New compositions aired

This week's Marama Hall lunchtime concert consisted of new compositions by local composers.

Pianist John van Buskirk opened with an Anthony Ritchie work commemorating the passing of his father John A. Ritchie - Three Pieces for J.A.R. for Piano (2015).  Clarity in development and metamorphosis of a rather perky two bar opening subject made interesting listening. 

The second movement Aria for Anitareflecting on John's wife, revealed clever use of fragments of her favourite Grieg song - Solveig's Song, before the final movement perpetua with strong insistent melody lines, eventually faded into ''nothingness''. A beautiful tribute excellently interpreted by van Buskirk.

Breath of Souls: Five Waiata for Solo Flute (2010-14) was a set of five short cameos for unaccompanied flute. Luca Manghi excelled in his delivery of these rich vibrant gems, composed by Peter Adams, and programme notes with words such as ''sea mist, filtered sunshine, the rise of sea, breath of souls'' provided understanding and elucidation for the audience. My favourite was the intense thought-provoking Waiata Tangi.

Lastly was a work for piano performed by van Buskirk entitled Aramoana (Pathway to the Sea) (2014) written for a postgraduate diploma by Invercargill music teacher Anna Cannon.

The music reflected the wild isolated beauty of Aramoana with its birds and native plantings, transporting those who knew, to the seascape and its community, reigniting memories of the isolated coastal settlement's tragic history (1990).

The opening motif of the first movement andante calm rhythmically spelt ''Aramoana'' and immediately established familiarity and visions of bird song and nature.

But later movements warned of the terror and death to come, ominously predicted with thickly textured deep bass obligato, with disturbing relentless and stridently punctuated passages ''spelling'' violence.

A poignant sympathetic soundscape recording Aramoana's grief for prosperity.

The recital also contained two short pieces for violin and piano by current first-year composition students.

-By Elizabeth Bouman

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