...Chamber music performances don’t come much better than this....
(Louis Pierard, The Hook review website)
Aroha String Quartet present expressive performance in Palmerston North
By: Aroha String Quartet
Haydn: String Quartet in C Op 76 No 3 'Emperor'
Ross Carey: Toccatina (Elegy)
Shostakovich: String Quartet No 11 in F minor Op 122
Dvořák: String Quartet No 12 in F major Op 96 'American'
When: Wednesday, May 23 2018, 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Where: Globe Theatre, 312 Main St, Palmerston North
Reviewed by: Stephen Fisher, Friday, May 25, 2018, in "

Manawatu Standard


Performances by the Aroha String Quartet are often characterised by imaginative programming, the ensemble selecting their repertoire across a range of periods and style.

Wednesday's concert was no exception with its winning mix of the familiar with works that are heard far less frequently, going a long way to ensure audiences broaden their listening pleasure.

Haihong Liu led the ensemble from the first violin stand, supported by Zhongxian Jin on the viola and Palmerston North's own Robert Ibell on the cello.

Unfortunately, for their tour this year, the Quartet has had to replace violinist Ursula Evans with Anne Loeser but this did not affect this expressive performance as each player drew strength and inspiration from each other, presenting an ensemble sound that was just beautiful to witness.

The evening opened with a charming performance of Haydn's Emperor Quartet, a performance filled with a sense of delight in both the music and the other players in the ensemble.

The two central works of the programme would have been new to most of the audience but both demanded attention in different ways.

Ross Carey's catchy Toccatina (Elegy) pays tribute to the motivational Australian singer-songwriter Ruby Hunter, while Shostakovich's String Quartet No 11 in F minor highlighted the four instrumentalists superbly through tone colour and rhythm. Together these works added much of interest to this programme.

The final work in the programme was Dvorak's American Quartet, coloured by American Indian music and here given a rich performance from this deeply committed ensemble.