Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Orchestra Wellington, Orpheus Choir, clarinet in brilliant Mozartian form

By , 20/08/2016
To put together programmes celebrating periods in a composer’s life has been made pretty easy by the conscientious compilers of catalogues, either by musicologists or by the composers themselves. Some have been catalogued in more sophisticated ways, by genre of composition which leads to an elaborate system like that of Haydn by Hoboken (not the suburb of Antwerp).  But it’s not hard to list the ‘last words’ of Mozart There’s... read more

Gems from the tutors at the Aroha String Quartet’s music academy

By , 10/08/2016
The Aroha String Quartet is more than ten years old and has, through two or three personnel changes, become an important feature in Wellington’s musical scene. They take their position seriously, now contributing to the teaching, coaching and support of young (and adult, non-professional) musicians. The Academy takes place at St Andrew’s between 9 and 14 August, with two public concerts on Sunday the 14th. The coaching is done by... read more

Piano quartets from Diedre Irons and NZSO string principals

By , 07/08/2016
There was little doubt that a piano quartet comprising three of the principals in the NZSO plus one of the most admired New Zealand pianists would produce a delightful concert. And the composers to be played were further assurance of a couple of rewarding hours. That expectation could withstand the unknown quantity of the first piece, by Schubert. Written aged 19 and therefore, in Schubert’s case, the work of a... read more

NZSO and Christiane Libor in wonderful Strauss songs and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony

By , 06/08/2016
It might have been possible to blame a rival entertainment or the wet and chilly weather for the rather loosely packed audience for a concert that I’d expected to have a ‘full house’ notice at the door. One might also wonder whether it’s a reflection on the slow decline of musical tastes, and that those of us who were brought up with a certain amount of great music in... read more

Cellist Rebecca Turner with intriguing and entertaining music on carbon-fibre cello

By , 03/08/2016
There are certain benefits in forming habits, and the weekly lunchtime concerts at St Andrew’s are among the less sinful of what I’m prepared to confess to. Well, there was the weather. But I was there and though we (Middle C Incorporated) had not assigned the reviewing to anyone, Rebecca Turner’s performance of a totally unknown composer soon had me reaching for pen and notebook. It was by a composer... read more

Music Futures diverting showcase for rising young musicians

By , 31/07/2016
Music Futures is an independent enterprise set up by a group of people who felt there was a need for something more to help talented young musicians through financial awards, performance, opportunities, workshops and masterclasses, mentoring, and lending and hiring instruments. This was their first public performance this year. Members of the NZSO are among the tutors and mentors. This concert set out in part to illustrate the range of... read more

Full success for three works at Edo de Waart’s first Strauss excursion of his tenure

By , 30/07/2016
In an account of the music I got to hear in Sydney last December (see review of 4 January 2016), I reported hearing two concerts by Edo de Waart and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra; one of them featured Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra and I allowed myself to be delighted that we would probably be getting some fine Strauss from him after he took over the reins of the NZSO This... read more

CMNZ scores with brilliant clarinet and piano trio at the End of Time

By , 28/07/2016
A programme of what, twenty years ago, might have been seen as a bit forbidding, drew a very good house at this concert, and at the end they responded very enthusiastically. It may have been partly the fact that here was a conventional chamber group with the added interest of an extra player. It might also have been because audiences have come to accept that there is nothing to fear... read more

Beguiling concert of French chanson, torch songs, café and cabaret songs by Magdalena Darby and friends

By , 27/07/2016
Magdalena Darby’s bio begins with her studies at the Conservatorium of Music in Utrecht, but shies away from dates, early education, or when she came to New Zealand; one assumes she was born in the Netherlands. Before coming to New Zealand she lived in Mexico and presumably Paris. Her bio refers to performing in Paris as well as London and elsewhere in Europe (can we still assume that ‘Europe’... read more

A good case for Mendelssohn’s (complete) organ music in cathedral series

By , 22/07/2016
On top of last year’s Bach Project from Michael Stewart and Richard Apperley and the latter’s Buxtehude Project that’s running now, cathedral director of music, Michael Stewart, has now invited us to pay attention to and hopefully change our minds about Mendelssohn. In his introductory notes for the first of the series of recitals he claimed that Mendelssohn had “made an incredibly profound contribution to the organ and its... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy