Sixty years ago in Wellington, in 1950, the ubiquitous “Trout” Quintet was performed by members of the Alex Lindsay String Orchestra with Frederick Page at the piano. This was one of the highlights of the very first season of concerts organised by the New Zealand Federation of Chamber Music Societies that year; and so it seemed more than appropriate that this same work would feature in an anniversary... read more
A century ago, perhaps, a player with the talent of Inbal Megiddo would have been a household name by now – she’s 33 and her early career was phenomenal. She was born in Israel and is now resident in the United States. Picking up on the example of Daniel Barenboim’s West-Eastern... read more
The players were accomplished performers, though whether the two (?) goldfish (complete with bowl and water) in the New Zealand premiere of Steinmetz’s work were moved by the music, we could not tell; they certainly could be seen moving. I’m not sure how often animals are involved in music-making (though in opera they sometimes are – many years ago I saw Bizet’s Carmen at the Paris... read more
First on the programme were three Italian arias, which unfortunately I missed, which was a pity if only because apparently Sharon Yearsley accompanied herself on the piano – an unusual practice, which it would have been interesting to observe. I’m told that it gave the performance an intimate character, and that the arias were beautifully sung.
Two of the performers are members of... read more
Gedymin Grubba, a Polish organist in his late twenties making his only appearance in New Zealand following his tour of Australia, played a programme well-suited to the delightful baroque-style organ at the Lutheran Church. There was no work later than those of Mendelssohn and Chopin, but the organ is not built for the resources required for most 19th to 21st century organ music, though... read more
I spent the first part of this concert luxuriating in some glorious madrigal singing from the talented Australian vocal ensemble The Song Company, touring the country under the auspices of Chamber Music New Zealand. The ensemble's programming enabling me to enjoy and marvel at both the similarities and differences between the English and Italian schools of renaissance vocal composition. The English group, which began the programme, contained some... read more