Quar­tet cel­e­brates 30 years


For­bid­den love and hid­den pas­sions are be­hind the New Zealand String Quar­tet’s lat­est tour.

For its 30th an­niver­sary tour, Dan­ger­ous Li­aisons, the quar­tet will be tack­ling the topic of for­bid­den love, ex­plored through com­posers such as Beethoven, Men­delssohn and Janacek.

‘‘Love, ei­ther tragic or un­re­quited, is the theme in each piece,’’ vi­o­list Gil­lian Ansell said.

Janecek’s In­ti­mate Let­ters was writ­ten when the com­poser was in his 70s and des­per­ately in love with a mar­ried woman half his age.

Over a pe­riod of 11 years, he wrote to her more than 700 times.

From Men­delssohn, the quar­tet will be play­ing his String Quar­tet in A mi­nor.

Writ­ten in 1827, when Men­delssohn was just 18 the piece charts the com­poser’s first ex­pe­ri­ences with love.

The New Zealand String Quar­tet is based in Welling­ton and while their tour cov­ers most of the coun­try, the group are pleased to be per­form­ing in their home base.

The quar­tet are fresh off a tour in Canada and for their an­niver­sary tour will be play­ing 13 cen­tres from Kerik­eri in the far North of the coun­try to Dunedin in the south.

‘‘It’s al­ways a great plea­sure to play for our home town au­di­ences and we es­pe­cially love per­form­ing at Ex­pres­sions Whiri­naki which has such great am­bi­ence and acous­tics for cham­ber mu­sic,’’ Ansell said.

Ansell stud­ied at the Royal Col­lege of Mu­sic in Lon­don and is one of the quar­tet’s found­ing mem­bers.

She orig­i­nally played as the sec­ond vi­o­lin­ist be­fore mov­ing to the vi­ola.

The other mu­si­cians are first vi­o­lin­ist He­lene Pohl, sec­ond vi­o­lin­ist Monique Lap­ins and cel­list Rolf Gjel­sten.

They will be us­ing some im­pres­sive in­stru­ments.

Pohl will be play­ing a 1730 vi­olin made by Pi­etro Guarneri in Venice while Lap­ins will be play­ing a 1784 Lorenzo Sto­ri­oni vi­olin on loan.

Gjel­sten will be tak­ing to the stage with a cello made in 1705 by Francesco Gof­friller in Venice.

The quar­tet will be per­form­ing at Ex­pres­sions on Septem­ber 11 at 7.30pm.

The Up­per Hutt Leader has a dou­ble pass to give away, to go into the draw, email info@ex­pres­sions.org.nz with ‘The New Zealand String Quar­tet’ in the sub­ject line.

The New Zealand String Quar­tet will tour 13 cen­tres for their 30th an­niver­sary tour.

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