In its search for engaging programming, Ensemble Paladino maintains a flexible line-up of musicians with strong New Zealand and international links, chosen according to programme.
The Palmerston North recital featured Eric Lamb, flute, Simone Roggen, violin, Martin Rummel, cello, and James Tibbles, harpsichord/fortepiano, each of whom took the concert platform in various combinations for a winning programme that mainly highlighted well-known and lesser known 18th Century works.
Therefore, Vanhal's Sonata in C Major for flute and fortepiano, and Pleyel's Trio in C Major for flute violin and cello, appeared alongside Mozart's Duo in G Major for flute and cello and Haydn's Piano Trio in D major for harpsichord, flute and cello. These all showed great sympathy with the music of the period, mixed with a superb feeling of ensemble and individual technical brilliance.
Frequently, Chamber Music New Zealand commissions works to reflect the moment and Saturday night was no exception, the programme featuring a new work by Auckland composer Leonie Holmes, With Strings Attached.
This was an easily-accessible piece, with a fascinating exploration of the tonal possibilities of the instrumental qualities of this quartet. Full of rhythmic vitality while making considerable demands on the rapport between performers, this performance had a great sense of style, although I did feel that the harpsichord got lost in the instrumental mix during the closing climactic moments.
For the opening concert of Chamber Music New Zealand's 2017 Kaleidoscope Series, there can be no doubt that the glorious sounds of Ensemble Paladino proved to be a most satisfying choice.