Sunday 16th June at 2.30pm

Amici Ensemble

Donald Armstrong (violin), Gwendolyn Fisher (viola), Andrew Joyce (cello), Oleksandr Gunchenko (double bass), Bridget Douglas (flute), Robert Orr (oboe), Patrick Barry (clarinet), Robert Weeks (bassoon) and Samuel Jacobs (French horn)

“Here was music-making of a very high order indeed and those in attendance must surely count themselves hugely privileged” – Music and Vision.


Rossini: Sonata No 1 for Wind Quartet
Piazzolla: Three Tangos for Violin and Bass
Mozart: Oboe Quartet in F Major, K 370
Spohr: Grand Nonet, Opus 3

Our annual treat from Donald Armstrong’s Amici Ensemble who never fail to intrigue and entertain with the diversity of their programmes.

In 2019 the ensemble is probably as large as it has ever been, with nine musicians, all prominent players from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

In the first half of the concert we will hear the flute, clarinet, bassoon and horn enjoying the infectious high spirits of a Rossini quartet, then the violin and bass bring a touch of South American rhythm in some delightful little tangos by Piazzolla. In the Mozart quartet we will have a chance to enjoy Robert Orr’s splendid oboe playing.

The major work on the programme is Louis Spohr’s wonderful Grand Nonet, a work that is less well known than it deserves, probably because the gathering together of nine musicians is no easy task. It was composed as the result of a request from a wealthy music lover who asked Spohr for “a nonet, made up of four strings plus flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn, to be written in such a way that each instrument would appear in its true character “. Written in 1813, it is an utterly charming work – a feast of classical and romantic magic