It was a new take on Christmas music to present a selection of songs that were traditionally sung by carollers in their neighbourhoods, expecting to be rewarded with food and drink. Monika Smith’s brief, entertaining introductions to the songs made it clear that it was often the reward that was the focus, rather than the music.
The concert opened with a traditional carol, ‘Resonet in laudibus’ sung as a processional ...
Singet dem Herrn, Lobet den Herrn alle Heiden
, and the incomparable Jesu, meine Freude
. The other works were settings of the same or related texts by other composers, some with a conscious nod to Bach.
One notable characteristic of the superb Tudor Consort is the involvement of the singers in what they are presenting. This is shown by accuracy, attention to detail... read more
The programme revolved around three of Bach’s motets:
by the choir’s director Jonathan Berkahn immediately set the scene with its vigorous, bouncy rhythms and easy harmonies, cleverly offset by a central section of more stately and peaceful mood. The following three items formed a most... read more
This festive concert programme drew a large audience to the Island Bay Presbyterian Church, and it was apparent from the first bar that the choristers hugely enjoyed singing it. The opening
That old wizard of stage and screen, Noel Coward, was right when he famously quipped, "….how extraordinarily POTENT cheap music is……" - that is, if the response of the "half-century-onwards" hearts that were pumping and pulsating throughout Circa Theatre's startlingly in-your-face "Dead Tragic" collection of truly-and-tragically-dreadful 1970s songs was anything to go by.
In fact that opening sentence gives you an idea of some of the convolutions of the lyrics...
From the first downbeat of Mozart's 'Paris' Symphony, Australian conductor Ben Northey galvanised the orchestra into a sparkling and vivacious performance, and set the tone for an authoritative, yet electrifying evening’s music making. His engagement with the players was almost tangible, epitomised in the initial Allegro assai where he drew out real magic from the contrabasses, in episodes that can often pass almost unnoticed. In the following Andante he fashioned...
chord right at the end of a piano
phrase - but most of his jokes are far more subtle. They're more in the realms of the "musically unexpected" than in the "things-that-go-bump-in-the-night" kind of way - Haydn treats his listeners... read more
Josef Haydn, whom previous generations knew as "Papa", was one of music's great humorists. Of course, everybody knows the slow movement of the "Surprise" Symphony with its sudden
is a children’s choir and Christine Argyle led Wellington Young Voices to contribute that element.
In the first half, Haydn’s No... read more
This last of Orchestra Wellington’s most successful 2014 subscription series not only delivered the last of the Haydn’s Paris symphonies, but brought together Wellington’s other major, locally-specific musical organization: the Orpheus Choir, to perform what is one of the most popular, large-scale compositions. Also called for in
guaranteed pleasure. But word of it had obviously not got out as the audience was sadly small.
The first half did include a couple of, shall we say, unusual pieces, but it began and ended with harp player... read more
The SMP Ensemble’s programmes, often devoted to experimental, New Zealand music, are not always particularly easy for the average classical music lover to enjoy. This one, advertising Schoenberg’s best-loved piece,
My Ladye Nevells Booke
that consisted of 42 pieces for keyboard... read more
Compared with the two earlier recitals in this series, this one attracted a small attendance only. Perhaps it is getting too late in the year (i.e. close to Christmas) for people to come to a Friday early-evening recital.
It was appropriate to hear Byrd played in the Cathedral, although a little strange to hear it on the piano. From
Officiel des spectacles
, in a... read more
To return from a nearly two-month trip in Europe to a Wellington rich with such plentiful and excellent live music has been a considerable consolation. Not that I ever underestimated the phenomenon of a fairly small city with such a wealth of practising musicians, plus their indispensable facilitating by enterprising impresarios and concert managers such as St Andrew’s enjoys.
In the Paris weeklies