Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Category: Live performance

Masterly playing of Bach’s first sonata and partita from Martin Risely

By , 14/02/2018
It takes other professional and voluntary organisations a long time to organise a few concerts drawing mainly on New Zealand musicians. But impresario extraordinaire Marjan van Waardenburg probably spends a good deal of the summer, putting together something approaching 50 concerts – one a week – at St Andrew’s; perhaps more than all the other chamber music organisers in Greater Wellington combined. They have become an important institution in... read more

National Youth Orchestra’s summer concert a brilliant showcase for cellist Balzat in Elgar concerto

By , 03/02/2018
To start the year, neither Peter Mechen nor I was prepared to forego hearing the National Youth Orchestra and debated the question of authoring a review. We settled by both giving up something we each hated being deprived of – that is, the entire concert. The compromise: I cover the first half and Peter, the second. Much as one attempts to avoid repetitious expressions of amazement at the remarkable accomplishment 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

Legal choristers and instrumentalists in anniversary class action supporting child cancer campaign

It was heartening to see such a large bunch of lawyers who enjoy making music – and the large, mainly young audience who came to hear their second performance.  The 38-strong orchestra included some 21 players from the NZSO and Orchestra Wellington, but only one lawyer – the indefatigable Merran Cooke, who rehearses the performers and organised the concert.  The choir consisted of 53 singers. The composers selected were a... read more

Organist Bruce Cash momentous performance of Messiaen’s La Nativité du Seigneur

To hear a splendid work of meditation for organ on the fine organ of St Mary of the Angels with its marvellous acoustics and its ambience since its recent restoration, was a treat in itself; to hear Bruce Cash play it so well was the icing on the cake. Bruce Cash had described the work in his interesting pre-concert talk, which was accompanied by slides. They included two of... read more

A Consort Christmas: Tudor Consort assembles brilliant and diverting package of words and music

By , 16/12/2017
Given The Tudor Consort's splendidly rehearsed and executed array of carols, chants, liturgical and secular songs connected with Christmas, one had to wonder whether the unusual quantity of Christmas-related music over the past few weeks had brought about some aural fatigue resulting in a smaller audience than I would have expected. And so, to remind you of all the Christmas-like concerts over the past three weeks, look at the end of... read more

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

Admirable Sibelius as well as Lilburn and a rare trombone concerto from Wellington Chamber Orchestra

By , 10/12/2017
Lilburn’s Suite for Orchestra was composed for the Auckland Junior Symphony Orchestra in 1955. Thus it was a sensible piece for a non-professional orchestra, though that is not to suggest that its wide-ranging moods, brilliant orchestration and rhythms that range widely from the utmost subtlety to the unusually boisterous are not very taxing. Subtle brass playing is rarely a highlight of amateur orchestras and it was trumpets and trombones that... read more

Aroha Quartet: one of the year’s most wonderful lunchtime concerts

By , 06/12/2017
Though St Andrew’s free lunchtime concerts usually populate the church very respectably, a professional group like the Aroha Quartet (though I assume they play, like all performers in these concerts, without payment) tends to draw a larger crowd and that was the case this week. Both the reputation of the quartet and the choice of music accounted for the responsive audience today; it enjoyed quite long applause, and several... read more

A polished and scrupulously studied recital by male vocal quartet, Aurora IV

By , 22/11/2017
I’m fairly sure that this was my first hearing of Aurora IV, a male vocal quartet whose repertoire stretches from the 16th to the 21st century, though I have long been familiar with Simon Christie’s voice and recall hearing Richard Taylor in other groups, particularly The Tudor Consort. One of the characteristics of the recital was the choice of words and music from widely separate eras. Thus the opening piece... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy