Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Category: Reviews – Concerts

Woodwind students present entertaining, varied music at St Andrew’s lunchtime concert

To hear young performers is always a pleasure; here we had seven young woodwind players, along with three pianists.  The first piece used  a student pianist, and the Bach work was unaccompanied.  Hugh McMillan and Kirsten Robertson were authoritative pianists for the other items. Bridget Douglas, principal flute with the NZSO is acting Head of Winds, and she introduced the concert.  After that, the players introduced their items, and it... read more

Wellington Youth Orchestra in winning performances, especially Brahms No 1

By , 23/05/2017
Looking back over Middle C’s reviews of the Wellington Youth Orchestra, one sees a couple of repeated themes. One that through them we sometimes hear unfamiliar but great and enjoyable music, and that the citizens of Wellington turn up in such sparse numbers that one wonders what can justify boasts of our being the cultural capital. This evening’s concert ticked both those notions. It began with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Festival Overture:... read more

Splendid NZSO concert with a greatly gifted cellist and young conductor prodigy

By , 20/05/2017
This was the second of three concerts in the NZSO’s main series to feature a solo cello: a fortnight ago, a new work by Gareth Farr, and in a month's time, Schumann’s cello concerto played by Daniel Müller-Schott. Interesting: that Müller-Schott was here in 2013 playing the Dvořák concerto which was the concerto tonight, played by alarmingly talented Armenian cellist, Narek Hakhnazaryan. But first, to follow the Gareth Farr premiere... read more

Peter Walls steps in to conduct Bach Choir in Vivaldi and the Bach family

Great praise is due to Peter Walls for the success of this concert; previous conductor Peter de Blois had departed overseas leaving rather short notice for the preparation of the music.  Without this explanation, the audience would hardly be aware that ample time was not available for rehearsal, such was the high standard of most of the music presented.  One item originally scheduled, by J. Christian Bach, was dropped ... read more

“Firebird” from Orchestra Wellington an incendiary experience

By , 13/05/2017
This was, in this best of all possible worlds, the best possible start to Orchestra Wellington's "The Impresario" season, a beautifully-devised concert whose centrepiece was Igor Stravinsky's 1910 Ballet "The Firebird". This piece, commissioned by the Russian-born artistic entrepreneur Sergei Diaghilev for the Ballets Russes in Paris, began a collaboration between composer and impresario which was to produce three of the most famous ballets of the 20th century, the... read more

Piano and string quartet in unexpectedly contrasting scene

By , 08/05/2017
A radical change has occurred in programming over the past year or three. Instead of programmes of carefully related music, set in a coherent sequence, either chronological, stylistic or thematic, disjunction and daring contrast have come to be the fashion. To seek the traditional common theme, one might suggest ‘composers starting with ‘D’’, or that, instead of a chronological sequence starting ancient and ending modern, you turn it around: a... read more

Kindred Spirits indeed – Nota Bene and Guests at Sacred Heart Cathedral

The choral concert, 'Kindred Spirits', by Nota Bene Chamber Choir and guests, was a luminous and lovely affair. The themed programme juxtaposed compositions of Benjamin Britten and Jack Body, offering more substance than a 'regular' concert might, the sum more than its parts. The acoustic in this light-filled space is clear and clean, and enterprising use was made of different areas in the church. Good sightlines make it a most... read more

Aotearoa Plus from the NZSO set alight by Gareth Farr premiere

By , 05/05/2017
A concert with the name "Aotearoa Plus" begs the question of how an orchestra might best support and present the music of native composers - the title is one which, in my artless way, I thought might have fairly been expected to accompany rather more homegrown examples of composition than were allowed for here. Thank goodness, then, in my view, for Gareth Farr's work, and its performance, which delivered a... read more

Interesting organ recital ranging from 17th to mid-20th century from Paul Rosoman

By , 03/05/2017
The chamber organ which is normally on the right of the sanctuary was moved to the centre for this recital, allowing the audience to be more involved in the performance. It struck me as an excellent idea, one that others could well emulate when it is to be played on its own. It was a programme entirely given over to composers of Germany and the Low Countries. The baroque organ... read more

NZTrio at St.Andrew’s in Wellington – and homage to Justine Cormack

By , 30/04/2017
Outside of the brilliant performances of the music, the most stupendous revelation for some at the NZ Trio's recent Wellington concert would have been the announcement, made at the concert's end by local chamber music organiser Julie Coulson, that the trio's violinist Justine Cormack would be leaving the group mid-2017 - of course for people who "keep abreast" of things like this by reading newsletters and the like (a... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy