Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

NZSO players in special concert under Aisslinn Nosky with Baroque masters

By , 17/11/2017
It’s been a fine Baroque week in Wellington, at St Andrew’s, with an attractive lunch-time concert on Wednesday, with four strings from Wellington’s two professional orchestras and an NZSM harpsichordist; and this evening a special ensemble, of 18 players from the NZSO, plus harpsichordist Douglas Mews. The story behind this evening’s concert was elaborate. NZSO violinist Anne Loeser travelled to Toronto in the Summer of 2014 for an intensive Baroque... read more

Edo de Waart and NZSO in deeply assimilated music of Brahms, Wagner and Sibelius (with Janine Jansen)

By , 10/11/2017
The programme might have looked fairly conventional, except that the symphony, usually the sole occupant of the second half of the traditional concert, was played first. That may have been because the Sibelius concerto enjoys one of the most exciting endings while Brahms’s Third Symphony is a favourite as a result of its steering a path between peacefulness and joy and quiet drama, ending with one of most reflective... read more

Wellington’s professional chamber choir ends successful second year

By , 05/11/2017
Middle C attended and reviewed the inaugural concert by this professional chamber choir on 4 September 2016, and we reviewed their previous concert on 13 August this year. Each of those concerts had a theme, and so did this one: The Cycle of Life using two of the immediate seasons: Winter and Spring – symbolising death and life, characterising the nature of those seasons from a North American perspective –... read more

Imposing commemoration of 500th anniversary of Lutheran Reformation

By , 29/10/2017
This was an ecumenical service, celebrating the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, led by Bishop Mark Whitfield of the Lutheran Church of New Zealand, in the Anglican Cathedral, with choral support from the Cathedral choir. Earlier in the year, there was a commemorative service that involved the Roman Catholic Church at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, jointly hosted by Cardinal John Dew and Bishop... read more

Outstanding concert to mark disasters at Aberfan and the Pike River: music by Schubert and Karl Jenkins

By , 23/10/2017
Concerts by the Wellington Youth Orchestra in the past, in my experience, have been poorly promoted and have played to an audience numbering just a few score. This one was very different. Hand-bills had been thrust into the hand at most concerts in the previous fortnight and there were interviews on radio and in the press drawing attention to the tragedies that the orchestra had decided to commemorate. The concert came... read more

Spring hailed in impressive exhibition of 20th century French choral songs by Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir

By , 21/10/2017
Here was a concert to which many of us attended, blind. The publicity had mentioned Debussy and Poulenc (and these were indeed the only well-known composers) and “romantic chansons and a quirky song-cycle”. It was dedicated totally to songs in French, mostly by French composers. I guess the programme was assembled through the wonderful resources of Google and Wikipedia by searching ‘vocal music for Springtime’; though perhaps I underestimate Karen... read more

Wonderful Mozart trio for clarinet, viola and piano (plus Schumann and Bruch) from Karori Classics series

By , 20/10/2017
The fall-out from the International Viola Congress a few weeks ago seems to be continuing relentlessly. One Wednesday, viola students and a month ago the same violist as appeared this evening, at the previous Karori Classics concert. They turned the programme round, starting with the two pieces from Bruch’s Eight Pieces for the instruments gathered at St Mary’s this evening. What we heard here was probably the complete works for... read more

Viola Students from the New Zealand School of Music with diverting sampler of well-played pieces

By , 18/10/2017
Three violists and two pianists put this lunchtime programme together. Such student presentations always reveal music that one has never come across before, and the discoveries here – not the composers' names, which one had a casual knowledge of – were of the pieces of music. A viola concerto by Anton Hoffmeister, a contemporary of Mozart, a character piece by Schumann, viola sonatas by Anthony Ritchie, Hindemith and Rebecca... read more

Wilma Smith and Friends play fine programme for Wellington Chamber Music

By , 15/10/2017
We reviewed Wilma Smith and Friends at their Waikanae concert on 24 September. There they had played Beethoven’s not-much-played Op 16 piano quartet, Dvořák’s greatly loved Op 87 as well as the piano quartet by the group’s pianist, Leathwick.  I suppose I can wait till next August when I see that Wellington Chamber Music’s just announced 2018 Sunday series will hear the Dvořák played by the Leppänen, Thomson, Joyce... read more

To err is human, to forgive (the job of the critic): four student pianists with seriously worthwhile music

By , 27/09/2017
The lunchtime concert market has been somewhat crowded over recent weeks and both St Andrew’s and Old Saint Paul’s have provided nice venues and good audiences for end-of-year recitals. While we’ve covered most of the recent lunchtime concerts in Wellington we have been unable this year to get to the series running at St Mark’s Lower Hutt, which have been equally worthwhile. Four pianists played today at St Andrew’s. They... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy