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Posts tagged: chamber music; vocal

Purcell’s “happier graces” prevail in concert of improvisations

By , 18/03/2017
This was a concert whose music-making seemed to connect with practically everybody who sat within coo-ee of me in the Michael Fowler Centre, judging by the warmth and enthusiasm of the reception for the musicians at the end of the evening. While I must confess I wasn't as obviously enamoured of some of the concert's offerings as most people were, I certainly registered the individual and corporate skills of... read more

Wit, theatricality and food for thought from Affetto, in Lower Hutt

By , 08/07/2015
An unexpected "bonus" for me, during this enterprising and innovative concert by the early music ensemble Affetto in St.Mark's Church, Woburn, came midway through - just before the interval, actually - when the ensemble played Henry Purcell's rousing Lilliburlero. I hadn't heard the tune for years (the last time was when I went to see Stanley Kubrick's iconic 1975 film "Barry Lyndon" which used the melody as a rousing ceremonial marching tune). But... read more

Ballades, Songs and Snatches – singer and piper at Futuna Chapel

By , 02/11/2014
If there's anybody reading this who hasn't made the mini-pilgrimage to the exquisite Futuna Chapel in Karori, Wellington, I would strongly recommend to whomever that action be urgently taken. The building alone is worth the visit - an award-winning architectural design by Hawkes Bay architect John Scott, commissioned in 1958 by the Catholic Society of Mary, and built by the brothers of the Society themselves as a place of... read more

A world in a grain of sand – Pepe Becker and Stephen Pickett at Futuna

By , 09/12/2012
All that was needed for perfection to be had in this concert was a more substantial audience – but for one reason or another, people stayed away. Perhaps it was the weather – when Wellington turns on a beautiful day, it’s a place to be out and about like no other, and the prospect of an indoor concert, however felicitous, becomes proportionally less inviting. Still, it was an event... read more

Rain, wind and moonlight – Stroma’s “Pierrot Lunaire” and more……

By , 25/11/2012
Stroma brought up the 100th anniversary of Arnold Schoenberg's landmark creation Pierrot Lunaire in unique style at Wellington's Ilott Theatre, as part of a program featuring the music of both pupils and contemporaries of the composer. Naturally, the concert's focus centered firmly on Pierrot Lunaire, with the advance publicity's imagery suggesting a theatrical presentation, one featuring the extremely gifted singer Madeleine Pierard. This performance took up the second half of... read more

Cantatas in their proper place at St.Paul’s Lutheran

By , 29/09/2012
In presenting performances of JS Bach's sacred cantatas in their original liturgical settings, Wellington's St.Paul's Lutheran Church is unique in New Zealand. The church is part of a network of world-wide Lutheran worship offering this same ministry, including the composer's own St.Thomas's Church in Leipzig. This practice was established at St.Paul's in 2007 by Mark Whitfield,  President of the Lutheran Church in New Zealand, and Pastor at St.Paul's in Wellington... read more

Nature, Life and Love – Pepe Becker and Helen Webby

By , 05/09/2012
As soon as both singer and harpist made their antiphonal entrances from each side of the platform, we were spellbound, caught up in a rainbow of enchantment between the two performers, one whose contours had already begun encircling the enraptured audience. With sweet and true singing, supported by the softest, most beguiling harp-tones, the musicians conjured up sounds which gave these visual illusions substance, even if at times the... read more

Strength, delicacy and deep feeling – the New Zealand String Quartet with Jonathan Lemalu

By , 04/03/2012
Despite the fact that there really ought to be a moratorium declared on the use of the words "power" and "passion" anywhere and at any time, this Festival Concert featured the New Zealand String Quartet and bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu in performances that defined the best sense of those very words. In fact this concert was the latest to somewhat bend the righteous pitch of my on-going complaint regarding the Festival's... read more

New Zealand String Quartet count TEN

The concert was part of a splendid weekend of music.  It was a pity that the riches of a couple of days and an evening were not also to be found throughout the Festival.  I was shocked to discover that the Michael Fowler Centre was only in use four times.  Past... read more

Adam Chamber Music Festival, Nelson

By , 30/01/2009
The evening concert was held in the Cathedral: an all-Bach programme. The main draw was the appearance of two singers to perform cantatas. Four cantatas, each consisting in just one section and calling for one or two solo voices. The scoring was reduced in each case to a violin or viola plus continuo (Rolf Gjelsten’s cello and Douglas Mews on the harpsichord; in the case of the Cantata No... read more

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