Fast-paced programme a crowd hit

Zoom, the first of NZTrio’s 2016 Loft concerts did just that for a taut 70 minutes of music, with matching Zoom cocktails available at the downstairs bar for thirsty patrons. An enthusiastic audience enjoyed stylish playing as well as succinct and friendly spoken introductions to unfamiliar repertoire. Later, they could take part in some hip, up-to-the-second audience research, recording spontaneous responses to the evening on an array of VOXBOXes.

A Trio by American John Musto was a smooth aperitif, built around a virtuoso piano part that kept the able Sarah Watkins extremely busy. It was guilelessly eclectic, with a final, crowd-pleasing blend of boogie, tango and Gershwinesque peroration.

Wellington composer Chris Watson contributed a short piece with a long title — Schemata, Three Views of an Imaginary Object. These sonic snapshots instigated spirited, and occasionally feisty, musical discussion amongst the ensemble.

The inclusion of Epigrams, the final composition of 103-year-old Elliott Carter, was a typical NZTrio coup. Imagine a modernist, miniature and abstract Pictures at an Exhibition, each of its dozen character pieces expertly and exquisitely rendered. Highlights included the lurching physicality of the second piece and the wispy harmonic trail of the tenth; lyrical strings in the fourth and eighth revealed, in Watkins’ well-chosen words, major harmonies appearing like a halo out of nowhere.

After interval, an 1896 Trio by Schoenberg’s teacher Alexander Zemlinsky, revealed the highly-charged Late Romantic style that ultimately brought about twentieth-century modernism. Brahms admired the work, and it’s not hard to see why, especially when delivered with the passion accorded it tonight. However, one did miss the clarinet of the composer’s original scoring, its liquid, translucent tone the perfect foil for the fin-de-siecle richness around it.

 

William Dart, New Zealand Herald – 18 June 2016

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NZTrioMonday, February 17th, 2020 at 9:05pm
Congratulations to our stunning pianist Somi Kim on her most recent achievement - receiving the honour of becoming an Associate of the Royal Academy Music in London! We're so proud of you 🥳💕
https://www.ram.ac.uk/about-us/news/royal-academy-of-music-announces-2020-honours
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NZTrioThursday, February 13th, 2020 at 4:48pm
Great news :)
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NZTrioSaturday, February 8th, 2020 at 4:19pm
NZTrio was deeply concerned to read of the proposed changes to RNZ Concert this week. The removal of presenters and producers will dramatically diminish the rich and articulate experience currently imparted to a diverse range of listeners across Aotearoa New Zealand. It will mean the total loss of valuable access and context that presenters offer listeners and also the hugely valuable commentary, insight and critique provided to the whole industry by these uniquely skilled professionals. Added to this, the move to AM is very difficult to understand. Listeners will be frustrated by the reduction in sound quality, with many not ready or able to move to online streaming. If you haven't already done so, please consider signing the petition to show your support for the presenters and producers and to keep RNZ Concert on FM: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/community_petitions/paul_thompson_and_willy_macalister_at_radio_new_ze_keep_rnz_concert_on_fm_and_retain_their_presenters/

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