This attractive combination of flute, bassoon and piano emphasised that the engaging sounds of wind ensembles can be a fine alternative to the usual strings for chamber music concerts.

The Donizetti Trio is an instrumental group of high order and, with such capable hands as these players from Auckland and imaginative programming, the flute and bassoon are particularly well-matched for their tonal colours, range of expression and contrasting sounds.

While often in the background, the piano gave a vital underpinning to the wind instruments.

The quirkily-named Chaos of Delight by New Zealand composer Eve de Castro Robinson was indeed a delight, with the depths of bassoon sounds and a playful piccolo, or flute, depicting our native birdcalls with wit and charm.

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The flute and piano were sufficient in a fantasia from Verdi's Aida to capture the exotic flavours and heroic grandeur of ancient Egypt.

For Venetian Mornings by another New Zealand composer, Gillian Whitehead, finesse from the flute and rounded bassoon sounds reflected well the atmosphere and intimate feeling of an awakening city.

The concert ended with two pieces based on grand operas, the trio finding plenty of drama and power in Bizet's Carmen Fantasy and themes from Wagner's Tannhauser.
- Hanno Fairburn
Details
What: Donizetti Trio
Where: Concert Chamber, Rotorua
When: Monday