Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Wellington Chamber Orchestra in interesting Alfred Hill exploratory mode

An adventurous and stimulating programme was chosen by the Wellington Chamber Orchestra for this first concert of 2018.  The works demanded, and received, almost a full symphony orchestra.  Whether the bright acoustic of St. Andrew’s can cope with this number of players, including brass (mercifully this time not in the sanctuary – it was occupied by the piano, and the percussion) is another matter.  A number of rows of... read more

Polish and Shakespearean themes lead fine St Andrew’s lunchtime recital

Shakespeare ‘book-ended’ the programme, with two sets of songs, separated by Chopin.  It made an interesting programme, featuring mainly the piano, but with pleasing songs to begin and end. The pianist and composer André Tchaikowsky was not, we were told in the pianist’s introductory remarks, related to the great composer of the same name.  I remember him visiting New Zealand to play with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, a long... read more

Tudor Consort successfully aligns Easter concert with ending of World War I

As Michael Stewart explained in his pre-concert talk, in considering music for the yearly Good Friday concert, he had the idea of aligning music for Holy Week with music marking the end of World War I. Therefore he chose appropriate music written during that war, and interspersed it with music of earlier times written by English composers, and with poems written by two poets of the Great War. All... read more

New Zealand String Quartet at Waikanae deliver major works with assurance, passion, delicacy

How fortunate we are to have such a fine quartet performing to us frequently!  They are national treasures – worth their weight in gold.  And that is how they appeared at this concert: in new, gold encrusted outfits.  In Rolf Gjelsten’s case it was restricted to his tie, but the women’s tops were much more flashy – but not so much as to be a distraction from the wonderful... read more

Kings Singers and Voices New Zealand combine for wonderful, eclectic concert for New Zealand Festival

Surprisingly perhaps, The King’s Singers were full of praise for the Michael Fowler Centre as a venue for their type of singing.  They demonstrated what true projection is, both in speaking and singing.  The breadth of their repertoire was astonishing, the clarity, precision and warmth of their utterances, breathtaking. This concert was part of a 50th anniversary tour; it was surprising to learn that it is 30 years since they... read more

Remarkable integration of musical cultures in spite of documentation and presentation shortcomings

Of the skill manifest in this unusual concert there can be no doubt.  Regarding the audience’s involvement there are regrets: there were no notes about individual works in the brief three pages in the composite programme booklet; most of the information was about the players.  No spoken introductions were given, and no explanation of the taonga pūoro, as Richard Nunns gave at a Festival concert years ago.  I am... read more

Polished Australian string quartet at St Mary of the Angels Festival series

The series of chamber music concerts in the Festival are all being held at St. Mary of the Angels Church.  They are all listed in one programme booklet – which means not much detail is provided for each; for example brief programme notes, no enumeration or tempi markings for the movements.  Brief introductions were given by one of the players.  The concert was being recorded by RNZ Concert.  It... read more

Most accomplished performances of piano trios by Psathas and Brahms

An ambitious chamber music programme by an enterprising and highly skilled trio was attended by a larger-than-usual audience, confounding the fears of organiser Marjan van Waardenberg, who thought the weather would put people off.  But no; by 12.15 it was just a normal Wellington windy day, with sunshine. There were no programme notes, but two members of the trio briefly introduced the items, in turn.  However, it would have been... read more

Atoll Records releases CD conspectus of Ken Wilson: Music For Winds

A worthy addition to Atoll's now substantial catalogue of recordings of music by New Zealand composers, this CD should delight many music-lovers.  That it is already doing so is proved by its place at number three on the RNZ Concert Classical Chart, on Saturday, 18 February.  They played an excerpt from Ken Wilson's Wind Quintet of 1965.  This was recorded by Kiwi Records on LP in the mid-1980s, and... read more

NZSO opens the musical year with Bach, Rameau and Locatelli

The orchestra made a start to the New Year that was rather different from usual.  A band without conductor, but led from the violin, that was made up of between 12 and twenty-five players, depending on the work being played.  Unusually, the players stood to perform, except of course the harpsichordist (Douglas Mews) and the cellists; the horns and percussion had chairs to sit on in those movements where... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy