Supported by generous help from the Adam Foundation

Delightful Takiri Vocal Ensemble heralds a new era for the song recital?

By , 30/08/2015
The Takiri Ensemble is a novelty for New Zealand: a vocal quartet that aims to be a permanent presence in this country. It challenges the long-held and flimsily sustained belief that there’s no audience for the song recital; another similar, ill-supported notion is that there’s little appetite for piano recitals. Each prejudice has probably been based on cases that have not been representative or well-conceived, flawed through poor programming... read more

Orpheus Choir under Brent Stewart outstanding with Bruckner and Poulenc

By , 22/08/2015
Though this concert was advertised as being accompanied by the cathedral organ, without mention of other instruments, the programme disclosed the names of seven instrumentalists. I am one of the pernickety race that hopes for performances from the voices and instruments prescribed by the composer. However, while I’d have loved Orchestra Wellington to have been on hand (and by the way, what machinations are leading to our orchestra's not... read more

Clik the ensemble – you’ll be glad you did….

By , 22/08/2015
What a lovely idea for a concert! - each member of the "Clik the ensemble" trio was given the chance to shine more-or-less as a soloist in different works during the first half, while the second half featured all three musicians playing the programme's major work. It's almost certainly something that's been done before, but surely no more enjoyably and successfully as happened here. "Clik the ensemble" is a group... read more

Delightful, witty Così fan tutte from Wanderlust Opera

By , 15/08/2015
It’s best to start with comment about the somewhat unfortunate timing of this wonderful enterprise. A clash with the university school of music’s double bill, running four performances from Thursday to Sunday. On top of that, many vocal enthusiasts would also have been torn by having to choose between the last day of the Big Sing, the choral competition/jamboree/gala of secondary school choirs, held this year in Wellington. Because of... read more

The Big Sing Finale Gala Concert at the Michael Fowler Centre

It is marvellous to find so many young people taking part in choirs and obviously enjoying it.  The fact that all the choirs learn all their pieces by heart is staggering to us mere adults who sing in choirs, to whom this is an almost overwhelming difficulty.  An excellent effect of memorisation is that for the most part, words come over clearly – not always the case when singers... read more

Gallic musical entertainment chez L’Alliance Française

By , 14/08/2015
From time to time the various foreign embassies and their affiliates present concerts of their music and/or by their musicians. There was a musically inclined Italian ambassador a few years ago who arranged for special recitals by visiting musicians from her country; for a few years the Japanese Embassy presented recitals by fine Japanese musicians; a variety of interesting musical and other arts presentations have been staged by the... read more

The Bach Choir: Romantic Fairytales: role correction

By , 14/08/2015
In our review of the Bach Choir's performance on 8 August of three Romantic choral works, we misattributed the role of Leonora in the Mendelssohn work. It was sung by Marian Hawke, not Maaike Christie-Beekman, as we had... read more

NZSM Students’ operatic double bill moves and delights

By , 13/08/2015
One has come to expect a high standard of performance, interpretation and artistic creativity from students at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music, based on the success of some of their recent activities. This latest production was, in effect, "double the pleasure", as it  brought to the stage two works so utterly different as to turn our sensibilities on their heads, yet capture our sympathies as strongly in... read more

Fine cello and piano lunchtime recital at St Mark’s, Lower Hutt

The concert was dedicated by the performers to the memory of noted Wellington luthier Ian Lyons, who died suddenly, recently. These are two first-class musicians who play so well in combination.  Pianist Atkins did well trying to be an orchestra in the opening work, while Lucy Gijsbers’s playing was quite lovely and of professional standard.  She gained a most warm and attractive tone from her instrument in all parts of... read more

20th century music from charming flute duo: Bridget Douglas and Rachel Thomson

By , 12/08/2015
According to Bridget Douglas’s programme note, Le merle noir was the only piece that Messiaen wrote for the solo flute, which seems extraordinary in the light of his passion for bird song for which the uninitiated would imagine the flute to be the commonest, closest instrument to the sounds of many birds. I know I’ve heard it played live before but had only a sketchy recollection of it. It starts... read more

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