Salient. Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 26, No. 6. Tuesday, June 4, 1963
University music concerts* held at the end I of the first term displayed an amazing variety of style and performance. From the sixteenth century I contrapuntal schools to the complexities of Stock-hausen. From the sturdy I faith of Purcell, the spirituality of late Beethoven to the extrovert cheerfulness of Schubert and Rimsky-Korsakov.
At two of the concerts, University choral groups sang for the first time this year. Adrienne Simpson's small madrigal choir presented a group of Elizabethan madrigals with charm and lightness, marred only by some odd intonation from the sopranos.
The following week the University Choir under Robert Oliver presented (in St. Peter's Church) a good performance of a hitherto unheard Purcell anthem. "I Will Give Thanks Unto The Lord." Some strange violin noises and a tendency on the part of the choir to slur the words were noticeable, but Robert Oliver showed a strong, sense of continuity and an awareness of Purcell's style. He was supported by sympathetic soloists—particularly in the last section. Their example was capped by some rich, expressive, soft singing from the choir.
At the organ, Alan Simpson displayed rare control over his instrument's multifarious temptations. The delicate clarity of tone in a Bach Prelude and Fugue was the highlight in a stimulating programme which included little-known works from the sixteenth century. The same concert concluded with uninhibited, cheerful organ playing from Brian Find lay, who played some pleasant Sweelinck variations beautifully. However, he assaulted the G Minor Fantasia and Fugue by Bach with over-heavy registration; and a precipitous speed.
But there was nothing hasty about Maurice Quinn's and Prudence Thornley's playing of Bach's Flute and Clavier Sonata in B Minor. This work—laid out on a] vast scale—was given a confidents rhythmically vital and sometimes' intensely felt performance. The! two partners achieved a delicate contrapuntal balance especially notable in the fugal last movement.
The Stockhausen No. 7 Klavier-stuck 11 as played by Professor Frederick Page proved extremely difficult to listen to as just music. He went into it as a man might] do battle against the Philistines, and one wonders just how spontaneous his arrangement of the various scraps of music is by now. The first half emphasised a macabre pianistic brilliance, but as he progressed further Professor Page gave some evocative and fascinating studies in quieter piano colours, it was a major exploration into the piano's rhythmic; possibilities, the percussive nature of high treble notes, and of overtones.
The surprise items were two trumpet pieces played by Sue Sutton and her accompanists. This was exuberant, exciting playing and it was difficult to decide whether they enjoyed playing it or the audience listening to it most. However, all agreed it was thoroughly entertaining. As everything was.—W.B.
* Victoria University of Wellington Music Society. Three concerts: 1, 2, 8 May in Music Room and St. Peter's Church.