Salient: Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Vol. 24, No. 7. 1961.
The first regular meeting of the V.U.W. Music Society was held on April 19 in the Music Room and was a pleasing, if unexciting, opening to what promises to be a successful and worthwhile year's music.
Opening the programme, Maurice Quinn displayed his talents on the recorder in two anonymous unaccompanied pieces ("Allemande" and "Courante"), and an Interesting set of variations on "Green-sleeves," also anonymous. The accompaniment for the latter was provided by Susan Smith.
Next came a Handel sonata payed by Peter Verhoeven (violin) and Warren Bourne (harpsichord). The performance was well rehearsed, but lacked drive and imagination, and the effect was rather weak. This was followed by an unusual composition arranged and added to by Schubert—a quartet for flute (Jennifer Baigent), viola (Evelyn Killoh), 'cello (Harry Stone) and guitar (Bob Wright).
Considerable credit must be given to these players in the way they overcame the obvious difficulties of ensemble. Although the first movement was shy' and the combination grew a trifle tiresome near the end of this comparatively long work, there was enough beauty and interest in the piece to hold one's attention. The viola and flute in particular were always pleasing to the ear.
As a contrast the next two items were much nearer our own time. First, Robin MacOnie gave a comic rendition of some unsuccessful modern piano music. His introductions, however, gave members of the audience little chance to judge the quality (?) of the music (?) for themselves. His playing gave all the pianists in the room the impression that he was imitating their own grimaces at the unfortunate keyboard. He was challenged by Miss Neilsen, who defended an early attempt of Darius Milhand.
The second modern item was even more up-to-date: a recording of some electronic music by this medium's innovator, Eimert, dating from 1955-56. This style of composition is based on atonal piano music, and though undeniably strange at first hearing there were some portions of the recording which revealed an originality and plaintive quality all of their own. The greatest distraction was possibly the proximity of some of the sounds to natural noises (ship's horn, water running, etc.), which proved to be hard for the audience to accept as legitimate music. The item ended a programme of great variety, but the standard can, and will, be improved throughout the course of the year.