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Welcome to Bach Musica NZ: Together in Music, our new online feature which showcases the talents of our fantastic vocal and instrumental soloists. Over the next 10 weeks, we will be bringing you exclusive videos made by our musicians, as they play pieces that they love, to bring you music that touches the soul at home. Whether or not we can perform for you in concert, we believe that music will always bring us together.

Week Six: Raeul Pierard, Cello

Suite in D major for solo Viola da Gamba (Prélude; Courante; Récit et Air Fugué; Menuet), G. Ph. Telemann.
The Flying Gardens, Andrew Perkins






Born into a large family and surrounded constantly by music, Raeul began learning the cello when he was eight and hasn’t been able to put it down since. University study was a natural consequence of his affliction, with teachers Georg Pederson and Coral Bognuda at Auckland University. And then, bitten by the technology bug he pursued a dual career as cello teacher and design engineer until cello lured him back to full time music, gaining him a Masters degree with Honours with Martin Rummel from the University of Auckland. Since then, Raeul has taught at Auckland University, broadcasts regularly with Concert FM as a National Recording Artist, and has played full-time with the Auckland Philharmonia while accepting a growing number of invitations to play concertos, recitals and chamber music throughout New Zealand. Further study with England’s top Baroque cellist, Richard Tunnicliffe inspired him to perform the complete cycle of Bach Suites for Solo Cello as a regular full-moon event, dubbed ‘Baching At the Moon’. Recent concerts in Europe include a series of recitals in France to launch the Puygiron Art Festival, in Provence, appearances at the Festival Royère de Vassivière, near Limoges, and the Concerts dans la Serre Festival, Buxy, Burgundy, and recitals in Paris, Berlin and London.
The cello Raeul is playing is a faithful facsimile of the Montagnana “Sleeping Beauty”, crafted sixteen years ago by Waikato Luthier, Noel Sweetman. The original “Sleeping Beauty” currently played by cellist Yoyo Ma, was used for his most recent videos and recordings of solo Bach. Yoyo brought even greater fame to the cello by once inadvertently leaving it behind on a New York taxi!
Raeul is resident in Tokaanu and teaches and performs full-time. It is a life-style of constant discoveries of ever-greater depths in sensitivities, music and humanity. He wouldn’t have it any other way. He has played regularly with Bach Musica NZ since 2000.

Week Five: Anna Simmons, Soprano
Angus Simmons, Baritone

"The Infinite Shining Heavens", Vaughan Williams
"Frère! voyez!... Du gai soleil", J. Massenet
"Bei Männern", W.A. Mozart




Piano: David Kelly
Recording: Franco Viganoni




Week Four: Tony Yan Tong Chen, Piano

Prelude and Fugue No. 3, J.S. Bach
Petrarch Sonnet 104, F. Liszt

"Playing Bach for Bach Musica NZ seems like a cliche, but to me the relevance of Bach’s music can’t ever be overstated. Refusing to adopt the contenance angloise style of the emerging Classical period, he wasn’t as respected by his contemporaries as he was by later composers who rediscovered his work. His intricate counterpoint went on to inspire such great works in the piano literature such as in Beethoven’s late sonatas, Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasy, and Liszt’s Sonata - all of which contain fugal elements. The independence of several melodic voices in a fugue gives rise to a complex texture that evokes imagery and narratives that melody and accompaniment alone sometimes fail to do. Fugues can so beautifully capture the complexity of any topic a composer wishes to express."







Week Three: Alison Dunlop, Oboe

Songs without Words
Opus 19, No. 1 (for Oboe and Piano)
Opus 53, No. 22 (for Cor Anglais and Piano)
Opus 19, No. 4 (for Oboe D'amore and Piano)

F. Mendelssohn

"I was very much looking forward to playing my oboe d'amore, cor anglais and oboe in Bach Musica NZ's April scheduled performance of St Matthew Passion, but obviously that wasn't able to happen, so it's really nice to have this opportunity to perform a short piece on each of them. These Mendelssohn piano pieces are special to me as I remember learning to play them on the piano in my teens. My late Mum adored them and played them very well (I particularly remember her playing the Opus 19, No. 1), so I was delighted when I met David Walter from the Paris Conservatoire and discovered that he'd made these beautiful arrangements for oboe and piano."




Alison Dunlop is Principal Oboe with Bach Musica NZ ...



Week Two: Luca Manghi, Flute

Fantasy No. 10 in F# minor for solo flute, A tempo giusto - Presto - Moderato, G. Ph. Telemann

"This fantasy is one of a set of 12 fantasies for unaccompanied flute, which are an important part of the solo flute repertoire. Telemann composed a number of works for flute without bass, in which he achieved a convincing harmonic architecture using a melodic instrument. In the tenth fantasy, the flute plays both the melody and sketches in a bass line, which almost gives the impression of two instruments. The structure of the fantasy is free and improvisatory. Dynamics and phrasing are left to the player, who is able to use their personal taste with regard to articulation and ornamentation. I enjoy performing these works because they allow so much creativity and are a bit different every time I play them, and they are also very entertaining and musically rewarding for the audience."




Dr. Luca Manghi is Principal Flute with Bach Musica NZ ...



Week One: Yanghe Yu, Violin

Solo Sonata No. 3, Adagio, J. S Bach

"Bach’s Solo Sonata No. 3 is one of my all-time personal favourites, and this first movement, the Adagio, is such a unique piece which reminds me of the minimalist music of the 20th century. By creating a thoughtful harmonic line with such a repeated rhythm throughout the whole piece, this movement achieves some mysterious and powerful energy which can be observed in everything in our lives. Like all of Bach’s work, his music is not only about beauty, but also the truth of the universe."




Yanghe Yu is the Concertmaster of Bach Musica NZ...



Keep the music alive!

Music is more important now than ever. We would be most grateful for any donation towards supporting our talented musicians and our organization while we cannot perform. Donations qualify for a tax rebate.


Project funding

Bach Musica NZ: Together in Music has been made possible through the generous support of Creative NZ.

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