Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Bach Choir hits the Christmas Spot

By , 28/11/2015

Into the beautifully-appointed spaces of St.Peter-on-Willis's Church came the Bach Choir, with conductor Peter de Blois and organist Douglas Mews, to perform an inventive and intriguing selection of Christmas music.

Audience participation was definitely on the agenda - at the top of the list of items, and styled as an "audience carol" no less, was "O come, all ye faithful" - which contributed greatly to the concert's overall... read more

Rites of Spring – from the sublime to “cor blimey” in all respects

  Spring was celebrated before a nearly full Michael Fowler Centre on Friday.  Though the very popular Vaughan Williams work and the famous Stravinsky ballet score were composed within a short space of time of each other, their musical languages were vastly different, yet they both in their own ways celebrated spring, one in the English countryside, the other in a primitive Russian past.  Thus the programme was rather a... read more

War’s impact on the women: Nota Bene sings, Gaylene Preston reads memories

By , 14/11/2015
I’m wondering if others have noticed that quite a lot of musical and other attention is being paid to a war that took place a hundred years ago on the other side of the world; perhaps not: I’m just unusually perceptive. It was a sad mess, an indictment on all the states that became involved, because based on nationalist bigotry, pride and bluster, and in our own case on empty... read more

Trombone meets harp – the intractable made enjoyable!

By , 14/11/2015

I suppose there must be even more outlandish combinations of pairs of musical instruments than trombone and harp playing somewhere else in the world at this very moment, though none would, I think, bring together and reconcile such profound differences more successfully than did Peter Maunder and Ingrid Bauer with their respective instruments.

Each player performed a "solo" at the programme's beginning, seeming to tease us further with... read more

Wonderful NZSO programme of masterpieces from the heartland of classical music

By , 13/11/2015
I had the feeling that both conductor and pianist had, contrary to the indications in the programme, been to New Zealand before. It looks as if I was wrong about Jaime Martín (I wonder if I’m confused by J Laredo of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio), but I can clearly recall Ohlsson’s visit though I haven’t found evidence in my large file of programmes. This however, was a monumental concert, given totally... read more

NZTrio at the City Gallery with a programme slightly changed from Upper Hutt three weeks before

By , 10/11/2015
I had reviewed the pieces by Beethoven and Kenneth Young at the Trio’s concert at the Arts and Entertainment Centre in Upper Hutt on 19 October. Here at the City Gallery, the Saint-Saëns was replaced by Fauré’s Piano Trio. I was pleased at the chance to hear both the Beethoven and Young again. It confirmed my enjoyment of Ken Young’s commission by the Trio, his facility with the instrumental characteristics... read more

Providence delivers the goods, courtesy of Houstoun, fireworks and Orchestra Wellington

By , 07/11/2015

What with the Arohanui Strings delighting us at the concert's beginning, and the city's annual Guy Fawkes' firework display illuminating the interval in a most spectacular way, this was an event which had plenty of what economists like to call "added value" - but it's all part of what we've come to expect from an Orchestra Wellington occasion! In other words there's nothing routine about what happens, even... read more

Czech Philharmonic Children’s Choir gives enchanting concert at St Andrew’s

By , 02/11/2015
We have visits from overseas choirs from time to time, but I don’t think I’ve encountered one like this before. Words like enchanting, artless, exquisite, tender, crystalline, joyful, guileless, come to mind, and it refers to both the singing, and the dancing. The choir was established in 1932 to meet the needs of Czech Radio; it survived World War II and the years under Communism and became associated with the... read more

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