Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Category: Live performance

Polished recital of Lieder by Clara Schumann and Brahms, and Robert’s Scenes of Childhood

By , 11/07/2018
I didn’t hear the recital in March 2017 by this couple from Dunedin, though my colleague Rosemary Collier reviewed it. It seems many years since I have heard them. They form an attractive duet and the music they choose is the kind that is not much performed these days: the song recital is a bit out of fashion and there is a deep-seated belief among the classical music impresarios:... read more

Admirable exploration of challenging Purcell and gorgeous Fauré from Nota Bene

By , 08/07/2018
Looking back through Middle C’s archive, I was a little surprised to discover that Nota Bene was founded as far back as 2004; we have reviewed 18 of their concerts since our beginning in 2008. It was founded by Christine Argyle, and has been under the direction of several others since, including, quite often, Peter Walls. Concerts are usually constructed round a theme, and the theme here was death and... read more

Demanding song recital reflects more ambition than accomplishment

It is not often that I attend a lunchtime concert at St. Andrew’s and come away disappointed, but that was the case this time.  I am fond of Fauré’s songs and deeply devoted to Schumann’s Dichterliebe.  But this time I could not say I was enchanted by what I heard. The first song went well.  The second, like a number later on, was perhaps a little low for William McElwee’s voice... read more

Delectable Dvořák, palatable Puccini and delicious Dohnányi at Waikanae

The delectable Dvořák quintet was a joy to hear; the Puccini was highly palatable, and the Dohnányi delicious, from an outstanding group of musicians.  Two are present New Zealand String Quartet members, one a former member, plus two highly regarded players.  A large audience heard them play.  Such is the musical activity in Wellington, there were five classical concerts in the Wellington region listed on Middle-C’s Current Events page... read more

NZSO in splendid form under Harth-Bedoya with Brahms and Tchaikovsky

It is always a case of pleasant anticipation when a new Gareth Farr work is to be performed, and this was the case again.  Farr’s piece was commissioned by the NZSO to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s first landing in this country, which occurs next year (he departed from Britain in 1768). The title comes from Governor William Hobson’s greeting to Maori chiefs as they came forward to... read more

NZ Opera’s trans-Tasman “The Elixir of Love ” a corker!

By , 23/06/2018
Y’ know wot I reckon, mate? I reckon yer need ter get yerself inter town bloody pronto, if yer ain’t a city slicker (I know a few o’ those geezers as well and they’re not bad blokes, considering…..) and grab a cuppla seats for yusself an’ yer missus or yer sheila or whomever, so youse won’t miss out on the show at the Opera House (she’s actually a cracker... read more

Immaculate and varied piano recital from gifted young Russian pianist

By , 22/06/2018
Nikolai Saratovsky is a 31-year-old pianist, brought to New Zealand by Mary Gow, impresario (feminine form??), who runs the Mulled Wine concerts at Paekakariki (you can catch him again, at the Paekakariki Memorial Hall, this Sunday at 2:30 pm).  Mary Gow also organised his concert at St Andrew's on The Terrace on Thursday lunchtime. One of a seeming endless flood of musicians from Russia and other former-Soviet states. Bach opened the... read more

A revelatory Bach X 2 lunch recital on piano and organ by Jonathan Berkahn

By , 20/06/2018
Jonathan Berkahn is a versatile musician, happy to play any keyboard instrument, including the piano accordion. In this recital he played three J S Bach pieces on the Steinway, then moved to the pipe organ in the gallery to play an organ sonata by CPE Bach and a final Toccata and Fugue by Bach père. The Fantasia in C minor is a splendid piece which sounds as bold and inspiring... read more

Lawrence Renes, NZSO and Simon O’Neill in superb Wagner songs and monumental Bruckner 4th

By , 16/06/2018
This subscription concert was advertised as ‘An Evening with Simon O’Neill’, obviously in the hope that the name of New Zealand’s internationally most distinguished singer would match that of the recently retired Kiri Te Kanawa. But it didn’t work as the auditorium was hardly half full. Nevertheless, O’Neill is indeed one of a small handful of leading tenors in the Wagner class. Sure, he doesn’t compete in the public... read more

Chris Hainsworth – “Perfection of Sound” on the Fernie organ at St.Mary of the Angels

By , 15/06/2018
This, of course, was a concert with a difference, being the occasion of a book pre-launch, though regarding the actual music performed, perhaps to a less idiosyncratic extent for those who, unlike myself, have previously attended one or more of organist Chris Hainsworth’s recitals. Hainsworth has, on previous occasions at the St.Mary of the Angels Church organ, given presentations of a somewhat less-than-highbrow nature, partly due to his well-documented... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy