BEETHOVEN CONCERT 28 OF 40: Why was this happening? ‘Well, it’s Michael Houstoun’

Time for concert 28 of the Beethoven reCYCLE series! Invercargill was the lucky recipient of this one, and it seems that Michael has a great following of young and ‘older than young’ Southland music lovers. Shona Thomson, Chamber Music Branch Chair (and all round fabulous CMNZ supporter), shared her experience of the final concert…


Southland Chamber Music Branch Chair, Shona Thomson

Southland Chamber Music Branch Chair, Shona Thomson

Sunday afternoon, 20 October, 5pm and people gathered in the foyer of Invercargill’s Civic Theatre.  There were many young people there, and the Box Office was busy too.

That’s the type of situation that makes a Branch Chair very happy, believe me!

Why was this happening? When we said to the young people ‘how great to see you all here’, the response was ‘Well, it’s Michael Houstoun’.

For us, it was the second of his two Beethoven reCYCLE concerts here, the first, earlier in the year had been extraordinary, and this programme was No 6 ‘Moonlight’, featuring that particular Sonata, and the ‘Pastoral’ with Sonata No 4, and Sonata No 31.

Michael’s ‘Moonlight’ Sonata was described by an audience member as a refreshing new experience with the music just doing all the talking.  I agree, as he kept the first movement so almost understated, it was something I’ve never heard before.  People know this movement so well, many of us will have tried to play it over the years, but this was exquisite right through to the fast final movement.

The audience were carried along on this journey for the whole concert, you could feel the concentration throughout, not only from Michael, but the whole audience.

With the magnificent  Sonata No 31 bringing the concert to a close, we felt as though we had been in the presence of a remarkable experience in the hands of a master.  The audience reaction showed this, as the standing ovation showed our appreciation of Beethoven in his many moods and of Michael Houstoun who shared that with us.

Southland celebrates Michael's birthday in style

Southland celebrates Michael’s birthday in style

Invercargill was pleased to celebrate Michael’s actual birthday with him, with cake and drinks in the foyer after the concert.  We are so pleased that he chose these concerts as a way of celebrating an important milestone, audiences across the whole country have been able to share that with Michael Houstoun, and I know Beethoven would have approved mightily.

– Shona, 30.10.2013

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