New Zealand composers putting their creative talents up for auctioning online? Local music patrons, sponsors and benefactors competing amongst themselves for compositional favours from our top composers? Amid the recent shivers caused by icy blasts directed by politicians and bureaucrats against music practitioners and disseminators such as the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Radio New Zealand Concert, this composer-inspired project from the Centre For New Zealand Music represented a...
Whether it was my watching Harpo Marx in that memorable harp-playing scene from the film "A Night in Casablanca" which I remember seeing as a child, or my being smitten as a young man by the beautiful Rebecca Harris, the NZSO's harpist during the 1970s, I'm not entirely sure; but I've always been drawn towards music written either for a solo harp or to music with prominent parts for...
Chamber music is alive and well in Waikanae; the audience here was larger than it usually is at the Sunday afternoon series at the Ilott Theatre in Wellington.
Wellingtonian Christopher Hutton was making a welcome return, with his Trio, as part of a 14-centre tour of New Zealand, of which this was the last concert. The Trio is based at Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina. It... read more
This was followed by another Chinese delight... read more
Musings and a review by Peter Coates.
This week has been a very exciting one for me. Last Sunday I saw a performance of Wushu martial arts by twenty-four Chinese visiting experts. This was spectacular, colourful and beautifully choreographed and performed in front of an appeciative audience at the Wellington Town Hall. Modern dance choreographers in Wellington should have been along to witness it.
"Camille Saint-Saëns was wracked with pains,
When people addressed him as "Saint-Saynes";
He held the human race to blame,
because it could not pronounce his name."
Readers who remember Ogden Nash's verses will sympathise further with Camille Saint-Saëns in his predicament at being known as a composer primarily for his zoological fantasy "Carnival of the Animals", though his "Organ" Symphony and several of his concertos for violin, for 'cello and for piano, have... read more
It was good to hear these five performers joining forces to perform Brahms. What was surprising was that in a printed programme emanating from an academic institution, no numbers, keys, or opus numbers were recorded (the invaluable Grove assisted me here).
Neither were they mentioned in the brief spoken introductions given by the performers. My notes say that the quartet was described by Martin... read more
Fourteen different items made up this programme, which ran rather longer than the hour-and-a-quarter advertised. It showed the skill of the choir in singing works spanning four-and-a-half centuries. Nearly all the choir members stood very still, and did not indulge in distracting movement; thus, the audience can concentrate on the music.
Most of the items were conducted by visiting Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge... read more
Elizabeth Wallfisch is one of the great “characters” of early music performance world-wide, as her inspirational skills, enthusiasm, and down-to-earth sense of fun as a performer amply demonstrated in the Wallfisch Band’s recent Wellington Town Hall concert. This was no ordinary event featuring a standard “touring ensemble”, but the most recent in a series of projects by the Band, the idea for which was begun by Wallfisch... read more
NBR New Zealand Opera's most recent production of the perennial favourite, Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro" looked and sounded splendid on the opening night in Wellington. Despite one or two modernist quirks of production, this was definitely a "period" setting, with costumes, surroundings and ambiences that mostly sat well with the music and the drama. Onstage, behind an initially overbearing, almost fortress-like latticed wall which opened and closed at...
(A "guest review" by Peter Coates of this concert appears at the end of this article)
Enthusiasts for fine orchestral playing would have been thoroughly diverted by the chance to compare the NZSO’s playing of the Mozart “Jupiter” Symphony in this concert with that of those recent visitors to this country for the International Arts Festival, the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. Unfortunately I didn’t get to the concert at which... read more