Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Paekakariki’s Mulled Wine Concerts: Houstoun and Brown

By , 28/03/2010
The second in the 2010 series of Mulled Wine Concerts in one of Wellington’s unique concert spaces, found the sun pouring in the west-facing windows, the sea across the road and Kapiti Island beyond. There was hardly a spare seat. That two of New Zealand’s finest musicians should be prepared to play in this modest community hall, is evidence of the reputation of the series and the commitment of a... read more

Wellington Chamber Orchestra – Warring Walton and Enigmatic Elgar

By , 28/03/2010
The music-comedy team of Michael Flanders and Donald Swann (of the show At the Drop of a Hat fame) would invariably begin their live performances with a roistering number "A Transport of Delight" (happily preserved on recordings). This was, as Michael Flanders would explain, to help them "get the pitch of the hall", a phrase which came immediately to my mind when Rachel Hyde and the Wellington Chamber Orchestra... read more

Wolfgang Wagner dies

By , 27/03/2010

Netherlands and New Zealand music from SMP Ensemble

By , 26/03/2010
The recent St Andrew’s series during the Festival included a concert by the SMP (Summer Music Project) Ensemble; that comprised music by Polish and New Zealand composers. This concert was entirely of New Zealand and Dutch music. Michael Norris introduced the concert

Crisis in public radio

By , 20/03/2010

Full-frontal Mahler at St.Andrew’s

By , 19/03/2010
No composer is more identified with song as integral to his output than Gustav Mahler. The creator of a number of vast symphonic edifices, he worked into most of these compositions either direct quotations from his own songs or melodies derived from them. His Eighth Symphony is, in essence a choral symphony, and his orchestral song-cycle Das Lied Von Der Erde he regarded as a symphony in all but... read more

‘If London were like Venice’ – songs to end the St Andrew’s series

This concert brought to an end the innovative and interesting series of concerts of the St. Andrew’s season, timed to coincide with the International Arts Festival in Wellington.  Richard Greager and Marjan van Waardenberg, and St. Andrew’s Church, are to be congratulated on their enterprise and effort in bringing music-lovers a range of unusual repertoire and outstanding performers, notably singers and chamber musicians. Unfortunately attendances, particularly at the early evening... read more

Second concert by Freiburg Baroque Orchestra

By , 18/03/2010
These two concerts brought what is widely regarded and one of the half dozen finest period instrument orchestras to us.  It’s just as well such a band comes to play the great music of the late 18th century, as the big symphony orchestras don’t play it much anymore, having become embarrassed about it over the past 30 years for fear of criticism from the early music purists: Haydn, Mozart... read more

Cello and piano recital at St Andrew’s series

I must admit to being rather tired of the Schumann work; it is played so often, particularly on violin or clarinet.  Because of this, it no longer feels like a fantasy.  However, the playing of these performers redeemed the work somewhat.  A lovely warm, yet ringing tone from the cellist, plus perfect balance and ensemble characterised their performance. Because I was unable to be at the recital either for its... read more

Freiburg Baroque Orchestra – sounds from the Old World

By , 17/03/2010
Without a doubt, a Festival highlight - two concerts on consecutive evenings in the Town Hall by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra with conductor Rene Jacobs gave local aficionados the chance to hear a crack European "authentic instrument" ensemble perform. Recent recordings, mostly on the Harmonia Mundi label, have already established something of the group's and the conductor's name and reputation in this country, and the concert programmes mirrored some... read more

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