Late last year we tidied up a bit backstage, adding more videos and audio tracks to our digital channels. Until we can perform publicly again, there are plenty of playlists and short clips to explore.
Coming up this Anzac Day, join the Royal NZ Ballet for a special broadcast of Dear Horizons, a work that was commission for RNZB's Salute programme in 2015 to commemorate the the centenary of the Gallipoli landings featuring Rolf alongside the New Zealand Army Band.
Also available is Te Ao Hou | This New World, our NZ Festival performance from March 2018 with taonga pūoro artist Rob Thorne, thanks to the NZ Festival and SOUNZ Centre for NZ Music.
SOUNZ have also launched a digital concert hall, in which we are featured along with wonderful NZ performers and composers. The programme Depths | Hōhonu includes a piece we were lucky enough to perform again, just last month, Ross Harris’ The Abiding Tides (this recording includes former 2nd violinist Doug Beilman). Check out all the SOUNZ digital concert hall has to offer here.
NZSQ Top Tracks: revisit our favourite past performances
During New Zealand’s lockdown, we’ve chosen some gems from our digital archive for a ‘Top Tracks’ series. A special thanks to our colleagues at Radio NZ Concert, SOUNZ, and Chamber Music New Zealand for the use of their recordings.
Top Tracks with Helene treated us to Tabea Squire’s Chimaera. She explains that this piece was written for a project we did with the Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra. The second movement is for violin (Helene) and yangqin (Luo Yuan), a searching, almost romantic movement, with tight exchange between two instruments, as though they are journeying together.
Top Tracks with Monique featured a favourite from the master of the Hausmusik scene himself, Franz Schubert. "I've chosen Schubert’s 'Quartettsatz’", she says, "firstly, because it brought back a lot of good memories for me performing this with my colleagues a couple years ago. Secondly, because it seems to be musically relevant during these unprecedented times. It carries two characters which I chat about briefly in my intro, and which you can hear later in our recorded performance of the work."
Gillian’s Top Tracks selection, is the glorious second movement of Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet, op. 115. She describes "remembering the feeling of awe on discovering this piece many years ago from hearing it in a box set of LPs of the complete string chamber music of Brahms, played by the Amadeus Quartet (with Karl Leister on clarinet). The 2nd, (slow) movement has a quality unlike in any other music I know. In beautiful B major, the peaceful and simple 3-note falling clarinet opening motive with its gentle rocking accompaniment expands into a searching melody, a dark cloud covering the sun for a brief moment before the whole melody is handed to the first violin to play. The strings are muted, adding to the soothing quality and the whole texture is sheer magic. There’s a tumultuous gypsy middle section with clarinet pyrotechnics and cimbalon imitations in the strings (involving crazy string-crossings) before the whole melodrama subsides and, much to our relief, we return to the gorgeous opening theme. Sublime!"
Up next, Rolf's Top Tracks will showcase Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 7 and will premiere (and be available later) from 2:45pm NZST, Thursday 23 April. Rolf mentions, "This quartet starts with a motive of three repeated notes – reminiscent of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. The work is the most concentrated of all his quartets and a visceral eleven minutes. An array of emotions can be heard in this piece, and so satisfying in that it really feels like it explores Shostakovich’s inner feelings very powerfully." Tune in with us! #NZSQTopTracks