Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Cervantes’ quadricentenary through diverting music of the 17th to 20th centuries

By , 27/03/2016
This year is the 400th anniversary not just of the death of Shakespeare, as the whole world knows, but also of Miguel Cervantes. Not only the same year, but also the same month – April – and even more surprising just one day apart! S. on 23 and C. on 22 April. Cervantes was longer-lived, having been born in 1547. In an introduction it was pointed out that the two players... read more

A richly-informed austerity – music by Heinrich Schütz, from the Tudor Consort

Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672) is perhaps largely known as a precursor of J.S. Bach, in the development of baroque music. Peter Walls, in his pre-concert talk, referred quite extensively to Johann Sebastian. Thus it came as quite a shock to discover how different Schütz’s music was from that of Bach. Schütz was born a hundred years before the great master, and like him, was involved in music for the Lutheran... read more

Website problems: acknowledgement of Turnovsky Endowment Trust grant

By , 24/03/2016

Popular trios from NZSO players at St Andrew’s at lunchtime

Here was a dream team – two string players from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and a pianist who has frequently played with the orchestra when a piano is required as part of the band. The lively, tuneful Haydn trio, one of his best-known, is a delight to hear. However, a few glitches in intonation early on in the first movement (adagio), and the violin tone being rather too prominent... read more

Enterprising concert of New Zealand music at St Andrew’s lunchtime

Gareth Farr’s Relict Furies – resonant and moving at Wellington Cathedral

By , 15/03/2016

This concert at the Wellington Cathedral of St.Paul all but replicated the programme of an Edinburgh Festival Concert last year, performed on the 26th August at the Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, and featuring the premiere of Gareth Farr's work Relict Furies. On that occasion the Scottish Ensemble was joined by well-known mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly in the performance of Farr's piece, to great critical acclaim: - "a heart-stabbing evocation of... read more

Innovative and fitting celebration of Kiri Te Kanawa with New Zealand Festival: a full MFC

By , 13/03/2016
The Michael Fowler Centre was full for the Sunday early evening concert. A song recital with a few contributions from a local choir would not ordinarily have filled St Andrew’s on The Terrace; the name Kiri Te Kanawa changed everything. Very few singers are still in business over 70 years of age (Joan Sutherland stopped in 1990, aged 64, and I suspect that even if age was starting to tell in... read more

Exploratory and interesting offerings from the engaging Duo Tapas

By , 09/03/2016
Duo Tapas have been long-standing ornaments at St Andrew’s lunchtime concerts and are enterprising in the range of music they find to perform. That of course is due mainly to the lack of music written specifically for the two instruments, although the pair lend themselves readily to music for violin and piano and for the guitar, accompanying many other instruments. Unusually, they began with a piece by Pachelbel for organ... read more

Brass Poppies – ordinary people at war

By , 03/03/2016

Poet Vincent O'Sullivan and composer Ross Harris have collaborated on no less than eleven words-and-music works since 2002, the most recent being the chamber opera "Brass Poppies". The work received its premiere at Shed 6 in Wellington last week, and after finishing a four-night season has gone on to Auckland's Mercury Theatre where it will play for two more nights later this week.

Though the opera was actually... read more

Enchantments of baroque instrumental combinations: Archi d’amore trio

By , 02/03/2016
I last heard this trio in October last year in the Adam Concert Room at Victoria University where I was taken with the unexpectedly charming effects of the combination of three instruments, none of which demand attention to itself at the expense of the music or of each other. The Ryom catalogue of Vivaldi’s works lists eight concertos including the viola d’amore, and this is the only one that is... read more

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