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Thursday, August 10, 2017

NZ Trio- -Spiral - Live at The Piano - Christchurch - 9 August 2017

The NZ Trio is a classical music trio on Piano, Violin and Cello. I had got their last CD and their collaboration CD with Mike Nock, both on the excellent Rattle Records. I generally am interested in these type of things only if they are preforming New Zealand composed music, or something more contemporary, that might be familiar to me. This recital had works by two NZ composers, McLeod and Holloway, and Bax was a 20th Century composer. The Beethoven didn't really interest me but I would listen as part of the overall experience.
 The Piano is a brand new Music and arts complex built in the center of the earthquake ravished central city and is a wonderful venue for this sort of thing, the city is starting to get more and more first class auditoriums since the destruction of so many buildings back in 2011.
  Mrs Roddus attended this presentation with me and I was hoping that the modern stuff was not to outlandish for her, although the Beethoven would be more her cup of tea.
 We seated three rows back and center and waited for the show to commence. Just past 7PM the Trio emerged, took their places and proceeded to play the three movements of Arnold Bax's Trio in B flat Major, c.21'. As a fairly modern piece it was fairly melodic and it I find it so much easier to listen to this sort of music in a live setting and watching the musicians playing. I enjoyed the first presentation and was intrigued as to what the NZ section was to be like.
  Jenny McLeod has been around the NZ scene for many many years and I had one of her compositions on an early Kiwi/Pacific record from the 70's and also her latest CD on Rattle Records. Her piece, Seascapes, was composed in 2015 and was an interesting and enjoyable piece of music.
 The third piece was a world Premier commissioned by the NZ Trio and composed buy a young fellow called Samuel Holloway.  They warned us before preforming the piece that it would be a little different. The composition was broken up into three parts with a long pause between each, the piece was a bit avant garde and reminded me of the excellent Besser and Prosser recording I have from Kiwi/Pacific from 1986, but I found it a bit harder to stay with this piece and also struggled to hear the differences between each section, still this more challenging music is what I am into and it was so cool to be at a world premier of a piece of serious music.
  I have quite a collection of older classical music from the 18th and 19th centenary that had been given to us from various sources but I honestly find it difficult to actually sit down and listen to it, but it has been an interesting contradiction in that I noticed that in all the classical/compositional  concerts I have so far been too, it is the oldest pieces that  have enjoyed the most and this presentation of Beethoven's Piano Trio in E flat Opus 70, No.2, c.35' did it again for me. The Trio played the piece with much gusto and it showed me just how effortless it appears for Beethoven to have written music so complex but with so much melody.

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