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Les Voisins

August 8 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


August 8
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Concert Category:


St George & St John Anglican Church

30 Domain Road
Whakatāne, 3120 New Zealand
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A classical trio of violin, cello and theorbo/guitars, traversing the music of France. From the tender kernel of the French Baroque, through the vibrant colours of impressionism, and into the swinging jazz Hot Club de France — with a New Zealand composer’s own response — the music of France throughout the centuries has always been an emotional language of tenderness, colour and verve.

Les Voisins (translated, Neighbours) is a coming together of worlds, neighbours and friends. Violinist Justine Cormack and cellist James Bush grew up next door to each other in Christchurch and have remained close friends throughout their diverse careers: Justine nurturing and promoting the best of New Zealand music through her performances with NZTrio; James pursuing the freedom and energy of baroque performance practice with many of Europe’s top baroque groups. While performing with James met the Australian lutenist and guitarist Simon Martyn-Ellis—a sought-after theorbists who exudes musicality, warmth and positivity.

This journey begins with theorbo alone on stage. The music then unfolds as the violin and cello join to explore layers of the rich and intensely emotional world of the French baroque. This world will be New Zealand composer Alex Taylor’s source of inspiration for a new work—no doubt adding a fresh and quirky perspective.

Maurice Ravel’s unique voice is gloriously expressed in his sonata for violin and cello, opening the door into the colour and vitality of French impressionism. This leads effortlessly to the Hot Club de France, offering a tribute to the irresistible swing of guitarist Django Reinhardt and the grandfather of jazz violin, Stephane Grappelli.


Justine Cormack (violin)
James Bush (cello)
Simon Martyn-Ellis (theorbo & guitars)


ROBERT DE VISÉE | Prélude and Passacaille (Solo Theorbo)
JEAN MARIE LECLAIR | Sonata for Violin and Continuo, Op 2, No 1 in E minor: Adagio, Allegro ma poco, Sarabanda, Allegro
ROBERT DE VISÉE | Prelude/Les Silvains des Mr. Couperin (Solo Theorbo)
MARIN MARAIS | Sonnerie de Ste. Geneviève du Mont-de-Paris
ALEX TAYLOR | Ordre (new commission; Violin, Cello and Theorbo)
MAURICE RAVEL | Sonata for Violin and Cello: Allégro, Très vif, Lent, Vif
Tribute to Django Reinhardt, Stéphane Grappelli and the Hot Club de France
DJANGO REINHARDT: Nuages, Sweet Georgia Brown, Minor Swing