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Category: Reviews – Books

Jack Body – lightning leaping from the pages

By , 10/06/2015
This beautifully-prepared and richly-annotated volume contains a remarkable array of testaments of love and regard for a man whose life and work deeply touched not only immediate friends and colleagues, but many people involved with music in New Zealand, throughout South-East Asia and around the world. Happily, it appeared while its subject, Jack Body, was still very much alive, by all accounts - an acknowledgement is made by the editors... read more

The Ginger Series tackles classical music with a captivating, oblique apologia

By , 27/11/2013
One has waited quite a while for this brilliant little series of monographs to find a writer able to deal with what the media likes to suggest is about the most intractable (and irrelevant) of artistic fields: classical music. The many subjects covered so far have included such quirky topics as bird watching, watching video games, how to pick a winner, fishing, as well as more serious matters like listening to... read more

Organ Megalomania: Christopher Hainsworth courtesy Maxwell Fernie

Chris Hainsworth believes that organ recitals should not be solemn, passive affairs. Wisecracks and commentary from the organ loft (not all of which could be heard toward the front of the church) and jocular groupings of pieces in the printed programme (e.g. The Four Seasons – NOT by Vivaldi; Strictly for the Birds and Grand Megalomaniacal Improvisation) gave the flavour. However, the layout on the printed page was not... read more

LDA rides again – a new lease of life for a life in music

By , 12/02/2013
Louis Daly Austin - London-born teacher, composer, New Zealand pianist, columnist and inveterate letter-writer - lived a long and productive life ... too long and too productive would be the opinion of his detractors, and it would be fair to say that there were many. Readers of newspapers and of the Listener during the 1950s and 1960s would no doubt remember being subjected to a barrage of sharply-worded letters... read more

Anna Leese and Terence Dennis in wonderful recital at Waikanae

What an interesting programme this was, with a nice mixture of songs and operatic arias! The known and the less-well-known. Anna Leese’s voice has developed even more since I last heard her, in the role of Tatyana in Eugene Onegin in Wellington, in 2009.  One of the impressive factors in her singing is her ability to modify style and tone for the character, text and music of each individual song ... read more

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