A capacity audience heard a beautifully constructed and performed programme, "Tunes from My Home", from NZTrio under the pitched glass ceiling of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery’s atrium. NZTrio are a highly professional and accomplished ensemble. All three, Amalia Hall (violin), Ashley Brown (cello) and Somi Kim (piano), are soloists in their own right. Their ensemble playing is immaculately balletic.
Chen Yi’s Tunes from My Home evokes nostalgia and the anger of the politically abused. Reminiscent of Tan Dun’s amalgams, Chen celebrates highly energetic traditional Cantonese folk melodies against a backdrop of western articulation, including a fugue, denoting flight. Her fluid yet rhythmic complexities and technical demands result in an extremely beautiful work.
Enescu’s rediscovered work, Piano Trio in A minor, aptly crosses the boundaries between the two recent works. It bases itself on Hungarian folk tunes but the whole has a gentle elegance derived perhaps from his years with Faure.
The stability of cultural pride in Dvorak’s wonderful Piano Trio No 3 seemed oddly out of place. Its bombast is finely nuanced; the melodies twine delightfully between the players creating an air of equanimity. The Allegro grazioso delightful opening passage was excellently realised.
NZTrio deserve accolades for commissioning works, particularly from New Zealand composers who so richly deserve elevation.