Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Winds and piano: a masterpiece and three French delights from Zephyr

By , 11/06/2017
The players from the NZSO who comprised five-sixths of the Zephyr Wind Ensemble have played together in varying combinations over the years, and several will have played with Diedre Irons. What this leads one to expect is ensemble and musical rapport at a very high level. It was. One of the characteristics of the famous Mozart quintet is the entrancing interlacing of the individual instruments. As with most chamber music, it... read more

Naxos issues CD from NZSQ of Brahms’s 3rd string quartet and clarinet quintet

By , 11/06/2017
The New Zealand String Quartet recorded Brahms’s first two string quartets, Op 51, in July 2014 at the same place. All modern recordings of Brahms’s three string quartets fill the second disc with another comparable (occasionally a non-comparable) work, sometimes by Brahms; the filler has been the clarinet quintet on several occasions. String Quartet No 3 Setting the third quartet alongside the clarinet quintet was logical enough, but the juxtaposition created a... read more

Excellent performances of UK and US music from Wellington Youth Choir

By , 09/06/2017
The Sacred Heart Cathedral is a good place for singing – for both singers and listeners, and so it was especially good to hear this generally well-schooled and enthusiastic young choir, in a wide variety of songs. The British song tradition The concert began with an account of God Save the Queen, which prompted no one to stand, because it was clearly an arrangement, and a rather entertaining arrangement of the... read more

Engaging recital of once much-played piano pieces from young pianist

By , 07/06/2017
Louis Lucas-Perry’s brief biography printed in the programme writes of performances in Upper Hutt and Nelson (a Grieg Piano Concerto there), of winning a New Zealand School of Music ‘Directors’ Scholarship. He offers no information about the schools attended, but mentions teaching and accompanying the Big Sing, students' choral festival, and chamber music groups. I notice that I reviewed a student concert that included him in October 2015; there he... read more

Solo cellist Christopher Hutton in Wellington Chamber Music’s second 2017 concert

By , 28/05/2017
Though originally from Wellington, Christopher Hutton had most of his education in the United States, at Boston University, the Eastman School of Music at Rochester, the University of North Carolina and the University of Delaware, before becoming an associate professor at the Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. He has made previous tours for Chamber Music New Zealand and Wellington Chamber Music, recently as cellist in the Poinsett Piano Trio... read more

Brahms’s Deutsches Requiem given spirited and scrupulous performance by Tudor Consort

By , 27/05/2017
Brahms’s Requiem is known well enough by name and reputation to all tolerably interested in Music, but fewer would be familiar with it or have actually heard it live. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it in live performance, and have, somewhat to my embarrassment only become familiar with it on recordings in the last twenty years or so. The Orpheus Choir, naturally, has been its main advocate in... read more

Wellington Youth Orchestra in winning performances, especially Brahms No 1

By , 23/05/2017
Looking back over Middle C’s reviews of the Wellington Youth Orchestra, one sees a couple of repeated themes. One that through them we sometimes hear unfamiliar but great and enjoyable music, and that the citizens of Wellington turn up in such sparse numbers that one wonders what can justify boasts of our being the cultural capital. This evening’s concert ticked both those notions. It began with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Festival Overture:... read more

Splendid NZSO concert with a greatly gifted cellist and young conductor prodigy

By , 20/05/2017
This was the second of three concerts in the NZSO’s main series to feature a solo cello: a fortnight ago, a new work by Gareth Farr, and in a month's time, Schumann’s cello concerto played by Daniel Müller-Schott. Interesting: that Müller-Schott was here in 2013 playing the Dvořák concerto which was the concerto tonight, played by alarmingly talented Armenian cellist, Narek Hakhnazaryan. But first, to follow the Gareth Farr premiere... read more

Piano and string quartet in unexpectedly contrasting scene

By , 08/05/2017
A radical change has occurred in programming over the past year or three. Instead of programmes of carefully related music, set in a coherent sequence, either chronological, stylistic or thematic, disjunction and daring contrast have come to be the fashion. To seek the traditional common theme, one might suggest ‘composers starting with ‘D’’, or that, instead of a chronological sequence starting ancient and ending modern, you turn it around: a... read more

Interesting organ recital ranging from 17th to mid-20th century from Paul Rosoman

By , 03/05/2017
The chamber organ which is normally on the right of the sanctuary was moved to the centre for this recital, allowing the audience to be more involved in the performance. It struck me as an excellent idea, one that others could well emulate when it is to be played on its own. It was a programme entirely given over to composers of Germany and the Low Countries. The baroque organ... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy