Crisp end to festival

21 March 2012


A short and intense concert of true excellence with 20th and 21st century pieces to capture your imagination closed the musical offerings at the Arts Festival.


NZTrio are a New Zealand treasure their repertoire choices astute and adventurous.


Perfectly capturing the mood and aesthetic of a vibrant New York from dusk to dawn Kenji Bunch’s Swing Shift: Grooveboxes for Piano Trio proved a rhythmically stunning opener, the momentum and the jazz-inflected crystalline piano of Sarah Watkins provided impetus for Justine Cormack’s violin and Ashley Brown’s cello. It was evocative and clever, as was his funky Concerto for Piano Trio and Percussion which closed the concert.


In between a quirky, powerful, angry, declaimed response to cancer in Jack Body’s new work Parts of the Body – Pain in the Arse and later Fire in the Belly was played with power and commitment.


Other short local works, Psathas’s wistful Fragment for Vibraphone and Piano with Lenny Sakofsky, and Victoria Kelly’s elegant yet powerful take on sleep and dreams in Sono for Piano Trio was again beautifully realised by the Trio. Morton Feldman’s Durations 4 again had Sakofsky on vibraphone, with violin and cello, the floating quality perfectly caught by the players.


The whole was innovative, imaginative wonderful playing and performances.


Garth Wilshere - Capital Times, Wellington