Brahms in the spotlight

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Southminster Abbey, at Te Anau Lodge, which will host the Brahms in Te Anau concert series next month. Photo: Supplied

THE music of German composer Johannes Brahms will be the focus of this year’s concert series presented by the Fiordland Festival Players.

The biennial mini-festival showcased the music of some of the world’s greatest composers, with Brahms in the spotlight this year, organiser Mark Oremland said.

This would be the sixth festival, with Brahms following on from Mozart, Fuchs, Schubert, Haydn and Beethoven, he said.

“Each time we want one of the great composers and Brahms has some great chamber music.”

They would give a short introduction to each piece, and perform with a variety of chamber music combinations.

Works would include sonatas, trios and quartets, with the final performance being a Piano Quintet.

“That’s a magnificent work. It’s probably very rarely played down this part of the world so it will be great for people to be able to listen to that.”

Oremland will perform viola in the concerts, and will be joined by New Zealand Symphony Orchestra violinists Malavika Gopal and Anne Loeser; Goeknil Biner (soprano), Tom McGrath (piano), and Heleen du Plessis (cello) from Dunedin; and Kerstin Ladstaetter, from Te Anau.

He said he organised the events because he enjoyed classical music and had been involved with chamber music since secondary school.

“And it gives me an opportunity to play with some of these great musicians.”

The concerts will be performed at Oremland’s accommodation business, Te Anau Lodge, in Southminster Abbey – a 1931 church which originally came from Clydevale, near Balclutha.

He said they shifted the church to Te Anau for the purpose of cultural events, and it could hold about 70 people.

“It’s in a lovely little old church building.”

Brahms in Te Anau, Thursday, March 1, songs, Cello Sonata in E minor, Piano Trio in C Major; and Friday, March 2, songs, Sonata and Quartet movements, Piano Quintet, 8pm. Tickets to each concert are $20. Available from Te Anau Lodge, or at the door.

The concerts will also be performed in Wanaka on March 3 and 4.

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