Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

A bevy of intensities – Ensemble Liaison with Wilma Smith

By , 29/10/2011
Contrast was very much the going order for this concert, given by the Australian group Ensemble Liaison, with violinist Wilma Smith, in the Wellington Town Hall. The group made light of the rather over-generous acoustic and voluminous spaces of the venue, with some extremely focused and well-projected playing throughout the varied program. As well, the ear soon adjusted to the prevailing ambience, so that the sounds soon became as... read more

Delight and surprise – Piers Lane at Upper Hutt’s Classical Expressions

By , 25/10/2011
Though Piers Lane has been a frequent visitor to New Zealand I'd not heard him play before attending this recital. Naturally I was keen to confirm in my own mind the good things I'd heard various people report about his playing; and the recital's first half seemed amply to confirm this impression. In the case of each composer (I knew some of Scriabin's Piano Sonatas, but not his Preludes)... read more

New Zealand School of Music and Symphony Orchestra players join in rapturous performances

By , 20/10/2011
I often feel, as I sit at the computer after getting home from a concert, that all I want to say is something like: ‘this evening several gifted musicians, after conscientious rehearsing, gave beautiful performances of marvellous music – perhaps an acknowledged masterpiece – that has been handed down to us by scores of music lovers, composed 100, 200, 300 ago by gifted composers who were intent above all... read more

Intelligent programme of well played chamber music at Lower hutt

A superb concert by professional musicians, with an interesting and varied programme greeted those who attended at St. Mark’s Church.  It was a considerably smaller attendance than that at Upper Hutt the previous lunchtime. One of the features was the perfect balance between the instruments.  The lid of the piano was fully up, but there was carpet on the floor.  Whether it was the carpet, the skill of the pianist... read more

Superb recital from NZSM voice students at Upper Hutt

This was the last of a monthly series of free concerts given by performance students from the New Zealand School of Music, that began in March.  It attracted a full house, there being over 100 people present.  All the singers presented their items with poise and confidence, and most were formally dressed.  Up to the last four items, all except three were from opera. The foyer has a fine acoustic... read more

Boutique Opera does “the Jones boy” proud

Apparently there were five different scores for German’s light opera, premiered in Manchester in 1907.  Since it became so popular, it was performed frequently, the last version being from 1913; a concert version for performance by choral societies (sung by the Orpheus Choir’s predecessor in the Hutt Valley in 1953 and 1957). Michael Vinten has taken the music from various versions of  Tom Jones, including film and television versions, introducing... read more

Audience cheers the last of the NZSO’s Brahms concerts

In this concert, unlike any of the others in this series, the major works were both in minor keys.  However, it started with a work of a cheerful and light nature, described by Inge van Rij in her pre-concert talk, as “Popular and serious styles working hand in hand”. It was pleasing to see a much bigger audience at this concert.   Obviously there are many people for whom the weekend... read more

Brahmissimo: Third concert with 3rd symphony and 1st piano concerto: magnificent

By , 14/10/2011
This Brahms festival which started on Wednesday, has created a wonderful festive atmosphere in the Michael Fowler Centre each evening. Though on Friday, the audience was of reasonable size – I guess around 1200 – earlier it had been smaller, but the atmosphere was there from the first evening. It’s sad that so many things militate against several thousand people waking up to the marvels of good music and... read more

Paul Rosoman’s adventurous organ recital at St Paul’s midday

By , 14/10/2011
The monthly organ series at the Anglican Cathedral might not get the sort of crowds one might have seen on the next two days in a big arena in Auckland, but for the few they are a valuable alternative, or perhaps an addition to the entertainments that otherwise dominate our world. In all the quite frequent organ recitals that I get to around the city, I wonder at the profound... read more

Brahmissimo! The second concert with the violin concerto

With Brahms being Radio New Zealand Concert’s composer of the week this week, plus this series of four New Zealand Symphony Orchestra concerts, music-lovers are being treated to a veritable festival of his music.  How wonderful this morning (Friday) to hear on radio Jonathan Lemalu’s superlative, sensitive recording of the composer’s Four Serious Songs. On Thursday it was more of his symphonic music, following the first concert in the series... read more

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