Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Masses in times of war celebrated by the Bach Choir under Ivan Patterson

With a great line-up of soloists and some marvellous music to sing, the stars were lined up well for the Bach Choir’s concert.  A sizeable audience was present to hear them.  The title for the concert derives from the fact that both masses were written under the stress of wartime conditions: Napoleonic Wars in Haydn’s case and the Russians beating back the Nazis in Budapest in 1943 in Kodály’s... read more

Wellington Young Voices weave their own magic at Old St.Paul’s

About 30 young singers between the ages of 8 and 14, 10 of them boys, performed a delightful programme to a substantial audience. The programme included four Christmas carols for the audience to sing with the choir. The concert began with an attractive carol ‘Sing with the angels, Gloria!’, with words and music by Tawa music education supremo Shona Murray. The young singers soon showed that they were well-trained –... read more

NZSO and Orchestra Wellington string players in Baroque chamber music at St Andrew’s lunchtime

As with last week’s lunchtime concert from St Andrew’s, Lindis Taylor and I found ourselves in different parts of the church and both had scribbled notes. He graciously proposed that I cover the ground generally while he would merely add a few pedantic details. Again, no attributions. The theme of La Folia has been ascribed to Corelli, but it is much older. Research suggests that it emerged in the 15th... read more

A somewhat impromptu lunchtime recital proves a delight at St Andrew’s

Having left the reviewing duty unplanned, both Lindis Taylor and I found ourselves at this recital, mutually unaware of each other at the time; we decided to combine our impressions. Prizes (a free annual pass for the St Andrew's lunchtime concerts in 2018) for successful identification of the origin of the various remarks. This programme was arranged at short notice after the originally scheduled players withdrew. Three separate duos, it... read more

Excellent concert, with the old and the new, from NZTrio in a different City Gallery space

It was encouraging to see a largely young audience, including a number of professional musicians, at NZ Trio’s concert.  However, there were a lot of empty seats. The Ireland work began with a surging start, and immediately it was apparent what a good venue this was for chamber music (I had never been to a concert in this gallery before)..  The gallery was resonant, but there was no echo.  Despite... read more

Jonathan Berkahn and friends with formal and informal music for lunchtime

This programme replaced that originally scheduled at short notice, due to illness.  The pieces were mainly Scots, Irish and English, or were based on songs from those nationalities.  The latter were infrequently heard examples of their composers’ works.  Jonathan Berkahn gave a brief spoken introduction to each of the items. It began with Berkahn playing piano, first in Thème Anglais “The Plough Boy” varié, Op.110/1 by Hummel.  This delightful variation... read more

Excellent NZSO concert – Berlioz, Elgar and Tchaikovsky – draws disappointing audience

Here was a stirring programme, the items linked by their composers’ inspirations from Italy.  It happens that these three were all superb orchestrators; the works all exploited the orchestra fully. We have had both Berlioz and Elgar already this year in NZSO programmes; no shame in that.  James Judd was noted for his Elgar performances when he was Music Director of the NZSO – one of the eminent composers of... read more

A fine solo cello recital at St Andrew’s lunchtime concert

A good-sized audience heard a memorable recital of advanced cello music in a varied repertoire. Inbal Megiddo is an extremely accomplished cellist, who teaches the instrument at the New Zealand School of Music, and plays in the Te Koki Trio. It was a pity that the programme notes gave no information about the works performed, because her spoken introductions were far too quiet to be heard in much of the church;... read more

Premiere at Waikanae of composition by pianist Andrew Leathwick

This was the first concert in an eleven-centre tour by Wilma and Friends – two of the friends are New Zealanders: Alexandra Partridge from the Kapiti Coast and Andrew Leathwick who studied at the University of Waikato, both of whom have since studied at the Australian Academy of Music in Melbourne.  It is always a great pleasure to welcome home violinist Wilma Smith, and to hear her winsome tones... read more

At St Mary’s, Karori: viola and organ music drawn from Bach, Elgar and an obscure York Minster organist

A rather small audience enjoyed a ‘Bach sandwich’ as the artists described it.  The opening work, played by viola and organ immediately impressed with the euphonious tone of the viola, which one so seldom hears played solo, or with simply an accompaniment.  Flute tones from the organ were a sufficient contrast to allow the viola to really speak with its own voice.  It was described by the person introducing... read more

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