The Mulled Wine concert series at Paekakariki has become an interesting and singular event in the pattern of music in the Greater Wellington region. Some of the concerts are indeed to be found repeated elsewhere in the region; some are not. The NZ Trio’s concert could have been heard again the following evening at Lower Hutt and I took myself there in order to get a different aural... read more
The title ‘Apotheosis’ may seem dramatic, but as Peter Walls pointed out at the pre-concert talk, the two major works were lofty to the extent of being other-worldly.
It must have felt like a sort of black apotheosis in Christchurch a month ago; at this concert, money was collected for the Red Cross earthquake relief fund, and subtle red and... read more
Bach’s birthday is being celebrated at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in King Street, Newtown. Last Sunday there was a concert of concertos and a secular cantata; next Sunday there is more Bach, also at 5pm. Bach was born on 21 March 1685, so this was his 326th anniversary.
Bach’s secular cantatas are not heard very often, in this country at least, so it was refreshing to... read more
What was revealed in the leaflet advertising this highly enjoyable series at St Andrew’s hardly covered the reality. The names of neither of the two pianists were familiar, nor were two of the composers, though the name Guastavino might have rung bells. The two pianists have played together for several years, and are currently staff pianists at the University of Auckland School of Music.
However, Liszt’s Dante Sonata... read more
A well-filled church greeted the performers; it was necessary for the latter to introduce the items, since programmes had run out. This introduced a level of informality as well as information.
Martin Snell opened the evening’s opera excerpts; his resonant speaking voice made a memorable introduction to the first aria, ‘Sorge infausta una procella’, sung by Zoroastro in Handel’s Orlando of 1733. Hearing the singer in this resonant... read more
It was very satisfying to see a fully-staged performance of Xerxes, unusually with two counter-tenors singing lead roles, rather than at least one being a woman, and to hear the arias at the original pitch.
A further bonus was to have an experienced and professional baroque orchestra accompany in the pit. There were some rumblings about using an imported orchestra when this... read more