Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

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

Further excellent exploratory concert into delightful quasi-juvenile symphonies

By , 28/04/2017
My colleagues, Rosemary Collier and Peter Mechen, have reviewed earlier concerts by Camerata – in May 2015 and November 2016. I’m sorry to have missed them. They included Haydn’s first and third symphonies; I wondered whether we’d missed a concert that had included the second symphony. It also made me wonder, with considerable anticipation, whether they plan to survive long enough to get through all 104 (or is it 108?)... read more

Marking Holy Week through Biblical Lamentations and music inspired by 20th century atrocities

By , 14/04/2017
The theme of this concert, The Desolate City, was a reason to look at two cities that have suffered terrible, war-driven destruction in living memory (Dresden and Hiroshima), and to associate physical destruction with social and moral destruction as described in Biblical accounts of cities considered to have been desolated by sin or perhaps merely by adoption of a rival religious faith. The Book of Lamentations and Psalm 137 provided... read more

Capable and well-considered performances of Arensky, Rachmaninov and Cherubini by Cantoris and their pianist conductor

By , 08/04/2017
In addition to the advertised Requiem by Cherubini, the programme was fleshed out with the most popular movement from Rachmaninov’s Vespers (‘All Night Vigil’), Op 37, and Arensky’s first piano trio. The Rachmaninov piece is the sixth movement in the 15-movement, hour-long Vespers setting, rather inaccurately called the ‘All-night Vigil’. Bogorovitse Devo (pronounced 'djevo') means ‘Rejoice, O Virgin’. It’s a short, gentle piece that introduced the choir in a beautifully quiet... read more

Strauss’s final tone poem a mighty opening for the NZSO’s 2017 season

By , 25/03/2017
Here was a concert designed to attract various classes of music lovers: those attached to the classical heartland, discreetly coloured by a pictorial Romanticism; lovers of the voice in melodious, conventional guise with music composed at the turn of the 20th century; and finally, for those susceptible to musical expressionism on a vast scale, an evocation of vast natural phenomena and secular voluptuousness. Though the orchestra had its first major... read more

Successful violin and viola duo reveal rare Mozart and well-known Halvorsen

By , 08/03/2017
The names of the two performers at this lunchtime concert should no doubt have been familiar to me, as they have been on the Wellington scene on and off for a long time; both had played in the NZSO. Both have lived and studied overseas and now work in other fields in Wellington, though music clearly remains an important part of their lives. The programme note explained that Mozart wrote... read more

The NZSO at seventy with an inspired programme for a full house

By , 06/03/2017
All three Middle C reviewers collaborated in reviewing this momentous concert. We paid attention in our first name alphabetic order. The first, fourth and seventh are Lindis’s, second, fifth and eighth, Peter’s, and the others, Rosemary’s. Introduction (LT) In keeping with the feisty critical tradition established by Beaglehole and Finlay at that first concert on 6 March 1947, let’s start with a little grizzle. Wonderful for Wellington to be offered a free... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy