Our bellbird blogger, Korimako introduces a young ensemble who are benefiting from a wonderful Adam Chamber Music Festival initiative and gives his opinion on a repeat concert (Day Six) by the Ying Quartet…
Thursday 5 Feb – from ‘Korimako’ (written 6 Feb)
Korimako began day four of the Festival by visiting St Joseph’s School to hear the Troubadours. This outreach group – a young string quartet – have played in preschools, resthomes, the hospice, schools, libraries & the Richmond Mall, as well as giving early evening recitals at Nelson Cathedral. During the last Festival another young quartet wowed casual listeners all over town, & it’s so good this initiative is being continued.
The group chatted with about fifty 5 & 6 year olds, asking questions, welcoming questions from them, and playing short pieces which really whipped up their interest. The children were so appreciative, and it was a great session overall.
Early afternoon the Ying Quartet presented another wonderful concert, this time with music by Haydn, Anthony Ritchie and Tchaikovsky.
Phillip Ying introduced the works with much energy and enthusiasm, the same characteristics which are hallmarks of the Ying’s performances. He told us the Haydn Quartet in D, Op 20 No 4 was full of surprises, with a particularly moving slow movement. The whole sounded very rich, resonating in St John’s warm wooden surfaces.
Phillip then spoke about the incredible privilege the group feels meeting and playing music by New Zealand composers. The group played Anthony Ritchie’s Spring String Trio written in 2013 (he also said maybe for this performance the work could be re-named Spring String Ying!) He referred to the slow start which builds up steam leading into the second part, labelled ‘twice as fast’.
Tchaikovsky’s Quartet No 1 in D is best known for the second movement Andante cantabile which has been arranged many times, mostly for string orchestras. It’s based on a Russian folk tune. The first movement is contrapuntal, the third a dashing scherzo, and the finale is dazzlisng, with an almost orchestral depth at times.
A magnificent concert, and again the audience stood to show their appreciation of this very special group.