Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Two beloved piano quartet masterpieces in glorious performances from NZSO principals plus Diedre Irons

By , 19/08/2018
Though Wellington Chamber Music, before it ‘corporatised’ from ‘Society' to ‘Trust’ and operated in the Ilott Concert Chamber (later, ‘Theatre’), used to come close to filling that 300 seat space, no longer has the pulling power that it once had. However, this recital from three NZSO principals and pianist Diedre Irons drew a somewhat better than average audience, though nowhere near what it deserved. Perhaps this gives me an excuse to... read more

NZSO triumphs with brilliant Beethoven and Brahms masterpieces

By , 18/08/2018
Though this was a very traditional, heart-of-the-classical-world concert which one might have thought would excite neither the aficionados nor the young and innocent in terms of classical music awareness, it was a very near full house – not an every-day experience for the NZSO. But the fact is that I cannot remember a live performance in Wellington of the Beethoven violin concerto: certainly, a search of Middle C’s archive brings... read more

Katherine McIndoe with brilliant performance of Britten’s Les Illuminations at St Andrew’s

By , 15/08/2018
Soprano Katherine McIndoe has been at the Guildhall School in London for the past year, though she was last heard, conspicuously, in both the operas staged in the middle of last year by Rhona Fraser’s Days Bay Opera: Tatyana in Eugene Onegin and Guilietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi.  In Britain she sang at the Aldeburgh Festival last year as a Britten-Piers Young Artist, and was the Governess... read more

Third fine Orchestra Wellington concert, unthemed but with Dvořák 7, a great success

By , 11/08/2018
The third of Orchestra Wellington's 2018 subscription concerts offered an unusual mix of music: nothing unusual about the theme symphony-Composer, Dvořák, and an unfamiliar Mozart piano concerto, but the premiere of a commissioned piece by a Chinese composer with New Zealand associations, no doubt raised a certain curiosity ... or misgivings: that may have explained the slightly less-than-sold-out audience – a rarity for this orchestra these days. Mozart K 449 The... read more

One piano, six hands and a programme of highly unfamiliar, surprising music by composers in unorthodox mode

By , 08/08/2018
Though this three-pianist ensemble has evidently been around for a while, I hadn’t encountered them. All three were masters students together at the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University nearly 20 years ago. They operate at one keyboard, in case you have the impression that even the piano duet format is a bit crowded and might be uncomfortable; their places at the keyboard varied with each piece. Clearly there... read more

Rebranding strikes academia: Victoria University victim of corporate-style image-making

By , 31/07/2018
In a radical break from the knitting pattern that Middle C usually follows, I am driven to raise my voice to protest about the planned rebranding of my alma-mater, Victoria University of Wellington, or simply ‘Vic’ as it has always been universally known. Music in Wellington has its most important educational institution in Victoria University. This 'review' is prompted by the publication of Dave Armstrong’s column in this morning’s Dominion... read more

Tudor Consort advances four centuries to the contemporary, war-stricken world with great success

By , 28/07/2018
Director of The Tudor Consort, Michael Stewart, spoke to introduce this generally unfamiliar (apart from the Bach) programme. As well as drawing attention to aspects of the music, he remarked on what might be felt as a departure from the choir’s usual territory, concentrating on early and Renaissance music (though there have generally been interesting deviations from that prescription), to tackle an entirely 20th, even 21st, century programme. He... read more

Tutors at the ASQ Academy confirm their stature in rare Shostakovich quartet, plus other masterpieces

By , 26/07/2018
Rosemary Collier’s review of Wednesday’s concert by participants in the 2018 Aroha String Quartet International Music Academy, offered a view of the level of performance skill that emerged from the week-long participation in the Academy, the fourth in what has become an annual event. Middle C appears to have overlooked them in the past. Further recitals by participants are taking place in the evenings and notably on Saturday evening... read more

Trpčeski’s emphatic restoration of Grieg concerto and a blazing Shostakovich Tenth from Martín and NZSO

By , 13/07/2018
Last Friday Jaime Martín conducted the National Youth Orchestra in a stunning concert, drawing from young players performances that were both accurate and full of energy. He has shown the same gifts with the parent orchestra. Shostakovich’s Festive Overture was written just shortly after the death of Stalin and the composition of the 10th symphony; it can more easily be read as music that complies superficially with the expectations of... read more

Polished recital of Lieder by Clara Schumann and Brahms, and Robert’s Scenes of Childhood

By , 11/07/2018
I didn’t hear the recital in March 2017 by this couple from Dunedin, though my colleague Rosemary Collier reviewed it. It seems many years since I have heard them. They form an attractive duet and the music they choose is the kind that is not much performed these days: the song recital is a bit out of fashion and there is a deep-seated belief among the classical music impresarios:... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy