Marc Taddei Music Director, Wellington Orchestra
Pieta is one of New Zealand's most promising young contemporary composers.
Lindis Taylor Middle C, about Our Own Demise
There was no denying Hextall's imaginative, highly accomplished piece which the orchestra had clearly worked at very conscientiously.
Alan Wells Middle C
Hextall's "Portrait" had as its core a central, ostinato-driven rhythm piece (reminiscent of "Impetus" in the 2008 Awards, and even more of her "Second Etude for Bassoon and Piano" - the sort of music Philip Glass might have written if he'd had any imagination). Framing this was a texture piece: rarefied, spare, carefully paced (similar to her "Third Etude" - the sort of music La Monte Young might have written if he'd had any imagination.).
Peter Mechen, Middle C
Pieta Hextall's 2010 piano piece Planet Vandal was described by its composer as "a musical impression of a confrontation between whalers and activists on the Pacific Ocean". The writing has both pictorial and narrative elements, the opening redolent of the vast spaces of a seascape, with tones clustering and reforming, and fragments of a song sounding. As the music's manner becomes more dynamic, first figurations and then chordal passages begin to generate agitations, leading to syncopations, hammerings and downward cascades of notes, a mood which runs its course and returns the music to the mood of the opening, the song taking the character of a lament, as the sounds gradually disappear. This was the work's second performance in public, and one hopes it will be heard again before too long (via William Green in Auckland, perhaps?) - in Sam Jury's capable hands I found it a moving listening experience.