June 2013. Marimba in Spain   

St James Church, Lower Hutt.  Saturday, 22nd June, 7:30.

Tragicomic masks Summary

This concert was a few days after a major storm, and we were thankful that this shortest day concert took place during better but still battering weather. There were still people in the Hutt without power, but St James was as nice a venue as ever.

The theme was music influenced by Spain, and we welcomed back Yoshiko Tsuruta who is such an amazing marimba player. The orchestra played pieces by Elgar and Bizet.  Yoshiko played three solo items (without orchestra) and then there was the featured highlight of the Castelnuovo-Tedesco Concerto with Yoshiko and the orchestra.

The Concert

The opening piece was the rousing Sevillana by Elgar. 

Then came Bizet's Carmen Suite No 2. It is testimony to the outstanding number of wonderful songs from Carmen that Bizet could produce two orchestral Suites of different tunes.

The first half ended with Yoshiko playing Lute Suite by Bach, Romantica by Séjourné and Variations on Japanese Children's Songs by Keiko Abe. The marimba is a large instrument, and the need for movement forces playing from memory. Apart from the memorable sounds of the marimba, part of the pleasure of the concert was seeing the wonderful dexterity of four-mallet playing, and also the balletic movements as Yoshiko swayed and flowed back and forth. 

 Yoshiko playing Abe's
Variations on Japanese
    Children's Songs.

Stage door

The second half began with the Guitar Concerto of Castelnuovo-Tedesco which had been arranged for Marimba.  Full of  rhythmic interest and appealing tunes this was an audience pleaser.

Finally, the first Carmen Suite finished the concert. The well-known songs from Carmen showcased various sections of the orchestra and provided a lively ending to this mid-winter concert.

The Bizet Yoshiko playin concerto

A look at the bars and resonators of the marimba.       Yoshiko playing the concerto.

The Bizet