Have piano, will travel
Re-creating the intimate atmosphere of a salon concert at nineteen venues around New Zealand means that Wellington-based musicians Douglas Mews and Robert Ibell have to lug a whole vanload of gear around the country – including the piano.
The duo are performing their programme of virtuosic works from the early Nineteenth Century by candlelight at Living Springs Christian Centre, Putaruru at 4pm on Sunday July 10.
The venue, on State Highway 1, is Putaruru’s only remaining wooden church building, originally a Methodist Church from 100 years ago.
The concert is part of a nationwide tour taking place between June and September in houses, churches, halls, hotels, a winery, and even crematoriums.
Douglas and Robert will play works by Beethoven, Mozart, Romberg and Breval on instruments that date from around the period when the pieces were written.
‘‘We’re looking to create a special atmosphere,’’ Douglas said.
‘‘The candles are part of that, but we’ll also be chatting with the audience as if we were playing in their sitting room at home.
‘‘The old instruments and playing style are key aspects of it too.
‘‘People will be able to hear the music much as it would have been heard by audiences when it was written two hundred years ago.’’
Douglas said the piano they’d be using was very special and was made in England in the first half of the Nineteenth Century.
‘‘Not only does it look unusual, but it has a wonderful history, having spent well over a century in the Aro Valley where I live.
‘‘The two of us on our own can just manage to get the piano out the window of my house and into the van.’’
Robert’s cello also has an interesting background and was made in the 18th Century.
It came to New Zealand in 1940 with Greta Ostova, a Czech escaping the Nazi occupation.
Greta became a founding member of the National Orchestra (which became the NZSO), later passing the cello on to her student Judith Hyatt who then handed it on to Robert.
‘‘I’m really looking forward to using on the Hammers and Horsehair tour.’’
* Admission $25, door sales only (no eftpos), Students free. Contact 027-364- 9274.
Wellington-based musicians Douglas Mews and Robert Ibell wil play Putarur on July 10.