Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Enso String Quartet highly impressive in all eras particularly 20th century France

By , 20/05/2016
One of the first things that many people would have asked about this concert, was ‘what’s the name mean or is an acronym for?’ Nowhere in the programme could I find the answer. However, their website does ‘sort-of’ explain: “The ensemble’s name is derived from the Japanese Zen painting of the circle, which represents many things: perfection and imperfection, the moment of chaos that is creation, the emptiness of the void... read more

Unusual trios for contrasted groups, influenced disparately by viola d’amore and the Holocaust

By , 18/05/2016
This lunchtime concert combined two young chamber groups in music that touched on tragic themes and conditions of the heart, physical and emotional. Perhaps they were to be seen as metaphysically linked. We have heard several performances by Donald Maurice’s Archi d’amore Zelanda; the last let us hear both the viola d’amore and the modern viola; in fact the last outing was just a fortnight ago, as part of an... read more

Bach Choir offers rewarding looks into Purcell, Mozart and later English music

By , 15/05/2016
This concert had been scheduled for Saturday 16 April but, as explained by conductor Peter de Blois, there was an organ problem which required an organ transplant (probably a hoary one for organists). De Blois also announced another change; the tenor was indisposed and so his place was taken by the conductor who happened, fortuitously, to be vocally equipped in a suitable way. Purcell’s Te Deum Laudamus and Jubilate Deo The earlier... read more

Memorable NZSO concert with rising young conductor and acclaimed pianist

By , 13/05/2016
I am sometimes tempted to think that the publicity by the NZSO, which I usually find rather cluttered with over-used superlative clichés, has the unfortunate effect of deadening the impact of those few occasions when something really very special is about to happen. It would have been a pity if constant, indiscriminate hype had numbed discerning concert-goers to an occasion when some extravagant superlatives were warranted. Nevertheless, the language of... read more

Beguiling, wide-ranging guitar recital from Owen Moriarty a fine substitute for lunch

By , 11/05/2016
As noted in my review of the recital by NZSM guitar students on 20 April, this programme was to have been by the students, while Moriarty would have played on 20 April. It was well worth the wait. Each of Moriarty’s recitals produces an extraordinary range of music either written or arranged for the guitar, from all eras from the Renaissance to the present. This recital spanned from the early... read more

NZSO ‘wastes its sweetness upon the desert air’ with some splendid, approachable, 21st century music

By , 06/05/2016
Above all, this concert again raised for me the old controversy about the handling of new music. Whether it is best to ghettoize music that is unlikely to find a large audience, or to place these pieces carefully in concerts that include an irresistibly popular masterpiece. If the intention is to persuade the timid to expose their minds to something unfamiliar, the size of Friday’s audience showed again that approach... read more

NZSO and Madeleine Pierard with Ross Harris’s anguished Second Symphony to mark ANZAC Day

By , 21/04/2016
I have been heard to utter unpatriotic feelings about the seeming endless attention paid in New Zealand to war and in particular the First World War and Gallipoli, which took place around 100 years ago. I have no problem with the stimulus the centenary has given to serious re-examination of the political background to the war, its pursuit and the catastrophic results of the Treaty of Versailles that sought... read more

Student guitar talents offer entertaining replacement concert at St Andrew’s

By , 20/04/2016
This programme was a last-minute replacement for the scheduled performance by guitarist Owen Moriarty who will now play on 11 May. These students were to have played on that day. There was another alteration, with the first player, Royden Smith, replaced by Jake Church who played a pot-pourri of tunes from La Traviata arranged by Julian Arcas. It made an engaging start to the concert. Emma Sanders chose what might be... read more

David Guerin celebrates the new Hutt Little Theatre piano with the Goldberg Variations

By , 17/04/2016
This special, extra concert was presented to mark the unveiling of a plaque recording the names of donors to the Little Theatre Piano Fund. It would have been hard to think of a more monumental piece of music for the occasion than the Goldberg Variations. The last time I heard David Guerin playing was in an ensemble of four at the Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson last February. Alone... read more

Chamber Music New Zealand season opens with exquisite French baroque concert by Les Talens Lyriques

By , 13/04/2016
As a rather excessive Francophile, I was more than delighted at the prospect of hearing the distinguished French baroque ensemble, Les Talens Lyriques, live in my home town. Knowing the strange and sometimes narrow musical tastes of some chamber music lovers whose horizons are often limited to the German and Italian lands, I rather feared that the unfamiliar music of the French baroque might have drawn a rather small... read more

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