Sunday 1 May

Michael Houstoun – Piano

 “In the final movement, Houstoun’s judgments of colour and intensity seemed inevitable and perfect and his amazing agility thrilled.” – (Dawn Brook, Regional News, Wellington 2020)

Programme

Bach:         English Suite No 3 in G minor, BWV 808
Ravel:        Pavane pour une infante défunte
Ravel:        Valses nobles et sentimentales
Schumann: Humoreske, Opus 20
Gao Ping:   Two Waltzes
Chopin:      Grande valse brillante, Opus 18
Chopin:      Scherzo No 4 in E, Opus 54.

We are delighted to welcome Michael back to our stage, after having said our farewells in 2020 when he retired. Of course, he has already unexpectedly returned when he stepped in to help out Wilma Smith and her Argyle Trio after their pianist was unable to travel from Australia. Now, proudly “unretired” and apparently with no intention of retiring, Michael will be back to bring us a typically varied and enterprising recital of works ranging from J S Bach to the 21st century.

The English Suite in G minor is probably the most popular of Bach’s six English Suites. The well-known Ravel Pavane will lead into the Valses nobles et sentimentales, intended by Ravel as a set of Schubertian waltzes, but his distinctive use of dissonance and his rhythmic subtlety transformed the Viennese dance into something more sophisticated. Schumann’s Humoreske is typically romantic and engaging and then we have two more Waltzes – new works by Chinese/New Zealand composer Gao Ping which Michael describes as “charming”. Chopin will end the recital in style; the Grande valse brilliante and the fourth Scherzo – the only one of Chopin’s Scherzos in a major key and the only one that is filled with joy and gaiety.