French music sparkles at Tauranga park

Tauranga Musica
with Prof Barry Vercoe Mus D.

Tauranga Musica injected French flavour into its 2017 Concert Season when Les Bon Vivants played at Tauranga Park Auditorium on Sunday afternoon.

Three skilled musicians – all principals from the Christchurch Symphony - kept an audience in rapt attention with music largely from nineteenth and twentieth-century France.

Composers ranged from familiar Gabriel Faure and Camille Saint-Saens (remember his Carnival of the Animals from childhood?) to the less familiar Jacques Ibert and Jean-Marie Leclair who founded the 17th century French violin school.

The program was rounded out by a Dutch work, by a wonderful piece by NZ's own Jack Body, and another inspired by Henriette Renie who was responsible for the modern chromatic harp (Quiz: have you ever wondered how a harp glissando hits only the notes of the currrent scale? Look it up!).

As the audience filed in – and before we had a chance to glance at our programs – the give-away was a beautiful modern harp that signalled we were in for some French delights.

But the stars were the Bon Vivants performers: Amandine Guerin violin, for her purity of tone and unerring intonation; Anthony Ferner flute, for his timing and ability to blend; and Helen Webby's scintilating harp, consistently the underpinning of modern French music.

Les Bon Viivants is a welcome addition to Tauranga Musica roster of performers. The final concert of this season will be on Sunday October 8 at Tauranga Boys College Youth Theatre.

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