Maruki Ensemble

Sunday 27th July at 2pm

Yass Memorial Hall

The Maruki Ensemble in Yass

The Maruki Ensemble gave a wonderful performance in the Memorial Hall on Sunday afternoon 27th July as the third concert in the Yass Music Club’s 2014 subscription series.

It was a beautiful concert as the ensemble, comprising John Gould (Violin), Rita Woolhouse (Cello), Lorraine Moxey (Viola) and Ann Stevens (Piano), had chosen a brilliant program which included Piano Quartet No 2 in E flat Major by Mozart, Gabriel Faure’s Piano Trio Opus 120, the Andante Movement of Brahms’ Quartet Opus 60 in C Minor and the stirring Piano Quartet Opus 47 in E flat Major by Robert Schumann.

The Hall and was pleasantly warm when the concert began, with the heating system so loud that it almost drowns out the music having to be switched off in the first half, and with the audience beginning to feel the bitter chill of winter from outside so some coughing and sneezing resulted.

We took the decision to leave the heating on in the second half and the musicians just had to play a little louder but it’s a pity that the Hall is not equipped with a better heating and cooling system. Considering that it was built almost ninety years ago and is an excellent and aesthetically pleasing performance space, it is unfortunate that those who are responsible for its maintenance haven’t kept up with these essential matters. It’s a matter that the Yass Council should prioritise and the badly chipped edge of the stage could also  do with some tidying up and that would be a very small task, indeed.

All of the performers were outstanding, though I was a little disappointed that they had configured themselves so that the violinist completely obscured the pianist and I didn’t have the pleasure of seeing her weave her musical  magic and I think a more judicious positioning of the players would have been preferable but they had a very good understanding of each other and played nicely to each other’s strengths.

The first part of the program went from the scintillating beauty of the Mozart piece through the darker moods of the Faure and then to the Andante movement of the Brahms Opus 60 where the richness of  the cello and the power of the piano were very evident with the violin and viola adding colour and beauty to the performance. The movement began with a luscious melody played by the cello in its upper register with only the piano as accompaniment and the movement developed into a thing of  beauty and contemplation.  There’s an interesting link between Brahms and Schumann here as a young Brahms began the piece during Schumann’s last illness, when Brahms was torn between despair for his friend and love for his friend’s wife. Brahms completed the piece some twenty years later but the depth of his passions are still very clear in the piece.

The tour de force in the program was the mighty Schumann Quartet, comprising the entire second half of the concert and is one of Schumann’s most beautiful pieces revealing great passion and intensity which the ensemble captured with understanding and integrity.

The audience was reminded of the Scholars’ Concert to be presented on Sunday, 24th August at St Clements at 2.00pm and of the coming August concerts at the Crisp Galleries on Sunday  3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th & 31st  at 2pm (Details from Crisps) and the next Music Club concert on Saturday, 6th September (Note the change of dates from our brochure, as we gave up the 20th to the Turning Wave Festival because they’d not booked the Hall as they wanted it and we gave them the date.

The Yass and District Hospital provided a delicious Afternoon Tea at interval and the ever popular raffle was well supported and raised $173 for the Club.


Planning for 2015 is already well in hand and we’re delighted to be able to welcome back the ever popular “Idea of North”, who will open our next year’s subscription series on Saturday, 7th February.

Brian Millett

(Secretary – Yass Music Club)