Felix the Quartet, which is drawn from string players of the NZSO, has been going for more than a decade. Former concertmaster Wilma Smith was a founding member and her place was taken by incoming concertmaster Vesa-Matti Leppänen. If players of this calibre had been playing together as a full-time quartet over that time, I suspect the impact of their performances would be a little more... read more
An enthusiastic and appreciative, though not large, audience greeted these three very experienced and accomplished musicians. It was a treat to have a substantial lieder recital like this – and only a day after senior students of the New Zealand School of Music performed lieder at St. Andrew’s on The Terrace.
The programme began with Richard Greager and Bruce Greenfield performing six of Schubert’s songs:... read more
With an interesting programme, this concert had added appeal for the opportunity to hear and see students from the New Zealand School of Music performing lieder.
So much the better that the singers were accompanied by an accompanist marked by sensitive and musical playing; the piano lid being on the short stick seemed just right when the accompanying... read more
Christophorus Kantorei is a choir from a high school in Altensteig in the Black Forest in Germany. The choir has become renowned for its excellence, and the singers tour overseas every four years. Our good fortune was that at present two of the 60 singers are from Tawa, while their father, who organised this tour, works in Germany.
The conductor, Michael Nonnenmann, is a tall, genial gentleman, who... read more
The interest of these concerts from students rests as much with the experience of hearing gifted though partly-formed players, as with hearing music that is rarely heard at ordinary concerts. I sometimes hear somewhat condescending critical remarks from people who see concerts as opportunities to display their own knowledge and imagined refined taste and discernment. The real pleasure however lies in the revelations that one can derive from... read more
The first surprise in this concert was that the quartet was to play arrangements of works for voices by Byrd and Gibbons. Never fear, this was no romantic send-up; the musicians played their instruments as if they were viols. The lack of vibrato and the method of bowing made them sound like authentic instruments of the composers’ time. As Mark Steinberg’s programme note pointed out, playing from a... read more
The absence of a notable soloist usually leads to a less well populated auditorium, but clearly the name Mahler works like a famous composer and a star soloist rolled into one. There were a few gaps, to be sure, and I speculate that they would have been filled if the orchestra had not abandoned its ‘senior rush’, discounted late ticket selling policy.
Audience... read more