Pure energy concert
There’s only one thing that beats an eclectic programme in an orchestral performance— an ‘electric’ one that a small but enchanted audience got on Saturday afternoon at Tauranga Boys College.
The premiere performance included New Zealand composer Gareth Farr’s marimba concerto, performed by Tauranga’s Yoshiko Tsuruta and Opus Orchestra under the baton of Peter Walls with Gareth present.
Gareth’s highly-charged score drew the audience in; tense agitato in the lower register of the orchestra punctuated by Yoshiko’s unbelievable malletwork, effortlessly rising through the range as the work progressed, culminating in a suitably electrifying finale.
Gareth’s understanding of percussionwritingwas clear throughout, capturing in a contemporary, yet approachable melodic language, not only the marimba’s naturally energetic timbre but also its subtle lyricism and its ability to sing gently and hypnotically. Yoshiko Tsuruta.
The rest of the programme was equally engaging, opening with Bach’s elegant Ouverture Suite No 1. The orchestra captured its French-inspired ornamentation beautifully and full credit needs to go to Joy Liu, Felicity Than and Philip Sumner for their virtuosic work on oboes and bassoon.
Haydn’s Farewell Symphony was a fine choice to complete the programme, with the customary comedy of the musicians gradually walking out during the last movement, leaving only two musicians on stage.