Review: Beethoven, Dumky, and Notturno

Cello-piano duo James Tennant and Katherine Austin were among the NZ Chamber soloists performing to audience acclaim in ...

Cello-piano duo James Tennant and Katherine Austin were among the NZ Chamber soloists performing to audience acclaim in Te Awamutu.

What:             Beethoven, Dumky, and Notturno

Who:              New Zealand Chamber Soloists

When:            Sunday 19 March at 2.30pm

Where:           Waipa Council Chambers, Te Awamutu

Works by:      Beethoven, Schubert, and Dvorak

Soloists:         Katherine Austen, piano, James Tennant, cello, Amalia Hall, violin

Reviewer:      Sam Edwards


With a live performance like this, brought to the intimate and welcoming environment of the Waipa Council chambers by The New Zealand Chamber Soloists, Sunday's audience was delivered a superbly crafted programme which was as accessible as it was accomplished.

For music novices there was a freshness and passion which was as entertaining as it was aesthetically satisfying.

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For those who were familiar with Beethoven and Dvorak, there was enlightenment and creative astonishment at hearing what fresh productions could reveal.

Part of this was because the normally soulless council room was possessed of accoustic qualities which brought the music to unamplified life, individual notes could be identified - if one wanted to  employ that mindset - in beautifully balanced chordal progressions as well as in shifting, often wraith-like dynamic progressions.

Individually delivered passages were flawless excitements lifting from and energetic background and commanding technical dexterity.

After the opening Allegro com brio from Beethoven's Trio No 3 in C Minor s members of the audience became so excited, with hands raised to applause and mouths open to shout loud bravos, that they needed to be restrained by more seasoned friends. The brio continued.

The excitement persisted. The players were genuinely involved to the point where one audience member was heard rejoicing in excited comment  "…the cellist and his expressions and Everything…"

That NZ Chamber Soloists evoked such audience pleasure in a classical repertoire is a testament to their musicanship, and their ability to put their music ahead of themselves.

That the University of Waikato is not only producing students of international quality, but has as their teachers performers who are in international demand and have performed in the Americas, in Asia, and in Europe, since they formed ten years ago is priceless.

That this performance was such undisguised fun made it memorable.

At the end of the performance pianist Austen commented "…we are very fortunate to be musicians…" and we, Ms Austen, are very fortunate that you are.

 - Stuff

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