Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Duo mosaica – violin and guitar – in first-class recital to end St Mark’s series

This was the last for this year of the Hutt City lunchtime concert series.  Since early June, numerous worthwhile concerts have taken place, and the organisers are to be commended for their efforts in putting the series together. Both the performers in the duo migrated to New Zealand – one from England; one from Germany – to teach in Nelson.  They now contribute to the musical life of Wellington, with... read more

Clarinet trio repeats its Lower Hutt programme at St Andrew’s

By , 31/10/2012
A review, by Rosemary Collier, of this ensemble with this programme, at St Mark’s Church, Lower Hutt, on 3 October, has just been belatedly posted on the website, the result of an oversight. It will be found at that date. I did not hear the Lower Hutt concert, but greatly enjoyed this repeat concert, now in a different acoustic and using a different piano.  None of the shortcomings mentioned in... read more

NZ Trio at Wellington City Gallery – beautiful assemblages

By , 31/10/2012
An inspired choice of venue! - Wellington's City Gallery is a place that has flexible space enough to play host to chamber music and instrumental performances whose ambiences then take on added dimensions due to their surroundings. In this case, the performers were Justine Cormack, Sarah Watkins and Ashley Brown of the NZ Trio. On the program were works by Turina and Dvorak, but, significantly with two new compositions by... read more

Varied programme to mark Taliban murder of a Jewish/American journalist

The Internet gives the following explanation of the occasion for this concert.  “Daniel Pearl World Music Days was created in response to the 2002 kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl at the hands of extremists in Karachi, Pakistan. Danny's family and friends came together to work towards a more humane world, forming the Daniel Pearl Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is to promote cross-cultural... read more

American string quartet plus German pianist deliver eclectic programme of great accomplishment

By , 25/10/2012
Though there was no written mention of it in the programme, the photo on the cover and that inside revealed a change of violist. On the cover the figure was, one assumed, of Melissa Reardon, named in the season brochure, while inside it was one who had to be identified as Stephanie Fong, named in the programme. A change had clearly happened between the time of the initial contract... read more

Schubert’s B flat trio given beautiful performance at St Andrew’s at lunchtime

By , 24/10/2012
This lunchtime concert had been advertised as consisting of movements from both Schubert’s B flat Trio and Shostakovich’s second piano trio, Op 67. In the event, the players decided to do a proper job with the Schubert and leave the Shostakovich till another time (well, I hope so). The playing of individual movements might be OK if the audience is of young people or others who have not heard... read more

Choral and orchestral extension of case law advocated by Wellington lawyers and jurists

These lawyers worked to a brief of abbreviated (or should that be a-breve-iated?) musical works.  Some were very short excerpts, for example, the opening bars only of Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra, which opened the 45-minutes-long concert and gave Douglas Mews a little burst on the organ in the gallery, and the final item ‘Ode to Joy’ from Beethoven’s 9th symphony, of which we heard only the final part of... read more

Interesting if somewhat problematic concert at Futuna Chapel

Part of a 14-week Sunday afternoon series of short concerts held in, and celebrating, John Scott’s beautiful chapel, this concert featured mainly sacred vocal music. The series of concerts is an excellent way of both celebrating the architectural gem from the 1960s, that at one stage was threatened with demolition after the Society of Mary retreat centre on the site closed and the land was sold and developed, and of... read more

Music-making with virtuosity, beauty and energy at Wellington Youth Orchestra’s last 2012 outing

By , 21/10/2012
My second encounter of the year with a Wellington Youth Orchestra concert was in its way as pleasurable and invigorating as the first one  - and in fact I thought the orchestra played more confidently and assuredly this time round throughout the entire programme, in repertoire that posed a number of interesting and diverse challenges. Hamish McKeich was again the conductor, and as was the case during the previous concert... read more

Michael Houstoun at 60 – divining the depths of the Diabellis

By , 20/10/2012
It was probably pianist Artur Schnabel's droll wit (documented elsewhere) which gave rise to the remark he made in a letter to his wife regarding the audience at a performance he gave in Spain of Beethoven's "Diabelli" Variations - "I am the only person here who is enjoying this, and I get the money - they pay, and have to suffer!" A once-fashionable thought was, of course, that suffering was... read more

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