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MEDIA

"Cellist Tomas Hurnik certainly knows how to make this instrument sing and this gave a depth and solidity to the music. His playing during ‘‘Affetuoso’’ from Geminiani’s Cello Sonata in C major was an exquisite example of fine tonality and musical skill.." - Otago Daily

 

An enticing aspect of this concert was the invitation it offered to step through the door of the 21st century into the 15th and 16th with music played on authentic instruments of the period by five outstanding musicians.

Baroque music tends to be associated almost exclusively with its two most well-known exponents, Bach and Handel, and a delightful aspect of this concert was the inclusion of work by so many lesser known luminaries such as Frescobaldi, Mascitti and Rosenmuller, which allowed for a broad appreciation of the era’s music.

There is rarely as compelling a sound as the haunting tone of the cello and the opening Cello Sonata in C Major by Jacchini set a rich musical atmosphere. Cellist Tomas Hurnik certainly knows how to make this instrument sing and this gave a depth and solidity to the music. His playing during ‘‘Affetuoso’’ from Geminiani’s Cello Sonata in C major was an exquisite example of fine tonality and musical skill.

Jonathan Le Cocq, a master of the Baroque guitar and Theorbo, gave a masterful performance throughout and delighted the audience with his rendition of Canario by de Murcia which would have inspired even the most professional guitarist.

Douglas Mews is a world class exponent of the harpsichord which he showed to full capacity throughout. His performance of Handel’s Suite No.2 was spellbinding.

 

Shelley Wilkinson, an experienced performer of the Baroque violin, made it sing effortlessly throughout.

Pepe Becker completed the ensemble with her stunning soprano voice that soared in the fine Nelson Cathedral acoustics in works by Monteverdi, Purcell and Handel.

 

This concert was a rare treat for Nelson, truly an enchanting evening.

Reviewed by Adrienne Matthews

"...brilliant virtuoso cello playing from Tomas Hurnik."        -  Whats On Keri Keri

 

Tres Cordes, a string trio who are all members of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, delivered a stirring and memorable concert in the Theatre Bar of the Turner Centre on Sunday 8th November.

 

The first half of the cleverly constructed programme – Baroque in style – introduced the audience to unknown but scintillating works by Sardelli, Pichl, Kleczynski and Cambini, as well as the more well-known Haydn Divertimento No.4 in C major.

 

The second half started with a stunning Dotzauer String Trio – his Opus 111 in E minor.  Unsurprisingly, as Dotzauer was a cellist, this came across almost more as a cello concerto than a trio, with brilliant virtuoso cello playing from Tomas Hurnik.

Dohnanyi’s Serenade Op.10 – one of the great masterpieces of the string trio literature – provided a perfect finale and opportunity for all three players to demonstrate their high quality technique and interpretation.

Ritchie’s Easter Melancholy, sandwiched in between and recently arranged by the composer for the Trio, provided a lovely contrast with its contemporary but accessible feelings and moods.

The trio – Cathy Irons (violin), Philippa Lodge (viola) and Tomas Hurnik (cello) – played throughout with masterly energy, coordination and passion.

The concert was organised by the Aroha Music Society.


Reviewed by: David Lumley

Passion on the Cello Pleases

"" Hurnik's lyrical and deft execution converted me to the cello version of Schumann's three Fantasy Pieces"       -  Christchurch Mail

 

As cellist Tomas Hurnik explained at the start, historically many chamber pieces were, as in this case billed as "pianoforte and cello." These days we unanimously reverse the two, often regarding the piano as an accompaniment rather then an equal partner or, as in the case of the three works we heard today, taking the principal role.

Certainly pianist Grant Bartley had his work cut out, with very involved piano parts that made it the dominant voice.While the balance was generally good and their roles more equal, there were occasions when I'd have like the cello to have more prominence, especially in the lower register.

Beethoven's 12 Variations on a Theme by Handel is a curiously un-Beethovenian work in some respects but it is a textbook by the numbers treatise on variation writing.

The piano had much of the embellishment, some of which was a bit of a scramble, but the overall cohesion was never in doubt. I like that Hurnik applied a quasi-Baroque style of playing keeping vibrato to a minimum mainly on sustained notes for added colour.

With this slightly more reserved approach, the dramatic interludes were more pronounced.

Stepping up a notch in the passion strakes and moving along to the early romantic period., Mendelssohn's Sonata no.1 in B flat was, for me, the pick of the day.

I'm always surprised by Mendelssohn that I don't listen to more, then the development section starts and I remember why.

This duo worked hard a making some of Mendelssohn's music padding interesting and I enjoyed the performance. I particularly like the slow movement where Hurnik judged the mood of the melody very well.

Completing the programme were Schumann's three Fantasy Pieces.

A a clarinettist I know these well and, while the composer had intended them to be available for viola and cello, I have only heard the viola version.

Hurnik's lyrical and deft execution converted me to the cello version while Bartley did a fine job realizing Schumann's demanding piano textures.

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Reviewed by: Patrick Shepherd

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