Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

An overwhelming Missa Solemnis from the Orpheus

By , 29/04/2012
Along with his last symphony, which he finished at about the same time, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, completed in 1824, is justly reckoned to be the finest and grandest of his public utterances as a composer. One commentator went so far as to term the work  a "sacred symphony, one whose secular counterpart (the Ninth Symphony) followed shortly afterwards". The composer called the Mass "my greatest work", which perhaps explains in... read more

Sofya Gulyak – pianist extraordinaire

By , 28/04/2012
Former Professor of Piano at Auckland University Tamas Vesmas instigated in 2005 the Auckland International Piano Festival, an event which for the following couple of years attracted numerous world class pianists to give recitals, concerts and masterclasses. In 2008, Vesmas returned to Europe to live, and the Festival's organization was taken over by John Eady, of Lewis Eady Ltd, the New Zealand agents for Steinway pianos. Tamas Vesmas was... read more

Memorable concert by visiting expatriate musicians

These young New Zealanders have all studied in the United Kingdom, and are currently playing professionally there.  Simonsen and Masters are no strangers to the Messiaen work, having jointly won the Granada Chamber Music Competition in the UK, performing this music.  They have considerable experience playing in chamber ensembles, orchestras, and solo, in New Zealand, UK, and Europe. Their all-French programme revealed how unlike French composers can be from one... read more

The Full Monte – Baroque Voices let ‘er rip for us

By , 22/04/2012
Trying to analyze either truth or beauty brings one to despair at the inadequacy of one's own command of language. And faced with the truth and beauty of a body of music such as Claudio Monteverdi's madrigals, I'm conscious that any words I might try to muster up to connect with, describe or explain any aspect of such glorious sounds are not going to match that selfsame glory. The... read more

NZSO and Pietari Inkinen all at sea

By , 20/04/2012

Having rather too cleverly used the expression "all at sea"  in this review's heading, I needs must hasten to add that the words weren't meant in a pejorative sense - but rather as a compliment to conductor and orchestra regarding their powers of evocation!

Compiling a complete list of musical works inspired by the sea would, I... read more

Pianist Nicola Melville returns to give memorable recital at St Andrew’s

By , 18/04/2012
Nicola Melville holds an assistant professorship at a university in Minnesota and is on the summer faculty of the Chautauqua Music Festival in up-state New York (south of Buffalo, close to Lake Erie). She was educated in Tawa schools and at Victoria University (where she was one of Judith Clark’s many talented students) and at the Eastman School of Music in New York State. Since then, in the United... read more

Singing for Children: Young Angel Voices at St Mary of the Angels

By , 15/04/2012

We’re looking for children aged between 8 and 12 years old, who are looking for a group to sing in.

Young Angel Voices started a year ago, and is always welcoming new members.

It’s open to all comers, there is no audition.

The only qualification is the desire to sing.

Children learn all sorts of songs: folk songs, rounds, gospel songs, part-songs, some accompanied, some unaccompanied. They learn to read, and how to... read more

Triumphant NZSO concert by Inkinen in Mahler, Stravinsky and Lilburn

By , 14/04/2012
Lilburn’s Third Symphony is certainly the least heard of his three, written after he had begun experimenting with serialism and had virtually abandoned himself to electronic music. If its first performances was predictably labelled gritty or avant-garde – in its pejorative sense, or harsh (in the composer’s words), the years have softened its impact on ears attuned to modernism that previously went only as far as Stravinsky or Britten. The... read more

Secondary Students’ Choir, versatile and deeply impressive, prepares for tour to South Africa

Choral music seems to be on the up and up, not only here, but in other countries as well.  Any choir would be exceedingly proud to sing as well as this choir does; all the more surprising, because the members, from all parts of New Zealand, meet only in school holidays, and because every work (except the newly-commissioned one) was sung from memory. ‘Sung’ includes body percussion, actions, sign... read more

Two varied lunchtime concerts at St Andrew’s

Perhaps it was an excess of riches, or simply that people are ‘programmed’ to attend a lunchtime concert at St. Andrew’s on a Wednesday, but not on another day.  Whatever the reason, the Tuesday concert was not well attended compared with that on Wednesday. Mozart’s sonata begins in a sunny mood, with a jolly melody (which always makes me think of the Scottish song “Maxwelton braes”, otherwise known as “Annie... read more

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