MUSIC FROM THE ISLES
June 1st 2014, St Peter's Cathedral Hamilton
"Ensemble brings music pleasure"
“The first chords of this concert
were full of promise, the clean articulation and evocative tonal range in
perfect harmony with the unique sound qualities of St Peter's Cathedral...The Elgar Introduction and Allegro, Op 47 demonstrated grandeur
unbounded, an evocation of Empire which is so typical of the composer, and the
difficult fugue was handled with a rare and polished delight.
The concert finished with Ralph Vaughan Williams's "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis"..., [which] filled the sanctuary with harmony and the audience with pleasure”.
Waikato Times, June 3rd 2014
ENSEMBLE POLYMNIA IN CONCERT
17th March 2013, St Peter’s Cathedral Hamilton
Works by Grieg, Elgar, C.P.E. Bach, and Tchaikovsky, conducted by Sarah Bisley, Reviewed by Sam Edwards.
After one has been a critic for a decade or more, it is rare to find the pulses racing at a performance, but that was the result of the presentation of a recently discovered work by CPE Bach... His Concerto in D Major for Flute, strings and continuo had been lost for over 250 years until its first modern outing under the baton of Sarah Bisley. Italian flautist Luca Manghi...with his very first entry elevated the mood of the audience to a sudden and memorable delight. The flute filled St Peters Cathedral with a stunning honeyed clarity, supported by players from the Polymnia strings...
It is late Baroque
music which demonstrates a clear link with the performing arts, full of poetic
images and dramatic tropes, and is so lively and fresh it even had an already
energetic conductor Bisley dancing.
In keeping with the Bach, the initial item was Grieg's poetic "Elegaic Melody No.2", introducing a dream like underpinning for the concert, but remarkable for its lyrical opening chords which were perfectly judged …"