Thrilling finale puts piano trio to the fore

NZTrio set off in the glow of a fading Celtic twilight, working valiantly to inject some semblance of stylistic unity into a 1946 piano trio by Arnold Bax.

 

Bax’s Adagio did showcase Ashley Brown’s uber-lyrical cello, but just how could critic Scott Goddard, 70 years ago, hail this trio as a “great little masterpiece?” Two Seascapes, arranged by Jenny McLeod from her Tone Clock Pieces, came far closer to deserving that accolade. The musicians responded imaginatively to their ingenious recasting, with veiled string sonorities in the first and frolicking dialogues in the second.

 

Samuel Holloway’s new Corpse and Mirror continues his teasing exploration of boredom and anxiety in the concert hall. However, 18 minutes of seemingly unrelated chords, carefully toned and modulated, replaced ennui with an irresistible urge to immerse oneself in this deceptively intricate and off-beat soundworld.

 

After interval, Brown introduced Beethoven’s E flat trio from Opus 70 as new to the group, warning us not to heed seeming uncertainties in its opening pages. This received the most forceful playing of the evening, with thrilling moments of tenacious thematic pursuit. Sarah Watkins’ piano was the glittering core of Beethoven’s rushing finale and, apart from some exposed solo work in that movement, Natalie Lin, the first of three violinists deputising this year for the sorely missed Justine Cormack, was at her most convincing.

 

William Dart – NZ Herald, August 2017

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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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