Sunday 13 February 

TWO SHOWS 12.30 and 3.30

Amici Ensemble with Jian Liu (Piano)

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


Haydn:            Piano Trio No 39 in G Major “Gypsy”

Shostakovich: Piano Quintet in G minor, Opus 57
Brahms:          String Sextet No 1 in Bb Major, Opus 18

Donald Armstrong (violin), Andrew Thomson (viola), Malavika Gopal (violin),
Alexander McFarlane (viola), Jian Liu (piano), Andrew Joyce (cello), Ken Ichinose (cello)

Due to Covid restrictions we can only admit 100 to each concert. Only members will be admitted and there will be no more sales from our ticket outlets. If you are a member, you may pay at the door ($30 – cash, EFTPOS or credit card). Holders of season tickets will not be given precedence over other members; all will be treated equally, in order of arrival.

No memberships will be sold at the concert. If you wish to attend, you must pay your membership fee in advance, early enough to be sent your membership card before the concert – we recommend no later than Friday, 4th February. Enquiries: phone Paul Dunmore at 021 251 7030.

The concerts will be operated in accordance with Covid regulations applicable at the time.
• You must wear a mask while inside the building (unless medically exempted).
• No food or drink will be provided. You may wish to bring your own water bottle.
• You must bring your Covid vaccination pass and present it for viewing and possible validation.

Donald Armstrong and his Amici Ensemble are regular favourites in Waikanae – no season would be complete without them. New to this familiar group of accomplished NZSO musicians is Alexander McFarlane, recently appointed as Associate Principal Viola. And they are joined by renowned pianist Jian Liu in a programme of three masterworks from three very different eras.

The concert opens with what is probably the best-known of Haydn’s piano trios, nicknamed the “Gypsy” because of its exhilarating finale “in the Hungarian Style”. In total contrast is Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet, written in 1940 when Russia was on the brink of war. The first performance was a triumph and won Shostakovich Russia’s highest honour – the Stalin Prize. The quintet is regarded as one of the composer’s greatest achievements and one of the greatest chamber works of the 20th Century.

Brahms wrote his two youthful string sextets some years before he ventured to write a string quartet. He relished the deep sonority, rich harmonies and almost orchestral range of tone-colours that the additional viola and cello offered, and the sextets stand among his greatest masterpieces. No 1 in Bb is a work of great charm, in turns intimate, melancholy, humorous and triumphant.