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Category: Reviews – Recordings

Inbal Megiddo (‘cello) and Te Kōkī Trio record music for the ages

By , 16/04/2018
Inbal Megiddo is presently the head of ‘Cello Studies at the New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University of Wellington, and has appeared in numerous concerts in Wellington both as a soloist and as a member of Te Kōkī Trio, an ensemble in which she is joined by two other faculty members, Martin Riseley, and Jian Liu, the respective heads of violin and piano studies at the school. Her... read more

Two resounding recordings from Rattle – classics and a feisty newcomer

By , 23/02/2018
Taking the contents of both CDs listed above, one might argue that there are two "classic" compositions to be found among these works, one recognised internationally and the other locally, each defined as such by its popularity and general recognition as a notable piece of work. If this suggests a kind of facile populist judgement, one might reflect that posterity does eventually take over, either continuing to further enhance... read more

Atoll Records releases CD conspectus of Ken Wilson: Music For Winds

A worthy addition to Atoll's now substantial catalogue of recordings of music by New Zealand composers, this CD should delight many music-lovers.  That it is already doing so is proved by its place at number three on the RNZ Concert Classical Chart, on Saturday, 18 February.  They played an excerpt from Ken Wilson's Wind Quintet of 1965.  This was recorded by Kiwi Records on LP in the mid-1980s, and... read more

At last! Michael Houstoun’s Beethoven recordings for Rattle reach the Diabelli Variations

By , 24/10/2017
Early in 1819, Anton Diabelli, who was a music publisher in Vienna, and something of a dilettante composer, wrote a waltz, and invited all of the leading composers of the time in and around Vienna to compose a single variation on his work. Diabelli's intention was to publish the collection as a complete set, planning to raise money for patriotic and humanitarian purposes relating to the recent Napoleonic Wars Included... read more

Beauty, poignancy, energy, focus – Kenneth Young’s CD “Shadows and Light”

By , 01/08/2017

Over much too protracted a period I have lived with this disc of Kenneth Young's music, playing single tracks at times when opportunities arose, and, in random-step-wise mode very gradually familiarising myself with the music's sounds. It's only recently that I've had the oportunity to tease it out from my constantly-attenuated "must-hear" collection of recordings, and given it the uninterrupted attention I've felt it deserves. Playing a track at... read more

Michael Houstoun’s Beethoven on Rattle

By , 01/12/2014
With his recently-released set of the complete Beethoven piano sonatas recorded for Rattle Records, Michael Houstoun joins a select number of pianists who have recorded the cycle more than once. And though he's in pretty stellar company, here, alongside luminaries such as Wilhelm Kempff, Alfred Brendel, Wilhelm Backhaus, Daniel Barenboim and Friedrich Gulda, with this latest issue Houstoun can, in my opinion, hold his head up proudly in their... read more

Yvette Audain and friends “in the groove” – a new CD

By , 19/10/2014
Yvette Audain modestly commented beforehand that what would make her night would be at least TWO people in the audience for the launch of her CD "Grooves Unspoken". Well, she got her wish and more, besides - not a great deal more, but those of us who were there were caught up in the creative and recreative web and waft of the music and its performance. And with the... read more

Jenny McLeod’s “Peter Pan” music on Naxos

By , 10/03/2012
After the splendid concert given by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra featuring Jenny McLeod's The Emperor and the Nightingale as part of the NZ International Festival of the Arts Series, it was interesting re-adjusting one's thoughts towards an audio-only presentation of the work, included on this splendid recent CD. In fact, coming back to it in the wake of the concert enhanced my enjoyment of both experiences, and stimulated... read more

Tribute to Kurt Sanderling from ICA Classics

By , 31/01/2012
Kurt Sanderling, who died last year in Berlin at the age of 98, was a name known to me from my formative days of record-collecting, through his 1950s recording made with the Leningrad Phllharmonic of Rachmaninov's Second Symphony - one of those early cotton-stitched white-and-yellow panelled Deutsche Grammophon LP covers with the composer's facsimile autograph scribbled across the central vertical yellow panel (all very tasteful and esoteric, obviously aimed at... read more

Georgina Zellan-Smith – fond piano memories

By , 15/11/2011
I must confess my first reaction upon receiving this CD was of surprise that so gifted an executant as Georgina Zellan-Smith would expend so much of her energies on "faded trifles" such as these. Especially in the wake of the same pianist's excellent Beethoven/Hummel CD, whose interesting and unique compilation of repertoire "enlarged" the piano-playing world for me, I thought this collection seemed, by comparison, somewhat surplus to requirements... read more

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