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Aroha String Quartet with Clarinettist Rachel Vernon

August 24, 2021 August 2021 No Comments

After a disappointing cancellation of their June concert due to level 2 lockdown, the Greytown Music Group is hoping all will be well for their next concert, on Sunday 22 August, when the Aroha Quartet will join forces with Rachel Vernon on clarinet.

The Aroha String Quartet was formed in 2004, and is now one of NZ’s finest chamber music ensembles. Original members violinist Haihong Liu and violist Zhongxian Jin were joined by cellist Robert Ibell in 2009, and violinist Konstanze  Artman in 2018. They like having guest performers from time to time, adding an extra dimension to the music. Last year they toured with oboist Robert Orr, and this year it is the turn of the clarinet. Rachel Vernon has held the position of principal bass clarinet in the NZSO since 1995, has recorded for Radio NZ, and performed as a soloist with local orchestras.

The programme, “Clarity”, features the clear pure voice of the clarinet, contrasting with the strings,  in two of the best-loved works in the chamber music repertoire: the gorgeous clarinet quintets by Mozart and Brahms. The middle work in this programme is Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla’s “Oblivion”, composed in 1982. Featured in the 1984 Italian film “Enrico lV” (Henry lV), “Oblivion” has been described as haunting and atmospheric, and is considered to be one of Piazzolla’s most popular tangos. Haihong says “While “Oblivion” has been recorded with many different instrumental combinations, eg saxophone quartet, oboe and orchestra, we think that the clarinet and string quartet is the best! It is a piece which speaks of love, sophistication, and whispered sadness.”

The concert will be at 57 Wood St, Greytown, at 4pm on Sunday 22 August. Admission $25, $10 for students. For bookings contact Ed and Juliet Cooke: 06 304 9497 or efjacooke@gmail.com.

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