Clarinettist Julian Bliss thrills in Invercargill

As a clarinet enthusiast back in my younger days, and a general music lover, I was excited to have the opportunity to see clarinettist Julian Bliss and NZTrio live. I was not left disappointed.

The concert opened with Brahms’ Trio for clarinet, cello and piano in A minor Op.114, with Bliss on the clarinet, Ashley Brown on the cello and Sarah Watkins on the piano.  In short, it was a delight for the ears. The trio was seamless, the waltz in the third movement dreamy, and the final movement powerful. All three instruments, although very different, worked together in perfect harmony.

Next up was a piece by Ross Harris, titled There May be Light, which was commissioned by Chamber Music New Zealand especially for Bliss and the NZTrio. Bliss, Brown and Watkins were joined by Justine Cormack on the violin.

It’s mentioned by Harris the piece raises questions which may or may not have answers. Musically complex with unusual instrumentation and the use of multiphonics, Bliss, Brown and Watkins well and truly did it justice. This was an intriguing piece, and a very interesting change in tone. Where Brahms was warm and inviting, this was eerie, haunting and gave me chills – it left me wanting more.

The final piece for the evening was Quartet for the End of Time by Olivier Messaien. They could not have finished the concert with anything better. This was wonderful – a very powerful display of musicianship which left the audience enthralled. Each musician was both individually and collectively amazing.

Bliss in the third movement, Abyss of the Birds, showed incredible technique and was mesmerising to listen to, as was Brown during his cello solo in the fifth movement.

The biggest highlight for me however was the final movement In Praise of the Immortality of Jesus in which Cormack shone. It moved the audience so much so that at the conclusion of the piece, there was such a silence you could have heard a pin drop.

All in all, a fabulous concert showcasing some exceptional talent.

Sarah Van Voornveld, Southland Times – 4 August 2016

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NZTrio
NZTrioWednesday, October 28th, 2020 at 11:31pm
Hugest congrats to our artful compatriots Stella Bennett (Benee), Joshua Fountain and Djeisan Suskov for snagging the Silver Scroll for “Glitter”, and also to good friend of the trio Michael Norris for landing the SouNZ Contemporary Award for “Mātauranga” at this evening’s socially distant APRA Silver Scrolls awards ceremony. Big ups to Rob Ruha for nabbing the Maioha award for “Ka Mānu”, and also to Karl Steven and David Long getting gongs for their screen scores (“Come to Daddy” and “The Luminaries” respectively). Totally awesome.

With full hearts, we celebrate Aotearoa’s dynamic musical landscape. Cheers to you!!

https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/nat-music/audio/2018770238/silver-scrolls-2020-winners-announced
NZTrio
NZTrioFriday, October 23rd, 2020 at 11:19am
If you're in or around beautiful Hawke's Bay New Zealand this long weekend, be sure and get your arts fix at the Harcourts Hawke's Bay Arts Festival. Would love to see you there for our last performance of InterFusions Sunday Oct 25th, 5:30pm. Click through for more festival programme details. Happy Friday!!

https://www.hbaf.co.nz/
NZTrio
NZTrioThursday, October 22nd, 2020 at 9:48am
Those who experienced our “InterFusions” concert will be excited to hear about this, from the composer of that exciting piece full of exotic rhythms, intonations and energies “Love Triangle”:

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