The first concert of this year’s season is on Sunday 21 February by the Amici Ensemble
Donald Armstrong–Violin; Malavika Gopal–Violin; Julia Joyce–Viola
Andrew Thomson–Viola; Andrew Joyce–Cello; Ken Ichinose–Cello
Strauss: Sextet from Capriccio, Opus 85
Anthony Ritchie: “Ants” – Sextet for 2 violins, 2 violas and 2 cellos
Brahms: Sextet in G Major, Opus 36
Info from their website
“No Waikanae Music Society season would be complete without a visit from NZSO Associate Concertmaster Donald Armstrong and his ever-changing Amici Ensemble. Over the years this ensemble has appeared in many shapes and sizes, bringing us everything from trios and quartets to octets and even nonets and giving us the chance to hear many works seldom heard in live performance. Composed mainly of NZSO principal players, plus additional leading chamber music players, the personnel list of this group has been a veritable “who’s who” of New Zealand musicians.
“Amici’s 2016 programme is devoted to music written for string sextet, but there the similarity ends. The sumptuously romantic introduction to Richard Strauss’s opera Capriccio will open the programme, followed in complete contrast by a new composition from prominent New Zealand composer Anthony Ritchie, commissioned for the Amici Ensemble by Christopher Marshall. The famous BoccheriniFandango, originally for guitar and strings, is a frenetic dance movement that will lead us into the interval in a light-hearted mood. For the second half of the concert we will hear a masterwork – the great second string sextet by Brahms – which has been described as “romantic, highly expressive, but with an air of restraint and mystery, and permeated with a bitter-sweet melancholy”.