The Hanging Bulb
is a short descriptive work that explores through music the despair and obsession associated with the image of the hanging light bulb. But far from being a narcissistic descent into anguished... read more
This interesting programme promised a great afternoon of listening, offering the contrast of the young and fresh with the time honoured and revered. For me, some of those hopes were more than fulfilled, others irretrievably dashed……………….
It is almost exactly two years since I reviewed Thomas Gaynor playing the same mighty Messiaen work, which dates from 1935, in the same Cathedral series (though that was a lunchtime concert).
About the same number of people were in the audience on both occasions: around 40. However, there was at least one major difference this time: the audience was seated in the gallery above the main door, at the...
One has waited quite a while for this brilliant little series of monographs to find a writer able to deal with what the media likes to suggest is about the most intractable (and irrelevant) of artistic fields: classical music.
The many subjects covered so far have included such quirky topics as bird watching, watching video games, how to pick a winner, fishing, as well as more serious matters like listening to...
Ding Dong Merrily on High
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The programme for this concert comprised brackets of Christmas choral music sung by the Orpheus Choir, interspersed with groups of sing-along carols for both choristers and audience. There was a very good turnout, with lots of youngsters, and overflow standing at the back. Two concerts were scheduled for the afternoon, as the marae is only a modest space, especially for a choir of 150 members.
The Big Six
would have to be the most engaging concert I have been to in 2013. It was pure, unbridled celebration of the contrabass instrument by six NZSO players whose overflowing enthusiasm and wonderful audience rapport had the many children and adults transported with them. Music was never more fun, and making that music on a bass was undoubtedly the most fun way to do it.
The players ranged... read more
There is a belief in chamber music circles that you stage groups involving wind instruments or singers at your peril. A strange notion that suggests that the same sort of closed mind operates within some groups of classical music lovers that they scorn in those fixated by pop music who won’t open their ears to classical music.
I was present when the Wellington Chamber Music Society started its Sunday afternoon...
A free concert of this standard is a rare event, so it was disappointing that there was not a larger audience to hear the duo perform – or to partake of the excellent pre-concert refreshments provided by the Italian Embassy, who sponsored the hour-long concert.
That said, we do have a plethora of concerts at this time of year, and we do have very fine violinists locally, including Martin Riseley...
This was the fourth and final subscription concert presented this year by Orchestra Wellington. The slow introduction to Beethoven’s Leonore No.3 overture was beautifully crafted, with Marc Taddei eliciting exquisite phrasing and riveting dynamic contrasts from the players, and creating an almost breathless anticipation of the arresting theme to follow. It burst forth with wonderful colour and drama, but it was conducted, sadly, at such breakneck speed that the...
A Ceremony of Carols
, celebrating the composer’s centenary year. It was split into two, to open and close the performance. Between these two parts were no fewer than seven specially commissioned works for voices and harp – how unusual and enterprising! I don’t suppose I have ever before been to a concert comprising entirely music accompanied by... read more
Sixth in a series of concerts celebrating universal themes, the concert featured Britten’s