Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

A thousand years of church music in well chosen programme for voice and organ

The title puzzled me a little; it was a beautiful day without wind, and the winds of the organ pipes had plenty of company – there were over 70 people present. It was a very well thought-out programme, revealing thought on how to present it, and which physical positions the baritone should take up. The choice of items obviously involved quite a bit of research. The climax of the recital... read more

Secondary Students’ Choir celebrates thirtieth anniversary: stylistic and period adaptability, sheer quality

As I said two years ago “I reviewed the choir almost exactly two years ago; now they are here for another school holiday course. My enthusiasm for their performance has not diminished, nor has the choir’s skill and versatility”. This year is the 30th anniversary of the choir’s formation, and those of its alumni attending the weekend celebrations helped to boost audience numbers so that the cathedral was almost... read more

NZSO and Madeleine Pierard with Ross Harris’s anguished Second Symphony to mark ANZAC Day

By , 21/04/2016
I have been heard to utter unpatriotic feelings about the seeming endless attention paid in New Zealand to war and in particular the First World War and Gallipoli, which took place around 100 years ago. I have no problem with the stimulus the centenary has given to serious re-examination of the political background to the war, its pursuit and the catastrophic results of the Treaty of Versailles that sought... read more

New Zealand String Quartet, minus 2nd violin, avoids any string quartets in different combinations with pianist Jian Liu

This time, there was a different disposition of the quartet and the audience in the room; the players had their backs to one of the sections of raised seating and the audience sat either in the other section or at floor level, the latter with their backs to the raised seating, rather than being between the two upper levels.  The musicians usually have their backs to the large memorial... read more

David Guerin celebrates the new Hutt Little Theatre piano with the Goldberg Variations

By , 17/04/2016
This special, extra concert was presented to mark the unveiling of a plaque recording the names of donors to the Little Theatre Piano Fund. It would have been hard to think of a more monumental piece of music for the occasion than the Goldberg Variations. The last time I heard David Guerin playing was in an ensemble of four at the Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson last February. Alone... read more

Full house for Edo de Waart and the NZSO in magnificent Eroica and an epic Double Concerto by Brahms

In a review of the NZSO just over a year ago, I said “You can’t beat Beethoven on a good day – and this was a very good day”. That was one hundred percent true of this concert, with new Music Director Edo de Waart. I thought it was brilliant planning to get an audience in to hear a programme that was at least in part familiar. They would... read more

After fifty-seven years of public neglect – Farquhar’s First Symphony from the NZSM and Ken Young

By , 14/04/2016

At last! - the drought has been broken! - the well has been newly dug! - and the field has been freshly ploughed! So, just what, you're bemusedly thinking, am I on about this time round? I'll tell you! - David Farquhar's First Symphony, performed only once previously in concert in 1959, has finally received its SECOND public performance! - that makes, by my reckoning, fifty-seven years of... read more

Chamber Music New Zealand season opens with exquisite French baroque concert by Les Talens Lyriques

By , 13/04/2016
As a rather excessive Francophile, I was more than delighted at the prospect of hearing the distinguished French baroque ensemble, Les Talens Lyriques, live in my home town. Knowing the strange and sometimes narrow musical tastes of some chamber music lovers whose horizons are often limited to the German and Italian lands, I rather feared that the unfamiliar music of the French baroque might have drawn a rather small... read more

Talented young pianist impresses at St Andrew’s lunchtime concert

By , 13/04/2016
The New Zealand School of Music is a major supplier of talent to the year-long series of lunchtime concerts at St Andrew’s on The Terrace. Most of those who play are at somewhat advanced degree levels, but this time it’s pianist Nick Kovacev who is in his first year at the school. I had not read the brief note about him in the programme at the start of the... read more

Aroha Quartet revisits Waikanae Music Society with polished, well-balanced programme

It is always a pleasure to hear the Aroha String Quartet and their varied programmes. The Haydn quartet had a rather sotto voce commencement; the movement was described in the programme notes as a greeting, such as ‘how do you do’. All of Haydn’s jollity and wit were present. The second movement was enchanting, with a chirpy ending that brought chuckles from the audience. The scherzo was full of changes and... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy