Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

20th century music from charming flute duo: Bridget Douglas and Rachel Thomson

By , 12/08/2015
According to Bridget Douglas’s programme note, Le merle noir was the only piece that Messiaen wrote for the solo flute, which seems extraordinary in the light of his passion for bird song for which the uninitiated would imagine the flute to be the commonest, closest instrument to the sounds of many birds. I know I’ve heard it played live before but had only a sketchy recollection of it. It starts... read more

Schumann a winner but Sibelius and Mendelssohn unconvincing in fine Bach Choir performances

By , 08/08/2015
Michael Vinten and his Bach Choir had decided to explore some pretty unexpected choral repertoire with this concert of mid-nineteenth century, plus a rather out-of-season, comparable work from half a century later. I have to praise that initiative. However, much of the choral music composed during that era has not stood the test of time. The problem can be ascribed to Romanticism, which encouraged composers to find new modes of expression... read more

Rarities and a classic of Russian music from Orchestra Wellington

By , 08/08/2015
This concert presented the third in Orchestra Wellington's inspirational series featuring the numbered Tchaikovsky Symphonies in tandem with well-known Russian piano concertos. I was unlucky to miss the second one, in which both the gorgeous "Little Russian" Symphony and the epic Prokofiev Third Piano Concerto were played - what a "buzz" that presentation must have been! But amends were handsomely made by this latest concert, even though two of the... read more

Opera Society revives its tradition of presenting promising young singers in tantalising song

By , 06/08/2015
Once upon a time, the Wellington Branch of the New Zealand Opera Society used to stage almost monthly recitals of mainly opera arias and ensembles. As performances of the real thing increased in the 80s and 90s, with the establishment of Wellington City Opera, annual productions by both Victoria University and Wellington Polytechnic schools of music as well as a variety of adventurous ad hoc amateur groups, the appeal... read more

Duo Tapas: violin and guitar play winning St Andrew’s lunchtime concert

By , 05/08/2015
Duo Tapas is a fairly visible little ensemble on the Wellington music scene; but it pays not to take them for granted, as playing much the same repertoire, with minor variations in their frequent concerts. It could be because I haven’t heard a couple of their recent concerts that this programme was entirely new to me. They began with Rudolph Buttman’s arrangement of one of Vivaldi’s violin sonatas, the last... read more

Just a half hour of St Andrew’s organ before you go home: Bach and Pärt

By , 04/08/2015
Middle C is a little red-faced on account of neglecting this interesting and unusual series of organ recitals at St Andrew’s. Though we’ve had them listed from the start, our reviewers have failed to find their way to the church at this after-work time-slot. The first thing to note is that St Andrew’s is one of Wellington’s many churches that has a good pipe organ which presumably gets a work-out... read more

The Creation of Music Futures: object lesson in enterprise

By , 02/08/2015
This post refers to our review of the concert of 26 July promoted by Music Futures, featuring young Wellington musicians, some of whom were involved with the current Chamber Music contest staged annually by Chamber Music New Zealand, and supported by the New Zealand Community Trust. (The National Finale was held on Sunday 2 August, and was won by the Wellington piano trio which had played in the concert of... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy