Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Posts tagged: historically informed

Handel’s Messiah – music as a living entity

By , 09/12/2017
This was a most interesting “Messiah”, containing as it did a number of interpretative and executive detailings I wouldn’t quite frankly have expected to encounter in the same single performance. Of course, for me to actually say that goes against the grain of what I’ve always felt about Baroque Music and its presentation, that its composers and musicians (and almost certainly its listeners as well) would have been intensely... read more

Refined, period sensibilities from Kuijken Quartet in Haydn and Mozart

By , 15/07/2017
The Kuijken Quartet is very much a family affair: second violin Sara is Sigiswald’s daughter and violist Marleen Thiers, his wife. They have devoted themselves to playing music in the ‘historically informed’ manner. While that has tended to refer mainly to music of the earlier, Baroque era, it applies also to the Galant and Classical periods, and in theory to all later periods, up to yesterday, if you insist It... read more

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

Days Bay Opera does it again with Handel’s “Theodora”

By , 11/02/2017
One of the pleasures of reviewing for me is fronting up to performances of music which I simply don’t know, and subsequently asking myself (sometimes in tones of amazement and disbelief) why it is I’ve never encountered this or that work before, finding it so beautiful / profound / thrilling /whatever! Thus it was with this often compelling production of Handel’s oratorio Theodora, a work the composer wrote towards... read more

No Christmas without “Messiah” – with the Tudor Consort and the NZSO

  This was a remarkable performance, in many ways.  The smaller-than-usual orchestra was matched by a larger-than-usual Tudor Consort in fine voice, and splendid soloists, all directed by Australian Handel specialist Graham Abbott.  Unusually, there were no cuts in the score; all was performed.  ‘Their sound is gone out’, in Part II is usually a chorus.  But this was composed three years after the première; in the first performance it... read more

Camerata – graceful and high-spirited music-making at St.Peter’s Church, Willis St.

By , 11/11/2016
Camerata violinist Liz Pritchett opened proceedings by welcoming us to St.Peter’s Church, introducing the ensemble’s leader Anne Loeser and the rest of the Camerata players, and bidding us enjoy the music we were about to hear.  First up was something of a concert rarity, a Serenade by the French composer Gabriel Pierné, whose music I’d seldom heard, apart from a Piano Concerto which I’d encountered in a “Romantic Piano... read more

Passage of the Soul – commemorative and reflective beauty at Wellington Cathedral

By , 02/10/2016
It was originally intended that “Passage of the Soul”, the name given to a concert of Eastern Orthodox choral music, would take place in the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation of the Theotokos, in Wellington’s Hania Street. For those of us who hadn’t been to the venue the chance to do so represented an additional incentive to attend this Baroque Voices concert, which was evocatively subtitled “Choral Whispers... read more

Hammers and Horsehair speak volumes – Douglas Mews and Robert Ibell

By , 13/07/2016

What a fascinating and splendidly-realised concept this was! With instruments able to reproduce authentic-sounding timbres and tones of a specific period, and with two musicians in complete command of those same instruments, and well-versed in the style of performance of that same period, we in the audience at St.Mark's Church, Woburn, in Lower Hutt, were treated to an evening's evocative and authoritative music-making.

Part of the occasion's success... read more

Monteverdi gets keen, sharp-edged and exciting treatment

By , 27/02/2016

There was certainly a festive spirit around and about the Michael Fowler Centre leading up to the performance on Saturday evening of Claudio Monteverdi's resplendent Vespers of 1610, to be given by the highly-acclaimed visiting baroque ensemble Concerto Italiano with their director Rinaldo Alessandrini.

The performance fulfilled all expectations, managing even to transcend the venue's drab, determinedly secular vistas and ambiences. My last encounter with this music "live"... 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

Panorama Theme by Themocracy