Hammers and Horsehair - now there's an interesting name for a concert - a horsehair bow on the strings of the cello and the hammers on the strings of the fortepiano.

Cellist Robert Ibell and keyboard player Douglas Mews are carrying both instruments - together with a whole vanload of gear - on the road for a nationwide concert tour in venues including houses, churches, halls, hotels, a winery and even a crematorium, with a concert in St Matthew's Church, Hastings, at 7.30pm this Friday.

The intimate, salon-style concert will be by candlelight, preserving the atmosphere which was likely when most of the music on the programme was written - including Brval's Sonata in G and Romberg's Grand Sonata in E-flat major, complemented by one of Mozart's best-loved piano sonatas, the playful and charming Sonata in C K330, and two works by Beethoven - the witty set of Twelve Variations on "Ein Mdchen oder Weibchen" and his Sonata for Piano and Cello Op 5 No 1, which will open and close the concert.

Douglas Mews studied organ and harpsichord at the University of Auckland and then at the Royal Conservatory at the Hague in Holland.


Now a freelance musician teaching at the NZ School of Music in Wellington, he is also director of music at St Theresa's Church in Karori and has recorded CDs on the Wellington Town Hall organ.

On this tour he is playing a Broadwood square piano built in 1843.

Robert Ibell was born in Dannevirke, studied the cello with Wellington teacher Judith Hyatt and then in London where he taught, gave recitals and played in both amateur and professional orchestras.

Since 1993 he has been a member of the NZSO, plays in the Aroha String Quartet, the contemporary ensemble Stroma and is a recording artist for Radio N Z Concert.

His cello was previously owned by Greta Ostova, a Czech who escaped from Nazi-occupied Europe to live in Wellington in 1940, where she became a founding member of the NZ Symphony Orchestra (now the NZSO).

- Door sales tickets: adult $25; concession $15; children $5; family pass $50.