Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Category: Live performance

Flutes of the RNZAF Band demonstrate their flair and versatility at St Andrew’s lunchtime concert

By , 28/06/2017
A concert by flute students from the New Zealand School of Music had been scheduled for this lunchtime and the change had come to my attention only a couple of days before the date. There were several aspects that, even in advance, suggested a very interesting recital. One, a chance to hear just a few of the players from the RNZAF Band which is based in Wellington, but which seems... read more

Ron Newton plays for St James 2017 Sunday Organ Series

Dr Ron Newton, as well as being an organist, is an organ builder and travels throughout the country working on organs English composer John Baptiste Calkin (1827 – 1905) is not often heard of these days.  He wrote a lot of church and organ music.  I found his march rather undistinguished, though obviously written for a time when organ music was often symphonic in nature (and often being transcriptions of... read more

Excellent and interesting mix of Mozart quintet and Respighi song

The sun had well and truly set before I made my way to Karori through cold southerly rain and wind for a charity concert in the series organised by Christiaan van der Zee and others.  The regular Friday evening concerts in winter have usually been in St. Ninian’s Church; the change of venue brought a quite different acoustic.  This church has a vaulted timber ceiling and plastered walls, producing... read more

Archi d’Amore Zealanda with delightful programme of New Zealand compositions, plus Bach

The ensemble brought a thoroughly delightful programme to an appreciative audience.  What was unusual was that apart from the solo Bach work, the music played was contemporary, whereas one would expect that the viola d’amore would be playing music from a much earlier times.  The programme notes included this comment ‘...the instrument has been enjoying a renaissance since the mid-twentieth century, with new works being composed and old works... read more

Winds and piano: a masterpiece and three French delights from Zephyr

By , 11/06/2017
The players from the NZSO who comprised five-sixths of the Zephyr Wind Ensemble have played together in varying combinations over the years, and several will have played with Diedre Irons. What this leads one to expect is ensemble and musical rapport at a very high level. It was. One of the characteristics of the famous Mozart quintet is the entrancing interlacing of the individual instruments. As with most chamber music, it... read more

Naxos issues CD from NZSQ of Brahms’s 3rd string quartet and clarinet quintet

By , 11/06/2017
The New Zealand String Quartet recorded Brahms’s first two string quartets, Op 51, in July 2014 at the same place. All modern recordings of Brahms’s three string quartets fill the second disc with another comparable (occasionally a non-comparable) work, sometimes by Brahms; the filler has been the clarinet quintet on several occasions. String Quartet No 3 Setting the third quartet alongside the clarinet quintet was logical enough, but the juxtaposition created a... read more

Excellent performances of UK and US music from Wellington Youth Choir

By , 09/06/2017
The Sacred Heart Cathedral is a good place for singing – for both singers and listeners, and so it was especially good to hear this generally well-schooled and enthusiastic young choir, in a wide variety of songs. The British song tradition The concert began with an account of God Save the Queen, which prompted no one to stand, because it was clearly an arrangement, and a rather entertaining arrangement of the... read more

Choral singing flourishes in Wellington region Big Sing gala concert

As I said in 2015 (in a review of the Big Sing National Finale concert), it is marvellous to find so many young people taking part in choirs and obviously enjoying it.  Apparently there are more choirs in the 2017 Festival than ever before, and it seems to me that the standard is always rising.  The fact that all the choirs learn all their pieces by heart is staggering... read more

Engaging recital of once much-played piano pieces from young pianist

By , 07/06/2017
Louis Lucas-Perry’s brief biography printed in the programme writes of performances in Upper Hutt and Nelson (a Grieg Piano Concerto there), of winning a New Zealand School of Music ‘Directors’ Scholarship. He offers no information about the schools attended, but mentions teaching and accompanying the Big Sing, students' choral festival, and chamber music groups. I notice that I reviewed a student concert that included him in October 2015; there he... read more

Acclamation for Auckland Viva Voce’s remarkable performance of enthralling work on pilgrimage: Camino de Santiago de Compostela

The programme’’s sub-title for the work was “Joby Talbot’s stunning choral depiction of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage.”  The blurb was right; this was a truly remarkable work, of just over an hour’s almost constant unaccompanied singing (apart from the periodic use of 8 traditional small cymbals,or crotales), with no applause until the end. Talbot is a 46-year-old British composer who has written in many genres, including opera and ballet... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy