Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Category: Live performance

Kent McIntosh, Bianca Andrew with Catherine Norton: German and Swedish songs and Janáček’s remarkable cycle

By , 19/08/2017
The first half of this recital – Lieder - was given to mezzo Bianca Andrew while the Janáček was sung (mainly) by Kent McIntosh. To devote the song part to Lieder in German and Swedish (and an American-German) was to lend it very comforting variety, and filled the time to an hour. It might have been decided that Janáček could be accompanied by other Czech or Slavonic songs, which could... read more

Beautiful Lieder recital from Maaike Christie-Beekmann, viola and piano

By , 16/08/2017
I wondered whether it was quite appropriate to review this recital, because, before she began, mezzo Maaike Christie-Beekman had explained that a voice problem might not allow her to get very far through the published programme. I think her tactics were sensible when she began with the two Brahms songs, rather than with Schumann’s eight-song cycle which she then approached. And she abandoned Wolf’s Mignon songs (from Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister)... read more

Inspirare vocal ensemble carves unique niche with music of very contemporary resonance: a full house for peace

On the programme cover for this unusual concert, there’s an image of a white dove struggling to take off in flight, in search of peace. It’s not soaring yet, still having trouble with its wings, in a telling metaphor for the concert’s theme of conflict & resolution, war & peace.  A commentary, delivered by David Morriss,  links each of the 17 songs to aspects of the endless cycle in... read more

Bruch’s violin concerto and Beethoven’s Seventh survive another (splendid) exposure as great works

By , 12/08/2017
It’s unusual for the NZSO to stage two concerts on consecutive evenings in the same town, though often enough they travel to different towns for concerts on consecutive nights. This time it was presumably to make full use of Karen Gomyo’s short visit to New Zealand with concerts only in Wellington and Auckland. In the past I have remarked on the boring CVs about guest soloists that get printed in... read more

Remarkable TGIF concert at St Paul’s Cathedral by Porirua’s ‘Sistema’-inspired orchestra, Virtuoso Strings

I did not intend to review this concert.  I intended to hear how these young people from the Sistema-style programme in Porirua East were getting on, and to support them.  I took no notes.  However, such was the excellence of their performance, I could not resist writing about it. Along with others, I was truly surprised at the skill in playing the instruments that I witnessed.  Intonation, dynamics, tone were... read more

Mahler, Berg – and Salina Fisher, from the NZSO – music of innocence and experience

By , 11/08/2017
Spectres, once they’re established, can haunt the world of music for decades, for oceans of time, during which certain attitudes and values can be gradually eroded, or else further entrenched. The fact that each of this concert’s three items might well have reawakened specific “ghosts” lurking among the sensibilities of the NZSO’s many loyal supporters might well have accounted for the relative paucity of attendance (by my reckoning the... read more

Splendid playing from NZSM students of New Zealand woodwind compositions

Similarly to the crop of good string players from NZSM whom we heard at St. Andrew’s recently, so we now heard splendid woodwind players.  The range of works by New Zealand composers in this rather over-long concert was wide, but all were appealing, melodic and interesting. I had never heard of the composer Eric Biddington, but his Sonatina for clarinet and piano, the 2nd movement of which was played by... read more

Eternity opera’s triumph with The Marriage of Figaro – with the second cast

By , 06/08/2017
The production was performed seven times over a week, with only one dark evening, on Monday the 7th. There were two casts, but that did not mean each had a quiet time every other day, for each acted as the chorus for the other on alternate evenings. It was a busy week for everyone. Last year’s Don Giovanni had been scheduled in the same way which was presumably considered successful... read more

The NZCT Chamber Music Contest results

By , 06/08/2017
Though Middle C did not manage to get to the final stages of this year's concert in Wellington, we have copied the results from the website of Chamber Music New Zealand listing of the finalists and award winners

OVERALL WINNERS

Druz'ya Quartet (Wellington) - Shostakovich | String Quartet No. 8, op. 110, mvts 1, 2 and 3 KBB MUSIC NATIONAL AWARD WINNERS Buda and the Pests (Canterbury) - Bartók | Sonata for Two... read more

Astonishing performance of complete Daphnis et Chloé ballet music, plus a Schumann allusion

By , 05/08/2017
Orchestra Wellington continued its 2017 series theme that focuses on the great impresario Sergei Diaghilev, the genius behind the Ballets Russes which changed the face of ballet before the First World War, and also impacted on most of the other arts. For he employed the most gifted choreographers, composers, dancers and designers, of the age, and inspired them to produce work that would radically enrich and rejuvenate, even revolutionise... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy