Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Fine recital by Douglas Mews on St Andrew’s chamber organ

I was asked by the young man to whom I gave a ride into town on Wednesday, when I told him I was going to an organ recital: “Why do skeletons not play music in church?” Answer:  “Because they have no organs.”  But St. Andrew’s on The Terrace has two, and it was refreshing to hear the chamber organ this time. What was even more refreshing was to see it... read more

A long and circuitous route from the Guildhall

By , 27/03/2013
"…..a musical reunion? - ooh, yes, a lovely idea! Remember some of those things we unearthed and played, and had so much fun with? Yes, they'll sound great, especially with a few wines, and plenty of yummy food - what's that? A concert? You mean, the real thing? - an audience? - Ooo-er! - eh? - what was that? - No, not at all! - I'm on if you... read more

NZSO’s “Bolero” – well-wrought excitement and elegant ecstasy

By , 22/03/2013
What better way to begin an orchestral concert than with music that features playing of rapt, superfine concentration, sharp-edged focus and meticulous attention to detail? For much of Maurice Ravel's La Valse, which opened the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra's Wellington Concert on Friday evening, I thought the playing and conducting among the finest and most compelling I had heard from these musicians at any time - right from the outset... read more

Variety and enchantment in Robin Ward’s triple harp recital

I was sorry that a larger audience was not present to hear this brilliant and enchanting recital on a little-known instrument. The programme covered works written for a variety of instruments, but all beautifully rendered on the triple harp, made by Robin Ward himself, also the transcriber of many of the items.  Playing any harp seems pretty skilled to me, but to have three rows of strings surpasses merely skilled! All... read more

Kronos Quartet – holding time and audience in thrall

By , 11/03/2013
The Kronos Quartet got an extremely warm reception at the end of their Wellington concert - and they responded with no less than four encores! Still, opinions among people I knew in the audience varied afterwards - simply marvellous, said one friend; while another lamented that the group played only one thing he liked, the Silvestrov Quartet. A third thought it all a bit self-indulgent, three "veterans" and a... read more

Streeton Trio return triumphantly to Waikanae

The Australian Streeton Trio made a hit in Waikanae last year, and they certainly maintained or even enhanced their reputation this time, albeit with a different cellist; their regular cellist, Martin Smith, injured his wrist in an accident, and so was replaced for this tour by Julian Smiles. The Haydn trio was unfamiliar to me, and proved to be an enchanting work containing quite a lot of fun.  The opening... read more

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