It is always good to welcome back Wellington musicians studying or working overseas. This is the case with cellist Christopher Hutton.
However, overall I found this concert disappointing, given the very high standard always demonstrated in the Wellington Chamber Music Trust series. At the beginning of the Mozart sonata the violin was a little off pitch; this recurred at various times throughout the concert. The beautiful piano part was for...
The Lark Ascending
, the work that tops the Radio New Zealand Concert ‘Settling the Score’ popularity programme almost every year. Works by English composers book-ended the concert, and an Englishman was the conductor, who obviously knew the music very well, especially the Elgar.
While the concert-master... read more
It was gratifying to see the Michael Fowler Centre virtually full, no doubt due at least in part to the presence on the programme,
Two Mansfield Poems
, and the two beautiful poems by Katherine Mansfield were included with the printed programme: ‘Sanary’ (1916) and ‘Sleeping Together’ (1908). The first piece echoed the sunny day of the first poem ... read more
A concert featuring two world premières is not a common event in New Zealand. However, this was the case on Wednesday.
The concert began, though, with a work from 1977, of Edwin Carr. It was titled
demonstrated again his considerable skill in orchestral writing, and his inventiveness. The programme notes explained that the title refers to tarantism, the extreme desire to dance, that used to be attributed to the bite of the tarantula, but is named after the sea port in southern Italy. From this tradition comes the dance, tarantella, a rapid, whirling dance.
The piece opened with tubular... read more
A recent work by John Psathas,
One wonders if all the words that can be said about Bryn Terfel have already been said: his magnificent voice, his control of dynamics and vocal nuance, his infinite variety of vocal colour, his resonance, his communication with his audience.
He has been gifted with a splendid voice, which he uses with the utmost musical intelligence.
The Michael Fowler Centre had but few empty seats on Friday evening. Not only was...
Dr Douglas K. Mews was Associate Professor of Music at theUniversityofAucklandfrom 1974 until his retirement in 1984. He was also Director of Music at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Auckland from 1970 to 1982.
He was a composer, and a lively, instructive and entertaining broadcaster on what was then the Concert Programme, his soft Newfoundland accent being very easy to listen to.
There is a complaint that the general view is that...
Recitals by visiting instrumentalists are not nearly as frequent as they were when the old Concert Section of the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation promoted recitals by artists who were here to play concertos with the Symphony Orchestra. So it is gratifying that the New Zealand School of Music has taken up some of the slack in Wellington by bringing overseas musicians to conduct master classes for the students and...
I heard four of these same singers perform last October, in Upper Hutt (9 October 2012), and my remarks then in some cases still apply; in others, the singers have noticeably improved their skills and performances. Elisabeth Harris I heard in the master-class run by Denis O’Neill after the Lexus Song Quest last year. Her singing has certainly moved onwards and upwards since then.
First, though, we heard from Oliver...
It was unfortunate that probably many in the audience beside myself had attended the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s concert in the Michael Fowler Centre the previous night: a close juxtaposition of the playing of a professional orchestra with that of an amateur orchestra is not good for the latter.
Nevertheless, there were high points in this ambitious programme. It was good to see (and hear) the brass out of the...
The title alludes to the fact that these works were either devised, or revised, when their composers were a long way from home: Pruden in London, Dvořák in the USA and Rachmaninov in the States also.
Larry Pruden’s work for string orchestra was a fine concert opener. Its dreamy, unison opening for violins only, led us gently into the concert. Other strings followed, the minor key giving the work a...