Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Sombre Music of the Low Countries from the Bach Choir

Most of this music made me feel low, like the countries.  Only Sweelinck (1562-1621) seemed to sparkle with life, and he was much the oldest of the composers performed, the others being all from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  I decided that I liked soulful music – but not doleful music.  After hearing two sombre works (first movement from Mahler’s 10th symphony and Berg’s violin concerto) the previous evening ... read more

Tony Chen Lin – piano evocations, visions and premonitions at St.Andrew’s

By , 11/09/2016
Tony Chen Lin was one of two supremely gifted young Christchurch-based pianists (the other was Jun Bouterey-Ishido) who “slugged it out” for first prize at the 2008 Kerikeri International Piano Competition, an event which I had the good fortune to attend. The adjudicator, Australian pianist Ian Munro, awarded Jun Bouterey-Ishido the first prize by what he acknowledged was the narrowest of margins, a decision I was glad I didn’t... read more

Schubert’s “Great”, and Mahler-Berg connections explored brilliantly by Wilma Smith and Orchestra Wellington

In his introductory remarks about each work to be played, Marc Taddei referred to the poignant use of the Bach chorale ‘Ich habe genug’, by Alban Berg in the latter part of his violin concerto, the second item on the programme.  He said ‘Wouldn’t it be good if there was a way to let you hear that’.  He turned away from the audience, and up popped a choir from... read more

Plenty of pre-university talent for the school of music to draw on

It is inevitable in a concert of this sort that there will be a great variance in skill levels, and in musicianship.  This time, there were fewer really young students than I have heard in previous concerts of this type; nearly all would be intermediate or secondary school students, I would guess.  The comments below are made not to criticise the individual players, but hopefully to assist them to... read more

Promising new choir premieres with varied, courageous programme

Described in advance publicity as ‘a new professional choir’ and that ‘The concert will consist of music from all the continents and will explore our basic needs to commune with nature, spirituality and our love of community and family’, there were high expectations.  Caution recalls that some years ago Professor Peter Godfrey set up a choir that he hoped would be professional, but it did not last.  Such a... read more

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