Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Excellent Kiwa String Quartet (NZSO players) in programme of quartet masterpieces and a couple of fun pieces

By , 09/07/2017
We have reached the mid-point in Wellington Chamber Music’s seven-concert 2017 series of Sunday afternoon concerts. A string quartet of players from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, with an intelligently balanced programme that might well have attracted a much bigger audience. It opened with the last of the set of six quartets, Beethoven’s Opus 18 No 6. It begins with a movement marked Allegro con brio, and so the players approached... read more

Kapiti Chamber Choir with the Romantic Triangle: Brahms, Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann

As I observed of the last Kapiti Chamber choir concert I reviewed  (three years ago), none of the choral items in the first half was an easy sing, and most  were unaccompanied.  Good observation of dynamics was a significant feature throughout the concert.  The items were sung in the original German language except the Requiem, which was in Latin.  English translations were printed in the programme. Before the concert began... read more

Destination Beehive 2017 at Circa Theatre – too serious to be taken seriously

By , 09/07/2017
Legend has it that American songwriter and political satirist Tom Lehrer gave up satire when American Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. It's perhaps just as tempting for any present-day satirist to take a similar stance in the face of the antics of those real-life dodgers, shysters, con-artists and masters of illusion we know as politicians - why bother, she or he might argue... read more

Magnificent NZSO concert, with percussionist Colin Currie, under James MacMillan

By , 08/07/2017
I had rather expected that, even if the pieces by Adès and MacMillan had not exactly created a stampede for tickets, that the remarkable, let’s even say ‘great’ symphony by Vaughan Williams would have done the trick. But no, it didn't. However, if it was something of a statement about the timidity of Wellington audiences, it was not a disgrace. Thomas Adès For another thing, I’d have thought the name Adès might... read more

Jeux, Debussy’s quiet revolutionary, steals Orchestra Wellington’s show

By , 07/07/2017
This was the second of Orchestra Wellington's 2017 series of concerts containing works commissioned by the renowned impresario Serge Diaghilev for the dance company he had formed, the Ballets Russes, regarded by many performance historians as the most influential dance company of the 20th Century. It was the Ballets Russes company which, thanks to Diaghilev's commissions, was to premiere three of Igor Stravinsky's most famous ballets, the Firebird, Petroushka... read more

Steel and McCabe, flute and piano in delightful recital at St Andrew’s

By , 05/07/2017
A fortnight ago at St Andrew’s we heard Rebecca Steel as a member of a quintet of flutes from the RNZAF Band in a splendidly diverting programme of music (mostly) arranged for five flutes. So I had hesitated about coming to hear more flute music in a particularly busy week for me. But squeezing it in proved an excellent decision. Rebecca was back this time with her piano partner, Fiona... read more

Rich and diverting recital of songs by Takiri vocal quartet and piano at Waikanae

The reviewing of this concert was shared by Rosemary Collier and Lindis Taylor. First part: Rosemary Collier  Two years ago the ensemble sang for the Waikanae Music Society; on that occasion the mezzo was Bianca Andrew and the tenor Andrew Glover.  That programme also began with a bracket of well-known Schubert lieder, then progressed to Schumann (I’m embarrassed to say his songs were the Spanische Liebeslieder, which in a very recent review... read more

Magical Mendelssohn and tempestuous Tchaikovsky from the Wellington Chamber Orchestra

By , 02/07/2017
First impressions are, as they say, important, although they can sometimes be misleading. If one took the opening few minutes of the Wellington Chamber Orchestra's Sunday concert, featuring Felix Mendelssohn's adorable Overture "A Midsummer Night's Dream", and peremptorily judged the concert's music-making by the short-winded and unatmospheric opening chords, and the somewhat unseemly scramble of upper string lines attempting and failing to co-ordinate their rhythmic patternings right throughout this... read more

Beautiful contemporary choral music from Cantoris: if only an orchestra!

By , 01/07/2017
It was a calm, cool, drizzly night, when most of Wellington’s population was either at the stadium, in pubs or at home watching a rugby match between New Zealand and the combined British-Ireland team. Very few: to wit, about 30, felt free to attend a rather fine concert by one of Wellington’s longest surviving choirs (almost 50 years). Those happy few had a wide choice of seating. The concert opened with... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy