Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

A Consort Christmas: Tudor Consort assembles brilliant and diverting package of words and music

By , 16/12/2017
Given The Tudor Consort's splendidly rehearsed and executed array of carols, chants, liturgical and secular songs connected with Christmas, one had to wonder whether the unusual quantity of Christmas-related music over the past few weeks had brought about some aural fatigue resulting in a smaller audience than I would have expected. And so, to remind you of all the Christmas-like concerts over the past three weeks, look at the end of... read more

Admirable Sibelius as well as Lilburn and a rare trombone concerto from Wellington Chamber Orchestra

By , 10/12/2017
Lilburn’s Suite for Orchestra was composed for the Auckland Junior Symphony Orchestra in 1955. Thus it was a sensible piece for a non-professional orchestra, though that is not to suggest that its wide-ranging moods, brilliant orchestration and rhythms that range widely from the utmost subtlety to the unusually boisterous are not very taxing. Subtle brass playing is rarely a highlight of amateur orchestras and it was trumpets and trombones that... read more

Aroha Quartet: one of the year’s most wonderful lunchtime concerts

By , 06/12/2017
Though St Andrew’s free lunchtime concerts usually populate the church very respectably, a professional group like the Aroha Quartet (though I assume they play, like all performers in these concerts, without payment) tends to draw a larger crowd and that was the case this week. Both the reputation of the quartet and the choice of music accounted for the responsive audience today; it enjoyed quite long applause, and several... read more

A polished and scrupulously studied recital by male vocal quartet, Aurora IV

By , 22/11/2017
I’m fairly sure that this was my first hearing of Aurora IV, a male vocal quartet whose repertoire stretches from the 16th to the 21st century, though I have long been familiar with Simon Christie’s voice and recall hearing Richard Taylor in other groups, particularly The Tudor Consort. One of the characteristics of the recital was the choice of words and music from widely separate eras. Thus the opening piece... read more

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

Panorama Theme by Themocracy