1 October 2012
A delightful well-selected programme which took advantage of showing the richness and variety the wind quintet repertoire has to offer, combining exemplary ensemble playing and virtuoso technique.
In Elliott Carter’s Woodwind Quintet the overlapping textures in the Allegretto and the rhythmic elements of the jazzy influenced giocoso showed a wealth of rich sonorities.
Gareth Farr’s quirky Mad Little Machine contained the pulsating rhythmic complexity usually associated with Farr’s work.
Nielsen’s Quintet contained hues and forms of the romantic period. The instruments at one moment all playing at once, at another they are quite alone. The Allegro with its dense and rich textures were centred in the romantic era. The rustic quality of the Minuet was captured and the Prelude – Theme with Variations based on his chorale My Jesus, make my heart to love thee, went from merry and quirky to elegiac and serious; each mood finely expressed.
In Milhaud’s La Cheminée du roi Réne the impressionistic hues and textures were evident here, which changed between restrained and very rapid tempi: a collection of medieval miniatures. La maousinglade, a sarabande was particularly striking. The Joutes sur l'Arc was replete with renaissance ornamentation, while the hunting horn was evoked in the Chasse à Valabre. The final Madrigal, calm and restful brought the work to a melancholy close.
Ross Edwards Three Incantations for Wind Quintet used mid-eastern flavours and minimalist techniques with a touch of melancholy.
Ligeti’s Six Bagatelles were finely crafted with a 20th century palette full of piquant dissonances and subtleties of colour. The concert was rewarding on many levels; especially as it showed the quality of the NZSO wind principals in chamber music mode.