Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Kent McIntosh, Bianca Andrew with Catherine Norton: German and Swedish songs and Janáček’s remarkable cycle

By , 19/08/2017
The first half of this recital – Lieder - was given to mezzo Bianca Andrew while the Janáček was sung (mainly) by Kent McIntosh. To devote the song part to Lieder in German and Swedish (and an American-German) was to lend it very comforting variety, and filled the time to an hour. It might have been decided that Janáček could be accompanied by other Czech or Slavonic songs, which could... read more

Beautiful Lieder recital from Maaike Christie-Beekmann, viola and piano

By , 16/08/2017
I wondered whether it was quite appropriate to review this recital, because, before she began, mezzo Maaike Christie-Beekman had explained that a voice problem might not allow her to get very far through the published programme. I think her tactics were sensible when she began with the two Brahms songs, rather than with Schumann’s eight-song cycle which she then approached. And she abandoned Wolf’s Mignon songs (from Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister)... read more

Bruch’s violin concerto and Beethoven’s Seventh survive another (splendid) exposure as great works

By , 12/08/2017
It’s unusual for the NZSO to stage two concerts on consecutive evenings in the same town, though often enough they travel to different towns for concerts on consecutive nights. This time it was presumably to make full use of Karen Gomyo’s short visit to New Zealand with concerts only in Wellington and Auckland. In the past I have remarked on the boring CVs about guest soloists that get printed in... read more

Eternity opera’s triumph with The Marriage of Figaro – with the second cast

By , 06/08/2017
The production was performed seven times over a week, with only one dark evening, on Monday the 7th. There were two casts, but that did not mean each had a quiet time every other day, for each acted as the chorus for the other on alternate evenings. It was a busy week for everyone. Last year’s Don Giovanni had been scheduled in the same way which was presumably considered successful... read more

The NZCT Chamber Music Contest results

By , 06/08/2017
Though Middle C did not manage to get to the final stages of this year's concert in Wellington, we have copied the results from the website of Chamber Music New Zealand listing of the finalists and award winners

OVERALL WINNERS

Druz'ya Quartet (Wellington) - Shostakovich | String Quartet No. 8, op. 110, mvts 1, 2 and 3 KBB MUSIC NATIONAL AWARD WINNERS Buda and the Pests (Canterbury) - Bartók | Sonata for Two... read more

Astonishing performance of complete Daphnis et Chloé ballet music, plus a Schumann allusion

By , 05/08/2017
Orchestra Wellington continued its 2017 series theme that focuses on the great impresario Sergei Diaghilev, the genius behind the Ballets Russes which changed the face of ballet before the First World War, and also impacted on most of the other arts. For he employed the most gifted choreographers, composers, dancers and designers, of the age, and inspired them to produce work that would radically enrich and rejuvenate, even revolutionise... read more

Digestible lunchtime concerts: whole and parts of lovely music from Aroha String Quartet

By , 02/08/2017
This week, from 1 to 6 August, the Aroha String Quartet International Music Academy, supported by Trinity College in London, is being held at St Andrew’s. This concert was a sampler employing just five of the tutors at the Academy. The others, not involved with today's concert, are Ursula Evans – second violin in the Quartet; Donald Armstrong – violin and string ensemble director, Ken Ichinose – cello), Robin... read more

Exuberant and popular performances by Wellington Youth Orchestra

By , 31/07/2017
Concerts from the Wellington Youth Orchestra used to be held in the Town Hall, which was the right space in terms of acoustics and the orchestral tradition. But the sometimes rather small audiences did look rather … small; comparable to the size of the orchestra – around 60. On Monday there were many more that that facing the orchestra. Either St Andrew’s or the Catholic Basilica offer a more intimate... read more

Adventurous, revelatory concert by Troubadour String Quartet in Lower Hutt

By , 24/07/2017
At the Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson this year, the Troubadour Quartet gave two free concerts, one giving the same Britten quartet that they played here, the second, Schubert’s A minor quartet (Rosamunde). I was there for a few days and really regret not hearing them. Haydn For it took only a few bars of the Haydn quartet (one of his very last) to show me that these were players... read more

Refined, period sensibilities from Kuijken Quartet in Haydn and Mozart

By , 15/07/2017
The Kuijken Quartet is very much a family affair: second violin Sara is Sigiswald’s daughter and violist Marleen Thiers, his wife. They have devoted themselves to playing music in the ‘historically informed’ manner. While that has tended to refer mainly to music of the earlier, Baroque era, it applies also to the Galant and Classical periods, and in theory to all later periods, up to yesterday, if you insist It... read more

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