Left me wanting more

After years of being a cultural institution in Q Theatre’s Loft, NZTrio has moved to Auckland Art Gallery.

 

The light-filled North atrium is a haven for experiencing afternoon drifting into evening with Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan’s suspended ceiling sculptures of cardboard cities tumbling from upturned dinghies perfectly echoing the torrents of musical notes below.

 

However, the venue has disadvantages. With the audience wrapped around the musicians, sight lines and acoustics suffer on the peripheries. I missed the lively interaction between violinist Amalia Hall and cellist Ashley Brown, while the back of Somi Kim’s magnificently sequined gown was no compensation for seeing this remarkable pianist in full action.

 

This second instalment of NZTrio’s Tectonic series, Impact, opened with Brown talking of “slightly fraught relationships between countries”, placing will-o’-the-wisp Frank Bridge miniatures against two local commissions.

 

Martin Lodge’s new, short Nga Whetu Hou was a beautifully crafted response to the sonorities of taonga puoro and left me wanting more. It was quite a toccata, with its dizzying rush of muted strings against delicious piano chords that I yearned to savour up close; and that opportunity eventuated in an evocative interlude.

 

The delicate patchworking of Ross Harris’s 2006 Senryu suffered, alas, from my vantage point.

 

The first major offering was Rebecca Clarke’s 1921 trio, a score of remarkable passion, well caught, but prone to blandness when the mood turned pastoral.

 

After interval, Brown talked of the Russia-versus-America cold war.

 

Here, Russia won, with Alfred Schnittke’s Piano Trio. The composer’s repeated “Happy Birthday” phrases, presented in 50 shades of sweet and sour, nominally celebrated the centenary of composer Alban Berg, but also caught life on the edge in pre-Glasnost USSR.

 

After Schnittke’s harrowing, almost cinematic Adagio, a trio by Daniel Schnyder was thin stuff, its lengthy first movement determined to make three classical musicians sound like a seasoned jazz trio. And they did, but never have I heard so many notes say so little.

 

William Dart, NZ Herald

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NZTrioTuesday, November 12th, 2019 at 4:20pm
A major Uprising is coming to Auckland Dec 11/15. Followed by a tipple and some shortbread hehe ;) Bookings via Eventfinda or nztrio.com - https://mailchi.mp/73dc06fb901a/nztrio-tectonic-uprising-national-eflyer1-3039285
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NZTrioWednesday, November 6th, 2019 at 11:04pm
Big love to our friends at #worldbrandnz - thanks for a lovely night 💗 we highly recommend the IHC tote bags if you are looking for Christmas gifts that give back and make a difference! Very worthy cause and a wonderful way to celebrate 30 years of awesomeness 🌟
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NZTrioWednesday, October 30th, 2019 at 8:57am
Sharing some wonderful insights from Dr Robin Wilson on the importance of music education, including this quote: "It’s unfathomable to me that some people don’t grasp how important music is to the fabric of our society. It goes without saying that music expresses our human condition, conquers boundaries and unites people, inspires us, soothes us, reassures us, challenges us, and ultimately can lift us out of our earthly realm to appreciate something spiritual (regardless of one’s religious beliefs) in moving ways that words and actions cannot.": https://www.cutcommonmag.com/music-education-matters-says-robin-wilson-violin/?fbclid=IwAR0gJUq9d30GspXdtDfWRamQ7pXxnHHGDmg5Ru14ai2P-y3if9Y7dH8cJz0

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