Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Young pianists delight and impress

These students of Judith Clark, the doyenne of piano teachers in Wellington over a long period, proved to be young; 13 or 14 and 11, maybe?  Therefore a review in the usual style does not seem appropriate.  However, some remarks are in order. These are two very capable and talented performers.  From the beginning, I was very impressed with their touch on the piano.  They did not hit, bang, clatter... read more

Interesting, themed recital by vocal quartet at Old Saint Paul’s

By , 18/09/2012
The programme notes were prefaced by the words: “Some hunt for sport. Some hunt for revenge. Others are searching for love.” Sometimes the search for a theme that might bring to a recital some kind of common thread that seems to make the whole greater than the sun of the parts, is useful, sometimes not. This fell somewhere between, though the ground was well covered by what we heard. Janey MacKenzie... read more

Orchestral rarities in impressive performances from Wellington Chamber Orchestra

By , 16/09/2012
What an ambitious programme for an essentially amateur orchestra! Thinking back a decade or so, it would seem that the orchestra has gained greatly in the average level of skill. This was an astonishing concert. The polish and confidence were evident at once in the performance of Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man. It’s nothing that a practised group of bandsmen couldn’t do very well, but the augmented brass section... read more

Enter Spring – wishful encouragement from Nota Bene

It is rather unusual to hear a programme of songs entirely in the English language – there is a certain refreshing nature to such a concert.  Most of the songs were by English composers, but there were a number of American compositions, a couple of New Zealand ones, and a couple of arrangements (where, strangely, the original composers were not properly credited).   Not only were they all in... read more

The Tudor Consort celebrates Mexico’s National Day with great 17th century music

By , 15/09/2012
The inspiration for this concert of Mexican music, mainly liturgical, came from its coinciding with Mexico’s national day, celebrating independence from Spain in 1810 (though not from the economic colonisation by the country to their north). For all the cruelty of the conquistadors towards the pre-Colomban peoples, Spain had nevertheless planted a richer and in some ways a more permanent linguistic, cultural and religious character on the country, in the... read more

Early and late Debussy celebrated by School of Music trio of principal lecturers

A delectation of Debussy from dedicated academic musicians pleased an almost-full Ilott on Friday.  The two sonatas were from late in Debussy’s life; the trio from his student days.  The last was unpublished in his lifetime. The wonderful watery sounds at the opening of the violin sonata were rendered with great delicacy and sympathy by the performers.  Debussy’s unusual use of sonata form makes the work interesting and memorable.  The... read more

Music played as the composers would have wished, at St Andrew’s

It was striking to see a red harpsichord that exactly matched the carpet in St. Andrew’s!  That was not the only euphony on Wednesday. Listening to lilting music on baroque instruments (and bows), in baroque style, was a pleasant way to spend a lunch-hour in the warm ambience of St. Andrew’s Church.. The first item was a surprise – ‘Gulliver Suite’ by Georg Philipp Telemann.  The excellent programme notes informed us... read more

Pirates, policemen and patriotic persuasion in, er, Penzance? – no, Wellington!

By , 12/09/2012
It wasn't the first time, and I'm sure it won't be the last - the thought "what terrific tunes these are" struck me freshly with resounding force as I listened to the Wellington Gilbert and Sullivan Society Orchestra's neat and stylish playing of "The Pirates of Penzance" Overture, which began one of the season's performances of the work in the Wellington Opera House. As with all great music, one never... read more

Baroque ‘musick for several friends’ at the Adam Concert Room:

By , 09/09/2012
This was the third of three concerts that offered various perspectives on the music of the Baroque period; the first for viols, the second for two harpsichords and this one for wind instruments. And their musical delights were enhanced by offerings of snakc and drinks afterwards. J J Quantz was a flutist, one of the principal musicians at the brilliant counrt of Frederick the Great who was himself a flute... read more

Organists and Festival Singers bring Vierne to the fore

By , 09/09/2012
A glance at the programme and the list of performers at the head of this review will give the reader an idea of the range and scope of this undertaking - a fascinating, and, as it turned out, extremely rewarding concert. Centred firmly around the music of Louis Vierne (1870-1937) the presentation included also organ pieces and songs written by other French composers. To begin with, organist Paul Rosoman seemed... read more

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