Resonance Ensemble’s Concert At The Piano

Thursday 23 March 2023

Come along and experience a novel programme of orchestral musical outliers performed by Christchurch’s Resonance Ensemble at The Piano.

The programme is full of exciting and well-loved music, but with a few things that will surprise even regular audiences.

But it’s not just the music! When did you last encounter an ophicleide? This unusual instrument was once the common bass instrument in the orchestral brass section until the tuba was invented in the nineteenth century.

When Resonance Ensemble decided to include French composer Charles Gounod’s colourful Ballet Music from his opera Faust in Sunday’s programme, they discovered that the part normally played by the tuba was, in fact, written for the Ophicleide. It just so happens that the orchestra’s tuba player for this concert owns New Zealand’s only Ophicleide and is also the instrument’s only professional New Zealand exponent. So don’t miss this unique opportunity to see and hear one of music’s instrument outliers.

Two other works in the programme are very popular and familiar for just a part of their complete format. The final Galop from Rossini’s William Tell Overture is one of those pieces that everyone knows, but the full overture also includes a remarkable introduction for five solo cellos, a turbulent and dramatic storm sequence and a delightful alpine folk song before launching into that famous final galop.

Ponchielli’s equally famous Dance of the Hours from his opera La Gioconda, is also known mainly for its opening theme, familiar from several well-known popular songs and TV commercials. But, like the William Tell Overture, it also ends with a racy and exciting galop.

Beethoven’s Symphony No 8 is a real outlier, especially among the composer’s more frequently played symphonies. Its humour, light-heartedness and shorter length often causes it to be overshadowed by the colossal masterpieces that came before and after it, but it’s certainly one of Beethoven’s most delightful and approachable works.

All of these works will come to life with Resonance Ensemble’s usual flair and dynamism in the stunning acoustic of Christchurch’s wonderful concert venue, The Piano, at 3.00pm on Sunday 26 March.

Conductor: Tony Ryan
At The Piano, 156 Armagh Street, Christchurch
Sunday 26 March, 3.00pm