Supported by generous help from the Adam Foundation

Faust Quartet with a different view of Schubert and a perplexing study of mythological horses

By , August 31, 2014
Yet another European ensemble (the other was the Dalecarlia Quartet in July) with a New Zealand member – Simone Roggen, the first violinist.  This group, too, had a change of membership from that originally advertised.  There were several striking things about this ensemble; their handsome appearance on stage, their intense concentration and the performers’ remarkable techniques among them. Another striking thing was the extremely pianissimo entry to the first item... read more

Brilliant, rewarding performance of The Creation from NZSO and Orpheus Choir

By , August 29, 2014
This concert was billed as one where “Haydn brings forth magnificence from silence as he retells the creation of the world, taking inspiration from the Bible’s Book of Genesis and Milton’s Paradise Lost. Haydn once confessed, ‘I want to write a work that will give permanent fame to my name in the world’. With The Creation, he has certainly achieved this.” This was the work that provided the striking platform... read more

Chamber Music New Zealand hosts exciting concert by pianos and percussion

By , August 26, 2014
This step outside the usual range of string-dominant chamber music attracted a big house in the Michael Fowler Centre; the welcome by CEO Euan Murdoch also suggested that a larger number of younger people had been drawn by this programme, with its less familiar instrumental context, yet of major works. And he drew attention to the use of an overhead camera that projected a bird’s eye view of the array... read more

Forbidden Voices: Documentary film on German/Jewish composer Richard Fuchs, also neglected in New Zealand

By , August 24, 2014
“Richard Fuchs was a composer believed by his father to be 'the third Richard', successor to Strauss and Wagner. He loved German culture above all others. Unfortunately German culture hated him. His music was banned by the Nazis and he was banished, so he fled to New Zealand in the 1940s. No longer persecuted, just ignored. A man out of place and out of time. An enemy in Germany because... read more

Forbidden Voices liberated in NZSM conference on music and musicians banned by Nazis

By , August 23, 2014
This evening’s concert was session number 11 in the weekend’s conference of talks, concerts and panel discussions dealing with the suppression of music and other arts during the second world war, primarily through the Nazi suppression of what they considered 'Entartete Kunst' - 'Degenerate Art'. It’s been a mixture of music and the spoken word, the latter examining aspects of the hideous impact of Nazism on art and artists... read more

Product of Terezin concentration camp survives as admirable, enjoyable children’s opera

By , August 21, 2014
The soloists for this production are members of the NZSM’s Young Musicians Programme with a chorus from Kelburn Normal School and a chamber orchestra of NZSM Classical performance students. It is conducted by NZSM Lecturer Dr Robert Legg and directed by NZSM alumni and artist teacher Frances Moore. Hans Krása was a German Jewish composer who studied with Zemlinsky and also at the Berlin Conservatory and under Roussel in Paris ... read more

LUDWIG TREVIRANUS – at ease with the music

By , August 21, 2014
What a programme and what a performer! Ludwig Treviranus won all hearts and engaged all sensibilities besides at his Lower Hutt Little Theatre recital last week, with playing and presentations of real, flesh-and-blood character. In his hands the music sprang into life - he could well have echoed the Oscar Wilde character who  famously remarks, "…anybody can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression….." But there was more... read more

Many Magnificats in interesting Bach Choir concert

By , August 11, 2014
Another interesting and imaginatively programmed concert by the Bach Choir was presented to a well-filled (but not full) St. Peter’s Church.  The first half comprised pieces composed by mainly British composers of the twentieth century (aside from the late nineteenth-century Stanford piece), while the second commemorated the three-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. John Tavener’s Magnificat Collegium Regale featured chromatic writing progressing in semitones, giving a... read more

Imaginative programme of too rarely played masterpieces from Orchestra Wellington

By , August 9, 2014
This imaginative programme by Orchestra Wellington was an opportunity to enjoy a selection of colourful works heard all too infrequently on concert stages here. Haydn’s The Hen Symphony was performed with appropriately modest orchestral forces for which Orchestra Wellington is admirably suited. The opening Allegro Spiritoso sparkled with clean vigorous playing of exemplary precision that allowed inner voices to speak through beautifully clearly. The contrasting central episode was beautifully... read more

Masters of whole worlds: Mozart and Mahler with the NZSO

By , August 8, 2014
What to play at a concert along with a Mahler Symphony? It's a question that has diverted promoters, critics and musicians themselves over the years, and the various possible solutions seem often to complicate further rather than clarify matters. It isn't so much the actual music that's the problem - it's the awkward length of Mahler's symphonic conceptions that makes programming with other pieces something of a challenge. At least... read more

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