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Music in the time of Monet



Since its formation in 2004, Nota Bene has rapidly forged a reputation as one of Wellington’s finest choirs.  In this concert the choir presented a selection of French choral music to complement Te Papa’s  Monet and the Impressionists exhibition.


On the programme were Debussy’s Trois Chansons (settings of texts by Charles D’Orleans), Trois Chansons by Ravel, and three songs by Lili Boulanger.  Born in the shadow of Debussy and Ravel, Lili Boulanger’s 

French Impressions

prodigious talent is often overlooked today.  She showed outstanding musical ability at the age of two and, in 1913, became the first woman to win the coveted Prix de Rome composition award. Tragically, she died five years later of tuberculosis at the age of 24.


Nota Bene’s musical director, Christine Argyle, says: “The Monet exhibition provided the perfect excuse to put together a programme of truly gorgeous French music. Debussy’s Trois Chansons are deservedly amongst the best-known choral pieces in the French repertoire, and many will be familiar with the delightful Ravel songs too. But it’s the Boulanger songs, sadly neglected, that shine as the rare jewels on the programme. And we’re delighted that pianist Emma Sayers, accompanied the choir in these pieces.”


Emma Sayers is one of New Zealand’s leading concert pianists. She studied with Judith Clark in Wellington, then with Rita Wagner at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. Emma currently teaches at the NZ School of Music and is a member of the new music ensemble Stroma. She has a particular interest in 20th century and contemporary music and has given many premiere performances of works by New Zealand and international composers.


French Impressions

Saturday 4 April, 1:30pm

Te Marae, Te Papa Museum of New Zealand, Cable Street, Wellington

Admission free

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