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25 April 2018 / News
This year’s national tour in August/September will see us perform four carefully curated programmes of groundbreaking works which each, in their own way, have affected the future of string quartet composition.
Our cellist Rolf Gjelsten writes:
"We’re looking forward to sharing with you the genius and vision of these works as well as elucidating the qualities which make each work so remarkable. Features will include Debussy's colouristic Quartet, Beethoven’s much-loved Opus 131 and two short works by Webern, the early ‘Langsamer Satz’, infused with Romantic ardour, and the playful '6 Bagatelles’, distilled into a few minutes of magic!"
Included in our Turning Points touring repertoire is Mozart’s String Quartet in C, K465, which acquired the nickname “Dissonance” several years after his death, undoubtedly due to the extraordinary harmonic boldness of the first movement’s slow introduction. Despite its title, this quartet is one of Mozart’s most brilliant and high-spirited works.
Beethoven was renowned as a trailblazer so it’s not surprising that each of our three tour programmes includes one of his most innovative quartets: the first of the Razumovsky quartets (op 59/1); his quartet in F minor, op 95 (nicknamed “Serioso”); and the extraordinary opus 131 quartet in C# minor, which Robert Schumann felt stood “...on the extreme boundary of all that has hitherto been attained by human art and imagination."
Quartets from the 19th and 20th centuries are also to the fore, including Smetana’s semi-autobiographical “From My Life”, Debussy’s popular Quartet in G minor, Webern’s delicious Langsamer Satz and quirky Bagatelles, and the extraordinary Abhisheka by New Zealand’s own John Psathas.
Bookings open next month, but until then, be sure to save the date for a concert near you:
17 August | Featherston | ANZAC Hall
18 August | Palmerston North | Caccia Birch House
19 August | Blenheim | Cloudy Bay Vineyards
21 August | Queenstown | Lodge at the Hills
22 August | Invercargill | The Victoria Room, Civic Theatre
23 August | Christchurch | The Piano*
25 August | Wellington | Hunter Council Chamber
26 August | Wellington | St Andrew's on The Terrace
29 August | Rotorua | Blue Baths
30 August | Howick | Thursdays@Seven*
31 August | Auckland | St Matthew-in-the-City
1 September | Waiheke Island | Cable Bay Vineyards
* = our Christchurch concert is presented by Christopher's Classics; the Howick concert is part of the Thursdays@Seven series
17 December 2018 / NewsWe're delighted to announced the appointment of our new General Manager, Sarah Chesney. Sarah will start this month part-time and take up the role full-time at the beginning of 2019. She replaces Christine Argyle who has been enticed to return to her first musical love as CEO of the New... Read More
17 December 2018 / NewsOur 4-week US/Europe/UK tour has just ended with two all-Beethoven concerts in the UK: one in Luton, and the other in London at the historic Conway Hall. Read More
15 October 2018 / NewsThe Guarneri family, including five very famous violin-makers within three generations, is the most distinguished family of luthiers in history. Andrea Guarneri, who studied in Cremona with Nicolò Amati (the maker of Gillian’s viola), was the father of Giuseppe and Pietro, and the grandfather of two more makers - confusingly,... Read More