The National War Memorial is a venue that the Tudor Consort has used a number of times over its 25 years. This concert was a free one for 70 or so subscribers who attended, to open its 25th anniversary season.
While not quite the Sistine Chapel, this little chapel has a handsomely decorated interior, has superb acoustics for unaccompanied voices, yet is not too reverberant, and... read more
It was delightful to hear unusual music from the wind ensemble made up of players from the wind sections of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons (including contra-bassoon) and French horns all had their spot in the limelight. To hear ensembles varying in size from five to thirteen players was also a novelty. This was quite a light programme, suitable for a warm summer evening.
It was a delight to hear Joanna Heslop again, with her Serbian-born accompanist. Schumann’s exquisite songs were in safe hands with these two accomplished women.
Heslop’s German pronunciation and faultless diction conveyed the songs so clearly. Her variety of tone and timbre to suit the nature of each individual song, demonstrated the value of the time she has spent studying in St. Petersburg and elsewhere... read more
brought us right to the heart of this great work - that numbed, essential bleakness of spirit was tellingly conveyed by both singer and pianist, not with histrionics or gloom-laden darknesses of tone, but with a kind of other-worldliness symbolized by the traveller's "passing-over" into the realm of the ghostly... read more
The last five songs of this performance in Waikanae by Keith Lewis and Michael Houstoun of Schubert's song-cycle
The last concert in this compressed festival brought most of the players in the two string ensembles together plus other prominent soloists. It was an odd-looking programme, but anything goes at a farewell party, and this certainly did that.
Bob Bickerton is a multi-talented musician, a composer as well as a versatile, gifted performer on many instruments, he has been heavily involved in bringing music to children and young people over the past couple of decades. I went along to see him in action on... read more
The penultimate evening concert from this splendid festival moved into the large territory of very popular, and very funny, and very extraordinary music. It was a brilliant success.
The festival's artistic directors, no doubt always in close rapport with the artists concerned, have had an unerring ability to fit the music together in contexts that were coherent but also fitted the time of day and the venue.
Major concerts in the evening slot continued through the week. This one drew on the ?fortuitous? presence of both a top-rank pianist and clarinettist to give us Messiaen's great Quartet.