Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Aroha Quartet revisits Waikanae Music Society with polished, well-balanced programme

It is always a pleasure to hear the Aroha String Quartet and their varied programmes. The Haydn quartet had a rather sotto voce commencement; the movement was described in the programme notes as a greeting, such as ‘how do you do’. All of Haydn’s jollity and wit were present. The second movement was enchanting, with a chirpy ending that brought chuckles from the audience. The scherzo was full of changes and... read more

Committed and successful concert of Russian classics from Wellington Chamber Orchestra

By , 10/04/2016
I was prevented from getting to the first half of this concert, which, with the tough though splendid Prokofiev concerto with Helene Pohl, would obviously have been the highlight. But Borodin is no stroll through the birch forest either. The Prokofiev concerto had an interesting provenance, as the composer later recounted: "The number of places in which I wrote the concerto shows the kind of nomadic concert-tour life I led then. The... read more

Superb song tribute for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, from the resourceful Nota Bene

Despite the title of the concert, the song referenced appeared in the printed programme as ‘The Cloud-clapped Towers’. Some of those in Christchurch certainly were, although the tall buildings on the cover of the programme represented Auckland and Wellington. Joking aside, the programme presented was a marvellous conception by Peter Walls and Jacqueline Coats. Peter Walls has taken over as Nota Bene’s new musical director; he’s a busy man, having... read more

Beautiful lunchtime with a flute and piano at St Andrew’s

By , 06/04/2016
I’ve heard Rebecca Steel at least three times over the past year, playing with a pianist or as part of a trio, in interesting music, often adapted from music for other instruments: Debussy piano pieces, Piazzolla, Chopin, or authentic flute works such as by Bach or Villa-Lobos or Persichetti. This time we heard what is perhaps the most famous and attractive flute sonata of the 20th century: Poulenc’s; and one... read more

Circa Theatre Revisits Home-Grown Chronicles

By , 05/04/2016

Something very special is being currently re-enacted at Circa Theatre in Wellington - a revival of Robert Lord's play, Joyful and Triumphant.

First performed at Circa Theatre in 1992, in the company's original premises in Harris Street, the play, directed by Susan Wilson, was one of the great successes of the fourth Wellington Arts Festival, winning both festival and national awards. The production then undertook a New Zealand... read more

A view of the world – Edo de Waart and the NZSO

By , 02/04/2016

Gustav Mahler's famous assertion to his fellow-composer Jean Sibelius, that "symphony is like the world - it should contain everything" is nowhere better demonstrated than in the former's Third Symphony, significantly the longest of the composer's essays in this form. The music seeks to acknowledge every natural creative force in the universe throughout its six movements - in fact, Mahler originally intended to go further and include a... read more

Breaking the song recital drought with a fine, adventurous recital of unfamiliar songs by great composers

Another concert by Songbook, mainly featuring different singers from those in the concert I reviewed favourably last June. The laudatory remarks I made then apply again. Despite the theme, which may have seemed appropriate for Wellington (there was little wind at that stage of the evening, though some light rain), there was huge variety in the programme, not least in the length of the songs, from very short to... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy