Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

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 So I have filed it out of date order for a few days so that it will be noticed.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

Switzerland – Circa Theatre’s absorbing “life and art” thriller

By , 20/03/2018
Playwright Joanna Murray-Smith remembers her mother reading American author Patricia Highsmith’s novels “voraciously”, and with an intensity of concentration that left a deep impression upon her. She was to find herself in turn similarly “drawn in” by Highsmith’s writing, in particular by what she termed her “utterly fearless curiosity about the darkness of the human psyche”. Subsequently, in her play “Switzerland”, where Murray-Smith depicts the author, in self-imposed exile... 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

Orpheus – a Dance Drama – beautiful, complex and thought-provoking work from Michael Parmenter

By , 16/03/2018
The "Orpheus legend" is obviously one of the seminal "stories" which has contributed towards western civilisation's view of itself and its place in the world down the ages. Orpheus himself is a multi-faceted figure whose qualities and exploits have been variously treated and interpreted at different stages, a process that continues to this day, as witness choreopher Michael Parmenter's ambitious and wide-ranging "take" on the character's far-reaching exploits. Most people... 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

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