Haydn and Beethoven with Variations,
Te Manawa Art Gallery
Reviewer: Stephen Fisher.
Guy Donaldson (piano), Pamela Dowsett (violin) and Sasha Routh (cello) are all familiar names to the regular concert-goers of this very pleasant Sunday-afternoon series. Yesterday's concert featured works by Haydn and Beethoven, focused on the theme-and-variations form.
The form itself has, historically, always been very popular. Composers of the day would take popular themes, often from opera, and play with a melody showing their compositional prowess while using music that was well known to everyone in the concert hall.
Today, the themes might not quite be so familiar, but the form itself remains a testament to any composer's ability.
In his Piano Trio No 39 Haydn, surprisingly, uses the form to open the work, finishing with a spirited gypsy-like movement.
These players responded superbly to the demands of this work, a quality again evident in the piece that followed, Beethoven's Twelve Variations for Piano and Cello.
Beethoven's Violin Sonata No 5 (Spring) is a beautifully lyrical work, qualities that Dowsett and Donaldson obviously revelled in, while the closing work was a Piano Trio by Beethoven, again given a masterful reading by everyone.
This trio obviously take great care in the presentation of the music, and the audience can only admire the sheer musicianship, the marvellous ensemble awareness and the undoubted vibrancy of the music on display throughout the afternoon.
However, it really is Te Manawa's call to make sure that those attending the concert are undisturbed by others in the gallery.
Yesterday there was much noise from downstairs, while there was much distracting movement from the entrance at the front of the gallery through the audience during the concert – disappointing for the audience and performers alike.
- © Fairfax NZ News