& then music

One of the more hapless moments Lev experiences in London [The Road Home – see previous post] occurs at an orchestral concert. Fortunately our two recent visits to concert halls have been much happier experiences.

A couple of weeks back the Eggner Trio returned to play. Their programme that night consisted of Mozart’s Trio in G, followed by Island Songs by John Psathas. Mozart – what to say? i always like. However, contemporary chamber music rarely does it for me – but often there are bits of such works that are ok, and so it was here – there was a section in these songs, i think in the second movement, where the piano maintained a wonderfully intense and demanding beat for several minutes. I loved that.

After the interval the brothers played Tchaikovsky’s A minor Trio. Now Pyotr Ilyich was never intended for chamber music, he always needed a much bigger set of toys to play with. So he tries to cram a concerto into this trio and the guys did him proud – made pretty much the quantity of sound a small orchestra might have produced. And it was definitely Tchaikovsky – all his lush romanticism soaring forth with familiar phrases and themes popping up all over the piece.

More Tchaikovsky last week: the NZSO was back in town with their brilliant new conductor, Pietari Inkinen. If you’ve read my previous posts you’ll know already how much this guy impresses me – and no, it’s not just [but more than a bit!] his youthful blond good looks. I am now, after this concert, even more convinced Inkinen is a very very accomplished conductor with a fine understanding of the works he presents. I really like the way he gets the NZSO to play.

I don’t care for Lilburn’s music and would never choose to listen to it. Way too self-consciously serious, his compositions are, for me, cheerless. When Inkinen conducted his Aotearoa Overture on Thursday night the orchestra actually made this piece interesting and listenable. Gosh. And finding that the reviewer in the newspaper the next morning had experienced a degree of revelation also, gave me a feeling of some vindication for my previous disenchantment. [I’ll put a link to a copy of the review down below.] 

Next up that night visiting British cellist Natalie Clein played Elgar’s concerto. Again Inkinen, well i guess she and he together both leading the orchestra, produced a wonderfully understated rendering of this gorgeous music. The bases in a strong, slow, deep opening to the second movement were just amazing.

After the interval, Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony; a great deal that is familiar, but here too Inkinen breathed fresh subtleties and strengths, so that sometimes it was like hearing it for new.

Read what David Sell wrote in The Press.

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~ by crisargos on Sunday, 13 April, 2008.

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