Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Flute and piano duo feature composers languishing in the shadows of the greats

By , 30/11/2016
Here were two names that were slightly familiar to me but which I couldn’t really offer biographical information about. Both studied in Wellington: Nick at the Conservatorium of Music at Massey University, Christy at Victoria University. Palmerston North has featured in the lives of both, but the birth-place of neither was disclosed. They are married and have quite a range of performance history both together and separately. It was a... read more

Politically coloured vocal contest settles the score between baritones and bass-baritones

By , 16/11/2016
Both Rosemary Collier and I found ourselves at what turned out to be an unexpectedly amusing recital. We were both held up by late trains and non-functioning lifts and so missed whatever introductory remarks might have illuminated the nature of the ‘contest’. So disadvantaged, we decided to pool our impressions in the hope of making some sense of the unusual scenario that was being enacted. However, the four biographical notes gave... read more

Highly diverting Orpheus Choir mixes seasonal Haydn with animals and cloudbursts

By , 12/11/2016
What is detailed above, as well as a statement that further details would be announced, is the information about this concert we had received and had filed in our Coming Events, but no ‘further details’ arrived: no soloists named, no organist or piano accompanist; not even the name of the conductor, though one knew that. As we entered, we were handed a folded A4 page with the greeting – “just... read more

Impressive Kristallnacht commemoration in concert by Holocaust Centre and NZ School of Music

By , 09/11/2016
Two days short of the marking of the World War I armistice, on 11 November 1918, another event took place in the country that had accepted an armistice, but not defeat, and whose sense of humiliation found expression 15 years later with the take-over of Germany by Hitler and the Nazis. Evidence of a policy of violence against the Jews arose within days of the Nazis taking power in 1933, and... read more

Enlightening, themed concert at hands of skilled, insightful musicians

By , 09/11/2016
It was either this interestingly promoted programme of music that influenced Bach, or the nice weather that broke out at lunchtime that brought a somewhat larger than average audience to this concert. The programme pushed a couple of useful buttons. The names of the performers, players in the NZSO and/or Orchestra Wellington, and a keyboardist whose name rang bells, and some kind of guarantee of musical worth, inasmuch as it... read more

Mostly German folk songs: droll, dark, disassociative duets from Linden Loader and Roger Wilson

By , 02/11/2016
The advertised programme was slightly modified in the absence of Lesley Graham. It was called A Concert of Conversations: some lovers, others indifferent, contemptuous or hostile. Perhaps the Brahms folk-song settings were much the same as originally planned but the inclusion of five of songs from Mahler’s cycle drawn from the huge folk song collection, Des Knaben Wunderhorn was a response to the change from three to two singers. Brahms’s setting of... read more

Edo de Waart and Ronald Brautigam confirm stature: symphonic conductor and Mozartian pianist

By , 29/10/2016
Ronald Brautigam’s is not exactly a household name and his performance history is impressively confined largely to Mozart and Beethoven, though not always in performances with high profile conductors or orchestras. Most of his playing is on the fortepiano of the age of Mozart and early Beethoven. While that partly explains his relative obscurity to the popular audience, it doesn’t detract from his high reputation among those who take their... read more

Orchestra Wellington’s fifth concert excels with last works of Berlioz, Bartok and Tchaikovsky (almost)

By , 15/10/2016
This was the once-a-year event for the young musicians involved with the Hutt Valley Arohanui Strings, the project inspired by the famous Venezuelan institution, El Sistema. They filed in after some of Orchestra Wellington’s players had taken their seats: the more advanced ones taking seats alongside a professional player as mentor; the beginners spread across the front of the stage – some of them looked aged about four. They... read more

Revelatory chamber music experiences from London Conchord Ensemble

By , 13/10/2016
An overseas ensemble of eight distinguished players is a rare event for Chamber Music New Zealand, even more so when most are principal players in leading British orchestras, chamber groups or music academies; an ensemble as various in backgrounds and careers as the music they played. They never all played together, apart from the encore, party pieces: bits of Brahms’s Hungarian dances. Other than at the concerts in the four... read more

Streeton Trio, at Waikanae, offers persuasive, unfamiliar music but lacked a masterpiece

By , 09/10/2016
The Streeton Piano Trio was named for the important Australian painter Arthur Streeton, though I don’t know whether there was any reason for making the connection with the visual arts. The trio has twice toured New Zealand before, in 2012 and 2013, when they made a very good impression; Middle C reviewed their concerts at Waikanae. Mozart dropped for Debussy Their advertised programme had begun with Mozart’s early trio in G... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy