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Posts tagged: chamber music

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

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

Bach père et fils, and antipodean Baroque resoundings, from Ensemble Paladino

By , 28/04/2017
Auckland-based Ensemble Paladino's intentions, as stated in an introductory note to this concert, were "to present uncompromising, diverse and fearless chamber music on the highest level", an exciting and challenging statement of intent which, to my ears was fulfilled most expertly and mellifluously at Lower Hutt's Little Theatre on Friday evening. It was interesting that, with the ensemble's sound still resounding in my ears, I unexpectedly found myself comparing... read more

Capable and well-considered performances of Arensky, Rachmaninov and Cherubini by Cantoris and their pianist conductor

By , 08/04/2017
In addition to the advertised Requiem by Cherubini, the programme was fleshed out with the most popular movement from Rachmaninov’s Vespers (‘All Night Vigil’), Op 37, and Arensky’s first piano trio. The Rachmaninov piece is the sixth movement in the 15-movement, hour-long Vespers setting, rather inaccurately called the ‘All-night Vigil’. Bogorovitse Devo (pronounced 'djevo') means ‘Rejoice, O Virgin’. It’s a short, gentle piece that introduced the choir in a beautifully quiet... read more

Memorable Lower Hutt recital of the familiar and the unknown

Chamber music at its best.  Splendid performers, enthusiastic, receptive audience, good acoustics, masterworks of the repertoire.  One can’t ask for much more, whether the players are from overseas or are our locals – the latter the case this time, with strings all from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, with the added talents of pianist Jian Liu, from the New Zealand School of Music.  However, the concert deserved a larger... read more

Successful violin and viola duo reveal rare Mozart and well-known Halvorsen

By , 08/03/2017
The names of the two performers at this lunchtime concert should no doubt have been familiar to me, as they have been on the Wellington scene on and off for a long time; both had played in the NZSO. Both have lived and studied overseas and now work in other fields in Wellington, though music clearly remains an important part of their lives. The programme note explained that Mozart wrote... read more

Paekakariki’s Mulled Wine concert series opens in the rich classical heartland

By , 05/03/2017
I missed the first of Paekakriki’s Mulled Wine concerts in January, organised by Mary Gow, featuring ‘Ukes of Wellington’ along with wine and beer at the bar; all three I could well have enjoyed. However, I caught the first serious engagement, involving three leading Wellington musicians none of whom were born in New Zealand but who one hopes will not change their minds in the light of political or other... read more

Nelson Chamber Music festival again New Zealand’s biennial musical highlight

By , 10/02/2017
My visit this year to the Nelson Chamber Music Festival was shorter than in previous years, arriving late afternoon on the Tuesday and departing midday Saturday. The highlights from abroad were the presence of Hungarian pianist Dénes Varjon, the Australian tenor, Andrew Goodwin (singing Schumann’s Dichterliebe), the Goldner Quartet and cellist Matthew Barley. The essence of the festival rests with the New Zealand String Quartet, which founded and sustained the festival... read more

Flute and piano duo feature composers languishing in the shadows of the greats

By , 30/11/2016
Here were two names that were slightly familiar to me but which I couldn’t really offer biographical information about. Both studied in Wellington: Nick at the Conservatorium of Music at Massey University, Christy at Victoria University. Palmerston North has featured in the lives of both, but the birth-place of neither was disclosed. They are married and have quite a range of performance history both together and separately. It was a... read more

Big lunchtime audience for interesting programme from professional musicians

A large audience greeted a wonderfully varied line-up of professional musicians – and of music.  The opening work immediately grabbed one’s attention; Ginastera’s work was delightful and full of subtle animation.  Especially notable was the floating, uprising flute part.  The programme note describing its ‘gentle, romantic, quasi-impressionist harmonies’ was apt indeed.  Which leads me to comment how excellent was the acknowledgement at the end of the printed programme of... read more

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