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Song Without Words at Highwic

September 3 2012

Song Without Words at Highwic

A Song Without Words – a concert celebrating the work of students of one of the 19th century’s most influential European composers – will take place at Highwic, the NZ Historic Places Trust property on September 23.

Felix Mendelssohn was one of the most significant composers of his time, and a programme of beautiful music for cello and piano similar to that which would have been heard in his home in Leipzig in the 1830s will be performed in the ballroom of the historic Newmarket mansion.

“Leading New Zealand musicians Polly Sussex and Douglas Mews will perform a number of sonatas by some of Mendelssohn’s pupils who became well known composers in their own right,” says the Manager of Highwic, Cheryl Laurie.

“These include William Sterndale Bennett and Charles Horsley. Polly and Douglas will also perform some lovely short gems written by Mendelssohn.”

Both musicians specialize in playing music of the 19th century – or earlier – on original instruments. For their concert at Highwic, Douglas Mews will perform on an English square piano from 1843, which is likely to have originally been brought to Wellington by a family of early settlers. In keeping with the historic theme, Polly Sussex will perform on an 18th-century German cello using a French bow from the same era.

Both instruments have been restored and are now owned by the musicians.

“These instruments would not have sounded out of place in Mendelssohn’s parlour, so the concert will have a high level of authenticity – as well as being a superb performance by two internationally trained and highly experienced musicians,” says Cheryl.

“This, combined with the fact that they will perform in the ballroom of one of Auckland’s premier historic buildings, will only enhance the overall concert experience.”

A Song Without Words takes place at Highwic at 7.30pm on September 23. Admission $25 per person, or $20 for NZ Historic Places Trust members.


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