8 May 2017

GILLIAN WHITEHEAD: still, echoing

From Music Alive, 7:00 pm on 8 May 2017
Dame Gillian Whitehead

Dame Gillian Whitehead Photo: Gareth Watkins / Lilburn Trust / Wallace Arts Trust

This quintet for piano and string quartet takes its title from a line in poet Gregory O'Brien's Te Whanga Lagoon.

Gillian Whitehead's still, echoing is unified by a set of six notes that form the basic cell or idea of the piece. It also explores the sound possibilities of different combinations of the instruments: at times the piano falls silent, leaving just the violins and viola in dialogue; elsewhere the viola and cello sing together with the piano. The moments at which all the strings play in rhythmic unison provide cohesion and drive, evoking the irrevocable ebb and flow of wave and tide, and contrasting the tumult of the Pacific with the stillness of Te Whanga Lagoon on Chatham Island.

Recorded 8 May 2017, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington by RNZ Concert

Producer: David McCaw

Engineer: Darryl Stack