Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Thoughtful, enterprising programming from Michael Houstoun performed with conviction and sensitivity

By , 12/04/2018
I remember reading somewhere amongst the material advertising this Hutt Valley Chamber Music concert a passage quoting Michael Houstoun as saying he thought the choice of repertoire here had produced “the most perfect recital he had ever put together”. After listening to his strong, deeply considered playing of all three works, I felt bound to concur with his judgement, with each of his choices having some quality that seemed... read more

Engaging recital of obscure, quirky music on saxophone and harp at St Andrew’s

By , 11/04/2018
Here was a recital that seemed to fit the space acoustically and offered a range of mostly unfamiliar music that was yet approachable; many of the audience might well be happy to hear these pieces again. The first piece was by a sixteen-year-old Debussy: Beau soir (beautiful evening). The words of the poem by Paul Bourget were printed and we were left to assume that the score, presumably voice and... read more

Wellington Chamber Orchestra in interesting Alfred Hill exploratory mode

An adventurous and stimulating programme was chosen by the Wellington Chamber Orchestra for this first concert of 2018.  The works demanded, and received, almost a full symphony orchestra.  Whether the bright acoustic of St. Andrew’s can cope with this number of players, including brass (mercifully this time not in the sanctuary – it was occupied by the piano, and the percussion) is another matter.  A number of rows of... read more

Rachmaninov’s Vespers richly resound with Inspirare and Mark Stamper at St.Mary of the Angels

By , 07/04/2018
Rachmaninov’s somewhat cumbersome title for this work (The Most Important Hymns of the “All Night Vigil”) though literally accurate, epitomises the composer’s characteristic self-effacing attitude to all of his musical undertakings. Fortunately for its deserved popularity, the piece has come to be commonly known as the “Vespers”, pure and simple (in the manner of Monteverdi’s similarly-titled work), however incorrect as a description – in fact Rachmaninov’s work contains settings... read more

De Waart and NZSO: Brilliant Mozart two piano concerto and epic Mahler performance

By , 06/04/2018
For me, two of Mozart’s most beguiling works have adjacent numbers in the Köchel catalogue: the Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola (K 364) and the Concerto for two pianos (K 365), meaning that scholars believed they were written about the same time, 1779. Certainly, they have both been deeply embedded in my affections, perhaps through the performances I first heard. This was a little before Mozart’s leaving Salzburg for... read more

Polish and Shakespearean themes lead fine St Andrew’s lunchtime recital

Shakespeare ‘book-ended’ the programme, with two sets of songs, separated by Chopin.  It made an interesting programme, featuring mainly the piano, but with pleasing songs to begin and end. The pianist and composer André Tchaikowsky was not, we were told in the pianist’s introductory remarks, related to the great composer of the same name.  I remember him visiting New Zealand to play with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, a long... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy