Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Category: Live performance

Kapiti and Palmerston North choirs in rewarding performance of Dvořák’s Stabat Mater

By , 15/04/2018
This seems to be the Dvořák year in Wellington, as two days earlier I had heard players from Orchestra Wellington perform two of his chamber works – the String Quintet No 2 and the Serenade for wind instruments, cello and bass. Orchestra Wellington is featuring five of Dvořák’s symphonies in their 2018 season; and RNZ Concert are playing them all this week! Most welcome as we tend to hear... read more

Admirable, enterprising concert of Dvořák from Orchestra Wellington players

By , 13/04/2018
Dvořák wrote two serenades: the first, for strings in 1875 and the second, for winds plus cello and bass, in 1878. We heard the latter. His two serenades occupy a rather special place in music of the Romantic era, the wind one especially, as there had not been a work of comparable charm since Mozart’s 80 years before, and none quite as fine later. Though perhaps not influenced by Dvořák... read more

Engaging recital of obscure, quirky music on saxophone and harp at St Andrew’s

By , 11/04/2018
Here was a recital that seemed to fit the space acoustically and offered a range of mostly unfamiliar music that was yet approachable; many of the audience might well be happy to hear these pieces again. The first piece was by a sixteen-year-old Debussy: Beau soir (beautiful evening). The words of the poem by Paul Bourget were printed and we were left to assume that the score, presumably voice and... read more

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

De Waart and NZSO: Brilliant Mozart two piano concerto and epic Mahler performance

By , 06/04/2018
For me, two of Mozart’s most beguiling works have adjacent numbers in the Köchel catalogue: the Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola (K 364) and the Concerto for two pianos (K 365), meaning that scholars believed they were written about the same time, 1779. Certainly, they have both been deeply embedded in my affections, perhaps through the performances I first heard. This was a little before Mozart’s leaving Salzburg for... 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

Intriguing improvisatory performances by Robbie Duncan and Bernard Wells at St Andrew’s

By , 21/03/2018
This is a belated, 'sort-of' review of the St Andrew’s concert on Wednesday 21 March. So I have filed it out of date order for a few days so that it will be noticed. I didn’t arrive at the concert till after 12.30; the first few minutes were spent tuning my head to the sounds and to the character of the playing, and trying to sense the players’ personalities and that of... read more

Great singer, and audience, sold short at hybrid festival concert

By , 15/03/2018
I’ll see if I can find space later on to mention the few good things about this concert, apart from the fact that the great Anne Sophie von Otter actually came here and sang for a while. The Programme First, let’s see what we could have expected. The first statement in the notice of her recital in the festival season brochure wrote: “Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sophie von Otter is one of... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy