First of this year’s Greytown Music Group concerts

Winter is coming: the Greytown Music Group concerts have started again, with an afternoon of not greatly challenging (for listeners anyway!) but beautifully played music by the Amici Ensemble – a group of Wellington professional musicians.
Amici Ensemble playing the Prokofiev overture. Emma Sayers (piano), Donald Armstrong (violin), Cristina Vaszilcsin (violin), Vyvian Tendoll (viola), (unknown on cello), Philip Green (clarinet).

Amici Ensemble playing the Prokofiev overture. Emma Sayers (piano), Donald Armstrong (violin), Cristina Vaszilcsin (violin), Vyvian Tendoll (viola), Rowan Prior (cello), Philip Green (clarinet).

Music played included Prokofiev’s Overture on Hebrew Themes for Clarinet, String Quartet and Piano; Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet; Barber’s Adagio from String Quartet No 1, Op 11; Schumann’s Piano Quintet.

The highlight for me was the Schumann Piano Quintet, with fine playing by pianist Emma Sayers. Philip Green’s liquid clarinet was superb in the Mozart quintet. It was also a beautifully realised piece of ensemble playing, but as usual with that work, I tired of its cloying sweetness after a couple of movements.

 End of the concert

End of the concert

It was a full house on a fine afternoon at the usual venue – a spacious house built by Greytown lawyers Ed & Juliet Cooke with concerts in mind. We’ve been going to chamber music performances there for about ten years and haven’t been disappointed yet. At $20 each for top professional musicians in relaxed surroundings, this is the best value live music we’ve found yet. It’s great that the Cooks have created such a musical oasis in this small town and we’re lucky it’s only a 15 minute drive away from Martinborough. Next month they have violinist Ronald Woodcock, accompanied by pianist Colleen Rae-Gerrard.

Below – extract from their performance of the Mozart Clarinet Quintet:

From the Schumann Piano Quintet:

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