Robert Aitken performs together with Uwe Grodd and the Opus Chamber Orchestra


Robert Aitken and Uwe Grodd with Opus Chamber Orchestra - Photocredit: Ashley HopkinsThis is Robert Aitken's third visit to NZ.


Robert Aitken and Uwe Grodd have performed together on many occasions in recital and as a conductor / soloist team including concerti by C P E Bach , J S Bach , C H Reinecke and Gordelli.


The concerts:



UWE GRODD    Conductor & Flute


Vanhal          Sinfonia in A

Cimarosa        Concerto for two flutes and orchestra

Andersen        Konzertstück Opus 3 for flute and orchestra

Beethoven       Symphony No 1


HAMILTON        Friday 20 July 8 pm WEL Energy Trust Academy of Performing Arts

TAURANGA        Saturday 21 July 7.30pm Holy Trinity Church Tauranga

ROTORUA Sunday 22 July 3 pm Concert Chamber Rotorua


What: Winds from the North

Who: Opus Chamber Orchestra

When: Friday 20th July

Where: WEL Academy of Performing Arts

Works by: Vanhal, Cimarosa, Andersen and Beethoven

Conductor and Flautist – Uwe Grodd, Solo Flautist – Robert Aitken

A concert of little gems that had elements of virtuosity mingled with moment’s of melodic melisma. The opening Vanhal’s Sinfonia in D with its central oboe cantilena was beautifully played, which created a magical moment which was encircled by the crisp and gallant outer movements.

Cimarosa Concerto for two Flutes is well known the difference here was that Robert Aitken had included five complex cadenzas that along with Uwe Grodd demonstrated virtuosity in equal abundance as if a florid latticework was being created for our aural edification to illuminate aspects of this work.

Andersen’s Konzertstück Op.3 for Flute and Orchestra displayed a romantic fervour and rhapsodic elements that were well captured by both soloist and orchestra. The ensemble and balance here worked well, with some fine playing from the wind and brass. Aitken’s ever-present virtuosity was not only in the mechanical dexterity, but his use of tonal colours and nuanced playing was acute.

Beethoven’s Symphony No.1 in C major. Good tempi, appropriate balance and energy were the hallmarks of this performance. The power of the first movement was matched by luminosity and lyricism of the second, whilst the third exuded rhythmic vitality. The finale was exciting with Beethoven’s playfulness and own wry wit being accentuated. Weber lauded it as "splendid" and so it was.

Andrew Buchanan-Smart Waikato Times 23/ 7/ 2007

Superb Flutes with Opus Chamber Orchestra


Yesterday’s performance at the Concert Chamber of Opus Chamber Orchestra’s ‘Winds from the North’ was distinguished by two outstanding flutists. .   

Canadian flutist Robert Aitken and his fellow–player from Auckland, Uwe Grodd,  brought  lustre to the occasion by their  purity of sound and refined musicianship.   Uwe Grodd also conducted, and his fine rapport with the players produced many treats in the attractive programme.

Sinfonia in D major by the late 19th C Viennese composer Vanhal was a delight, and memorable for its touching, extended oboe solo.

The two flutes formed an exceptional partnership in Cimarosa’s Concerto for Two Flutes. Their playing was light and silky in tone, and managed to be both wonderfully refined and lively, especially in their many joyous exchanges.       

Robert Aitken was masterly in the flamboyantly Romantic ‘Concert Piece’ Op 3 by the Dane Joachim Andersen. Here was exemplary flute playing, with all the agility needed to handle a virtuoso work which was further distinguished by expressive playing from the orchestra.     

Uwe Grodd produced plenty of character in Beethoven’s Symphony No 1 when it was given a rather relaxed performance, well suited to the chamber orchestra scale, which emphasized the lyricism in the work.


Hanno Fairburn's Rotorua Post 23/7/2007