Auckland Trio is a dynamic and versatile music ensemble based in Auckland New Zealand. Established by husband and wife team, Russian Violinist Dr. Elena Abramova and Australian Violist Greg McGarity, Auckland Trio embraces an eclectic mix of projects and performances.

 

Occupying an inimitable position in the NZ musical scene, Auckland Trio employs an innovative approach to style and repertoire, exploring the realm between classical and other genres to create an inspiring musical fusion. Auckland Trio’s imaginative programs draw from classical, traditional Irish, Gypsy, Tango and world music, to create a unique listening experience for all audiences.

 

Classical Concerts:

Auckland Trio performs classical programs to diverse audiences in concert halls, musical societies, libraries, house concerts and a variety of other concert venues. 

 

Festzest Set:

Auckland Trio performs original and festival material with zeal and zest.

 

Weddings and Events:

Auckland Trio performs all the traditional wedding repertoire from baroque and classical to lighter sets for any occasion.  To view a selection of styles and repertoire visit the watch & listen page. 

From Paul Serotsky's Review, Seen and Heard International, The Entertaining Auckland Trio, 28 July 16

Their programme effectively offered two separate recitals for the price of one ... the first half consisted of two serenades, works that are expressly intended simply to charm – to entertain – their audiences. However, it was turned into a really neat bit of programming by the choice of works. As we all know (or are about to discover), in spite of what the opus numbers would have us believe, Beethoven actually wrote his Serenade Op. 25 just before his Septet Op. 8, which (so the experts tell us) is comprehensively confirmed by the strong “kinship” between the two works; and it was precisely this that inspired the two works in Reger’s Op. 141.

My previous exposure to Beethoven’s youthful Op. 25 has led me to regard it as a somewhat strait-laced son of the Classical era, so you can imagine my delight here, to have my impression turned on its head, and rediscover it as one of his most purely entertaining works. AT’s clean, zestful, rhythmically alert playing teased out a wealth of expressive detail that vivified the whimsical, dancing spirit inherent in the music.

Much of this was down to their putative watchword ["flexible"], not just in the choice of tempi, but in the natural elasticity they brought to transitions from one tempo to another, and in their scrupulous attention to dynamics. Then again, characterisation played a large part, “accentuating the positives” that distinguish the movements or even sections within movements. Finally, AT made me more aware of the way Beethoven often made a feature of the violin blending with the flute up top, and with the viola down below. In short, this was a joy to behold.

I hadn’t previously come across Reger’s Serenade Op. 141a. This compact work struck me as wholly delectable, having a vitality similar to the Beethoven, but sounding so different, possessed of what I’d call a rather “French” tang that clearly anticipated such as Poulenc. Informed by the same skills and considerations that they brought to bear on the Beethoven, AT sort of “extended their elastic limit”, their luscious performance seamlessly negotiating the music’s capricious kaleidoscope of moods and tempi, which veered, often vertiginously, between extremes of breezy good humour and pensive languor ... this was gob-smackingly consummate music-making ... [In the second half] Greg soon swapped his viola for a guitar, which he handled deftly, whether as a stringed or a percussion instrument, supplemented – in Dusty Diamantina (Australian) and Songmother (Irish) – by his fluent, rich brown voice, occasionally in duet with Clare’s featherlight, silken tones.

Clare treated us (too sparingly!) to the sultry sounds of the alto flute, and in the encore, Si Bheag Si Mhor (Irish), to the agile pipings of a very cute tin (“penny”?) whistle – not to mention some truly juicy flute slurs in Street Melody (Gypsy, Romanian) and some stunning prestissimo unisons with the violin in a breathtaking rendition of Monti’s ubiquitous   Czardas.  Surfeited as I was with the superlative playing of all three musicians, I feel a bit chary about singling out any one performer. Nevertheless, I must bite the bullet, and award a “rosette imaginaire” – to Elena, for her astonishing violin playing, notably in the last-mentioned two items, along with Gypsy Medley and Cumparsita (that South American tango that everybody knows). Over the years, many great violinists have set my spine tingling with those inimitably rosin-laden, earthy, husky, throbbingly impassioned tones, but – hand on heart – none more so than Elena.

In the nine years since I came to Whangarei, this is my first experience of AT. I have to say, on the strength of this evening’s feast of “entertainment”, I do wish that they’d “pop up” more often.