Supported by generous help from the Adam Foundation

A rare conjuction of string octets, Enescu, Shostakovich, Mendelssohn, from the Amici Ensemble

By , April 13, 2014
An interesting programme performed by fine musicians is always an attraction – even on a gorgeously sunny, warm day in spring.  That’s what I wrote as the introduction to a September 2012 review of this ensemble.  This time, despite 24deg. last Sunday in Waikanae, it was chilly and damp.  On that 2012 occasion, they played Enescu; this time it was a much more extended work by that composer; Donald... read more

Splendour and Strife from the Wellington Chamber Orchestra

By , April 13, 2014
There’s something about Russian music which makes for a kind of instant combustion of attraction for the listener – it’s a combination of energy, colour, feeling and fantasy that intoxicates the senses, so that other, more abstract considerations seem irrelevant in the midst of all the excitement. And yet, when you force yourself to stop thinking “wow!” and concentrate on “how?” you find the music possesses its own logic... read more

Superb performance of Renaissance Easter music by Tudor Consort

By , April 12, 2014
This Lenten programme for Holy Week offered some acknowledged treasures of Renaissance a cappella choral music, with the opening item being the first lesson for Good Friday from the five voice setting of Lassus’ Lamentations. It was a beautifully controlled, contemplative interpretation which established an atmosphere of deep lament, and it was given a breadth of tempo that enabled the cadences to resolve clearly in the echoing acoustic of St... read more

Exhilarating and musicianly recital by senior NZSM students

By , April 9, 2014
Duo Cecilia plunged into the opening Saint-Saëns sonata of this concert with a riveting fortissimo attacca that immediately had everyone sitting up in their seats. This impassioned Latin fire blazed through the initial section with unrelenting fervour, then was beautifully contrasted by the following calmer piano episode, where the melodic writing for the lower cello register saw Lucy Gijsbers’ rich, sweet tone sing through with wonderful artistry. The two musicians... read more

Jeffrey Grice – “interprète extraordinaire” at the NZSM

By , April 7, 2014
Christchurch-born Jeffrey Grice studied with Janetta McStay and Brian Sayer at Auckland University, before winning a bursary in 1976 to study in France with Yvonne Loriod and Germaine Mounier. Since that time he has mostly lived in or been closely associated with France, though he's kept his antipodean connections humming with regular advocacy of new works by both Australian and New Zealand composers. Grice's recent Adam Concert Room recital demonstrated... read more

Impressive performances of Brahms choral works, including the German Requiem from Kapiti Chamber Choir

By , April 6, 2014
A full church greeted choir, soloists and orchestra for a very rewarding concert of Brahms’s choral music.  It was a very warm afternoon (Paraparaumu reached 24deg.) which was hard on the performers.  Nevertheless, they responded magnificently. The first work was new to me, a piece written in memory of a friend of Brahms.  The title means ‘song of mourning’.  It had an appealing orchestral introduction, in which an oboe melody... read more

Eugene Gienger – Dakota Pianist – more feeling than fireworks…..

By , April 6, 2014
Eugene Gienger, an engagingly self-styled "Dakota Pianist" originally hails from Streeter, North Dakota, USA. According to his accompanying publicity he is the only pianist of renown to have emerged from the Dakota region, and can therefore be counted as a kind of "local boy made good". An international performer, he has given recitals and concerto performances in the United States, Canada, Russia and Australia. He's currently in New Zealand... read more

Festival Singers under Berkahn explore baroque byways, a romantic Stabat Mater and a modern, jazz cantata

By , April 6, 2014
The concert was advertised as performing two works: a Stabat Mater by minor German composer, Josef Rheinberger, contemporary of Brahms and Bruch, and The Third Day by the conductor. The works that accompanied the Stabat Mater in the first half were of a similar kind: organ and vocal pieces by Buxtehude, Bach, Lachner, and religious songs by John Ireland and Berkahn. Lachner’s name probably rings faint bells as Franz was one... read more

Audience gives enthusiastic reception to splendid NZSO concert

By , April 5, 2014
What better composer to open the programme than Wagner, with conductor Pietari Inkinen fresh from conducting Wagner in Europe and Australia!  However, this was very different Wagner.  The Idyll was written as a birthday present for his wife, Cosima, in 1870.  (She wrote about it in her dairy, according to the printed programme!)  Not that a full symphony orchestra performed it for her to wake up to on the... read more

Bach Choir of Wellington – Faure and other delights

By , April 5, 2014
Despite the "music for Easter" title of the Bach Choir's recent programme, I would imagine that most people would have been drawn to the concert by the prospect of hearing a performance in a proper church setting of Faure's supremely beautiful and perennially fresh (as it proved here) Requiem. Quelling an element of impatience lurking within the recesses of my being at having a "first half" to get through before... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy