Review of Tauranga concert

Eighteenth Century Sound

Review by Prof Barry Vercoe Mus D

 

Informality ruled at Hammers and Horsehair - the second of Tauranga Musica’s concerts at Tauranga Park Auditorium on Sunday afternoon.

The event had no clear beginning. Instead, the large audience found performers already playing amongst candelabra and leather couches in an eighteenth century drawing room.

First up was Douglas Mews on Fortepiano, successor to the plucked-string harpsichord and imported to Wellington in the 1840’s. It was still a quiet instrument, and when joined by Robert Ibell on a mature ‘cello the two skilled musicians had to work to find balance.

Yet the program they brought was fascinating. A Mozart keyboard Sonata sounded much the same as it might have before his death in 1791.

The first of Beethoven’s Cello sonatas (1796) received a highly musical “period” performance.

And a beautiful Song Without Words by Mendelssohn echoed the year 1843 in which this Pianoforte was actually built.

The surprise of the day was a Sonata by Bernhard Romberg, a close friend of Beethoven. In a letter between them Romberg cheekily stated he preferred his own music. This had some justification, for his sonata had 90% of the skill of his contemporary and was pure delight.

Bravo Tauranga Musica for bringing things like this to town.

The next concert of the series is on August 7 at Boys’ College Graham Young Theater.

Hammers & Horsehair on tour in 2016

Period Pieces for
Fortepiano and Cello

Enjoy lively music-making in a candlelit performance of five virtuosic works for fortepiano and cello. Two well-known New Zealand musicians perform a programme of Classical and early Romantic pieces on period instruments, transporting the audience to another place and time.


Douglas Mews – Fortepiano
& Robert Ibell – Cello

 

Douglas Mews was born in Cheam, Surrey in 1956. He began playing the organ at St Patrick's Cathedral in Auckland, where his father (and first organ teacher) was choir conductor. He studied organ and harpsichord with the late Anthony Jennings at Auckland University, followed by harpsichord studies with Bob van Asperen at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague.

He is now a freelance musician, teaching at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington and directing the music at St Teresa's Catholic Church. In 2010 he recorded a CD on the Wellington Town Hall 1906 Norman and Beard organ for Priory Records’ ‘Great Australasian Organs’. His most recent CD (released in 2012) is 'The Lost Chord', also recorded at the Wellington Town Hall.

Douglas performs on a Broadwood square piano built in 1843. The piano previously belonged to the Tait family who emigrated in the 1870s from Lerwick in the Shetland Islands to live in the Aro Valley, Wellington, where the piano still resides.


Robert Ibell was born in Dannevirke in 1961 and brought up in Palmerston North. While training there as a school teacher he learned cello from Judith Hyatt in Wellington.

From 1986 to 1992 Robert lived in London, studying cello with Tania Hunt, Derek Simpson and Christopher Bunting. He played at music schools and in masterclasses (where his teachers included Alexander Baillie, Steve Doane, Anner Bylsma and Steven Isserlis), taught, gave recitals and played in professional and amateur orchestras.

Since 1993 Robert has been a member of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He is also an experienced chamber musician, touring regularly for Chamber Music New Zealand. Formerly the cellist of the Nevine Quartet, Robert has been a member of the Aroha Quartet since 2009. He also plays in contemporary music group Stroma and is a Recording Artist for Radio NZ Concert.

Robert plays an 18th Century cello by an unknown Italian or German maker, gifted to him by Judith Hyatt. The cello had previously been owned by Greta Ostova, a Czech who escaped the Nazi occupation to arrive in New Zealand in 1940, later becoming a founding member of the National Orchestra (later the NZSO).


Programme

Beethoven – Twelve Variations for Piano & Cello on “Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen” from Mozart's opera "The Magic Flute" Op. 66

Mozart – Piano Sonata in C K330

Bréval – Sonata for Piano & Cello in G Op. 12 No 5

Romberg – Grand Sonata in E-flat for Cello & Piano Op. 5 No 2

Beethoven – Sonata for Piano & Cello in F Op. 5 No 1


Dates/Venues

Sunday 26 June, 3:00pm
Taihape

Taihape and District Womens Club, Huia St, Taihape

Door sales only: Adults $25, Members $20, Children Free
Period (early 19th Century) costume optional.

