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Category: Reviews – Concerts

Hearty lunchtime fare at St.Andrew’s with Beethoven and Gershwin

By , 28/03/2018

Guest reviewer - Christina Wells

Wednesday’s lunchtime saw a good crowd at St. Andrew’s Church, all looking forward to hearing a performance of the superlative “Kreutzer” Sonata by Beethoven, for violin and piano. We were warned at the outset by violinist Caroline van Leuven that it was “vigorous stuff” and that we were to “hold onto” our hats! The sonata was delivered with plenty of fire from the violinist and matched... read more

Brilliance and feeling from the Mazzoli Trio at Lower Hutt

By , 26/03/2018
Formed in 2015 by students from the University of Auckland and the Pettman National Junior Academy of Music, the Mazzoli Trio, so the story goes, took its name from that of a composer of a piece of music which was one of the first the trio of musicians had prepared. They had fallen in love with the piece, one called “Lies You Can Believe In”, written by up-and-coming New... read more

New Zealand String Quartet at Waikanae deliver major works with assurance, passion, delicacy

How fortunate we are to have such a fine quartet performing to us frequently!  They are national treasures – worth their weight in gold.  And that is how they appeared at this concert: in new, gold encrusted outfits.  In Rolf Gjelsten’s case it was restricted to his tie, but the women’s tops were much more flashy – but not so much as to be a distraction from the wonderful... read more

Camerata’s “Haydn in the Church” series throws open the leadlights

By , 23/03/2018
Venues for concerts are obviously part-and-parcel of the experience of listening to and enjoying live music. They can be relatively unobtrusive, allowing the audience’s attention to focus primarily on the musicians and their playing of the music; or they can provide “added value” to the experience, either visually or acoustically – in the happiest of cases both the concert’s sight and sound are positively enhanced by the surroundings. These musings... read more

Intriguing improvisatory performances by Robbie Duncan and Bernard Wells at St Andrew’s

By , 21/03/2018
This is a belated, 'sort-of' review of the St Andrew’s concert on Wednesday 21 March. So I have filed it out of date order for a few days so that it will be noticed. I didn’t arrive at the concert till after 12.30; the first few minutes were spent tuning my head to the sounds and to the character of the playing, and trying to sense the players’ personalities and that of... read more

Anderson and Roe Piano Duo – a compelling and invigorating mix of gravitas and glitter!

By , 17/03/2018
Duo pianists Anderson and Roe are very much the products of the millennial age, two accomplished graduates from the Juilliard School of Music who make music together out of a shared vision of wanting “to strengthen and make more relevant the place of classical music in the new millennium”. They’ve been playing as a duo for fourteen years, now, and intend to continue to do so, along with keeping... read more

Great singer, and audience, sold short at hybrid festival concert

By , 15/03/2018
I’ll see if I can find space later on to mention the few good things about this concert, apart from the fact that the great Anne Sophie von Otter actually came here and sang for a while. The Programme First, let’s see what we could have expected. The first statement in the notice of her recital in the festival season brochure wrote: “Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sophie von Otter is one of... read more

Interesting if unorthodox Festival programme of music for organ and brass at St Mary of the Angels

By , 13/03/2018
Having attended the previous chamber music concert in St Mary of the Angels which seemed to have an audience of only about 60 or 70, I was rather astonished to find that what was a predominantly organ recital was a full house (or should that be una chiesa piena?). I have been heard to express a certain weariness at the four-year-long obsession with remembering the horrors of World War I;... read more

Kings Singers and Voices New Zealand combine for wonderful, eclectic concert for New Zealand Festival

Surprisingly perhaps, The King’s Singers were full of praise for the Michael Fowler Centre as a venue for their type of singing.  They demonstrated what true projection is, both in speaking and singing.  The breadth of their repertoire was astonishing, the clarity, precision and warmth of their utterances, breathtaking. This concert was part of a 50th anniversary tour; it was surprising to learn that it is 30 years since they... read more

Largely successful Japanese chamber music concert at St Mary of the Angels

By , 09/03/2018
There are, inevitably, concerts where a critic feels out of his depth; music that is almost of the future, or from a sophisticated culture that one has little experience of. One often approaches them with trepidation, fearing that it will be music that is so remote in spirit and language from familiar Western music that one has no touchstone by which to assess it fairly, certainly with any sense... read more

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