awkward textures of its first movement, the players seemed to be mapping out territory; a more rounded Largo con espressione suffered from the material being somewhat less than emotionally engaging.

Closing the concert, Watkins praised Mendelssohn’s C minor Piano Trio as the greatest work in the genre. NZTrio’s performance treated it as such, from the gleam of its Allegro energico e con fuoco to the fastidious restraint of its slow movement. Best of all was the Scherzo, in which the players seemed to move beyond visions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and fairy folk, to places altogether more dark and sinister.

 

William Dart – New Zealand Herald, 16 Sept 2014

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NZTrioSaturday, June 24th, 2017 at 1:24pm
Happy Birthday William Dart and here's to many more! You are so appreciated - from us all at NZTrio
NZTrio
NZTrioFriday, June 23rd, 2017 at 8:03am
RITUAL TRIPTYCH from our 2014 Loft Series at Q will be aired tonight at 7pm on #MusicAlive RNZ Concert : #Beethoven #JohnElmsly #Sciarrino #Mendelssohn
NZTrio
NZTrioThursday, June 22nd, 2017 at 9:44am
Up next: day one of reading through our Composing Competition score submissions. Can't wait to see/hear what treasures are in store... the literary inspirations alone make for great reading!
NZTrio
NZTrioWednesday, June 14th, 2017 at 12:25pm
We promised to share more from our FLARE 2016 live performance Resound videos funded by #NZOnAir and #SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music. This is #KennethYoung's arrangement of Mahler: Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen. Enjoy!
NZTrio
MAHLER: Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, arr. KENNETH YOUNG
This is "MAHLER: Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, arr. KENNETH YOUNG" by SOUNZ on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.
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NZTrio
NZTrioSaturday, June 10th, 2017 at 8:00am
Catch us on RNZ Concert today at 3pm for a replay of 2015's BLAST concert at QTheatre.
(FAURÉ: Piano Trio in D minor Op 120; K YOUNG: Piano Trio; BEETHOVEN arr Beethoven: Symphony No 2 in D Op 36)(recorded in Q Loft Theatre, Auckland by RNZ)
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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