 

Monday 27 June, 7:30pm
Clevedon

1 Monument Road, Clevedon

Tickets: $40 (including supper) | Bookings essential, call 09 292 9589

 

Wednesday 29 June, 7:30pm
Auckland

Ponsonby Baptist Church, 43 Jervois Rd, Auckland

Tickets from Eventfinda (service fees may apply) or at the door: Adults $25, Concessions $15, Children (accompanying an adult) $5, Families $50 (2 Adults + 2 Children)

 

Friday 1 July, 7:30pm
Omapere

Copthorne Hotel, Omapere, South Hokianga

Door sales only: $15
Drinks may be purchased from the bar. Hotel restaurant open for meals before the concert.

 

Saturday 2 July, 4:00pm
Warkworth

Ascension Vineyard, 480 Matakana Rd, Warkworth

Door sales only: $30
Bar open before & during performance for purchase of food and drink.

 

Sunday 3 July, 4:00pm
Tauranga

Tauranga Park Auditorium, 383 Pyes Pah Rd

Tickets in advance from Tauranga Musica or at the door: $32, Students $10 (free if accompanied by a ticket holder), Music teachers + up to four students $25

 

Sunday 10 July, 4:00pm
Putaruru

Living Springs Christian Centre, 59 Tirau St

Door sales only: $25, South Waikato Music Society members/CMNZ subscribers $20, Students free

 

Wednesday 13 July, 7:30pm
Lower Hutt

St Mark’s Church, 58 Woburn Rd, Lower Hutt

Tickets in advance from Eventfinda or at the door: Adults $38, Chamber Music Hutt Valley members $25, Students $10, School-age Child Free

 

Thursday 14 July, 7:30pm
Palmerston North

Awhina Room, Caccia Birch House, 130 Te Awe Awe St, Palmerston North

Tickets in advance from Eventfinda (service fees may apply) or at the door: Adults $25, Concessions $15, Children (accompanying an adult) $5, Families $50 (2 Adults + 2 Children)

 

Friday 15 July, 7:30pm
Hastings

St Matthew’s Church Hall, 200 King St South, Hastings

Tickets in advance from Eventfinda (service fees may apply) or at the door: Adults $25, Concessions $15, Children (accompanying an adult) $5, Families $50 (2 Adults + 2 Children)

 

Saturday 16 July, 3:00pm
Taupo

Hilton Lake Taupo, 80-100 Napier Rd

Part of the Taupo Winter Festival. Admission price (TBC) includes high tea, to be served from 2:30pm.

 

Sunday 17 July, 2:30pm
Paekakariki

Memorial Hall, 96 The Parade, Paekakariki

Tickets in advance from Mulled Wine Concerts or at the door: $25, Students (under 14) $10

 

Saturday 17 September, 7:30pm
Motueka

Chanel Arts Centre, cnr High St & Fearon St, Motueka

Tickets 3 weeks in advance from Floral Affaire, High St, Motueka or at the door: Adults $25, Students $5

 

Sunday 18 September, 7:30pm
Christchurch

Nut Point Centre, 703 Old West Coast Rd, West Melton

Tickets in advance from Nut Point Centre : $25 (includes light supper)

 

Monday 19 September, 7:30pm
Ashburton

At Violinos, 629 Methven Highway, Winchmore,

Tickets: Adults $30, Senior Citizens and Students $20, Children $10, Family of four $70

To book, ring 03-307 2010

 

Tuesday 20 September, 7:30pm
Timaru

Bank St Chapel, 38-40 Bank Street, Timaru

Tickets: Adults $25, concession $15, Children $5, Family Pass $50

To book, ring 03-688 5597

 

Wednesday 21 September
Dunedin

House concert

 

Thursday 22 September, 7:30pm
Cromwell

St Andrew’s Anglican Church Hall, cnr Blyth & Donegal Sts, Cromwell

General Admission $40

Tickets available from Cromwell iSite, 2D The Mall, or phone 03-262 7999

 

Friday 23 September, 7:30pm
Arrowtown

Athenaeum Hall, 33 Buckingham St, Arrowtown

Tickets from Eventfinda (service fees may apply) or at the door: Adults $25, Children $15, Family Pass $50

 

Sunday 25 September, 3pm

Picton

Picton Little Theatre, 9 Dublin St

Tickets from Take Note (Picton) or Alyssum (Blenheim) Members $27 Adults $30, Children $20. Admission price includes afternoon tea. Proceeds from the concert will go towards the renovation of the Picton Little Theatre.