Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Adventurous performances of testing and witty music by a dead composer

Dr Douglas K. Mews was Associate Professor of Music at theUniversityofAucklandfrom 1974 until his retirement in 1984.  He was also Director of Music at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Auckland from 1970 to 1982. He was a composer, and a lively, instructive and entertaining broadcaster on what was then the Concert Programme, his soft Newfoundland accent being very easy to listen to. There is a complaint that the general view is that... read more

Uncovering the fullness of Monteverdi – Baroque Voices

By , 28/04/2013
On the face of things, this was another expertly put-together and engagingly-performed concert in Baroque Voices' Monteverdi series, with pretty much the same underlying features as in previous concerts. But the ensemble has now reached Book Four of the composer's nine separate madrigal collections, one which represents a crisis-point in the series. Monteverdi was to thenceforth embark on a new path, what he called his "Seconda Pratica", moving away from... read more

Cantoris takes on The Armed Man

By , 26/04/2013
Cantoris are to be congratulated on a very good performance of Karl Jenkins’s The Armed Man, as is their new director, Brian O’Regan, and accompanying musicians. As soon as the first drum tattoo echoed through St Andrews, I was glad to be there. The choir made a wonderful start as well, producing a rich and full sound that filled the church. Indeed, it was the warmth and depth of the... read more

Stroma’s second Mirror of Time – a “Rogues’ Gallery” of Music

By , 26/04/2013
With some surprise I read in the Stroma program booklet that this was in fact the SECOND "Mirror of Time" Concert presented by the Ensemble, following on from an occasion in 2012 - had I recently awakened from a kind of "Rip Van Winkel" sleep, or something? I had been to and reviewed a couple of Stroma concerts that year, but I couldn't remember a "Mirror of Time" title... read more

ANZAC affords occasion for an arresting New Zealand and a moving Australian work from NZSO

By , 24/04/2013
Musical recognition of ANZAC Day (apart from ritualised hymns) has not been a common thing, as far as I can remember. And looking back over the record of reviews in Middle C, I can find no significant concerts, at least since 2008, that attempted to mark the day. The last with any sort of connection was a small chamber music concert that accompanied an exhibition of Gallipoli paintings by artist... read more

Delightful concert by guitar quartet at Lower Hutt

St. Mark’s Church, Lower Hutt, was a venue perfectly suited to a delightful concert by an ensemble such as the New Zealand Guitar Quartet. The warm, yet clear, acoustics showcased the players’ complete technical mastery of their instruments, and enhanced the musical sensitivity of the recital. The relatively intimate scale of the space supported the informal rapport with the audience that the players developed by their commentary on the... read more

Admirable performances of Fauré requiem and other French music from Kapiti Chamber Choir

The members of that musical gem of the Kapiti Coast, the Kapiti Chamber Choir, have reason to be well pleased with their new conductor Eric Sidoti. His debut concert with them at St Paul's church in Paraparaumu on Sunday, April 21 had everybody, singers and audience, smiling. They presented a well chosen and balanced programme entitled The Romantics, a pleasing mix of the familiar and the unknown. The delightful... read more

Homage to Britten from the Aroha Quartet

By , 21/04/2013
For some reason I hadn't really registered before this concert just how big a space at St.Andrew's Church a small ensemble has to fill with sound, both behind the musicians and above them. It seemed to my ears when the Aroha Quartet began their Beethoven which opened the concert that everything was set back, as opposed to "being in one's face", and that the instrumental timbres were more than... read more

Konstanze Eickhorst – recital from Vienna

Recitals by visiting instrumentalists are not nearly as frequent as they were when the old Concert Section of the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation promoted recitals by artists who were here to play concertos with the Symphony Orchestra.  So it is gratifying that the New Zealand School of  Music has taken up some of the slack in Wellington by bringing overseas musicians to conduct master classes for the students and... read more

Agreeable recital of music for flute, cello and piano from the US

By , 17/04/2013
The music of theUnited States, in the common perception, is so dominated by jazz, spirituals and various other kinds of popular music, that I have to confess to a degree of surprise to encounter music that might have been written in Europe. And that, in spite of my perfectly decent familiarity with a lot of the classical music of theUnited States. The first two pieces were for flute and piano... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy