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Posts tagged: instrumental

Unfamiliar but rewarding music to mark Conference on 17th and 18th century English music

When on Wednesday after the lunchtime concert someone drew my attention to a poster in St Andrew’s Church foyer, advertising a concert the following early evening, I was unaware of its provenance.  It transpired that it was in association with the 11th Biennial Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies.  Therefore the substantial audience was largely made up of delegates to this... read more

Full vindication of the glories of the violin and piano repertoire, courtesy the Michael Hill violin competition

By , 02/07/2016
Suyeon Kang won last year’s Michael Hill International Violin Competition and it is thanks to the splendid relationship between the competition and the chamber music organization that the winners can be heard in a series of concerts throughout New Zealand. There are others in this project: the Queenstown Winter Festival (where the preliminary rounds of the competition are held), Musica Viva Australia (where two of the concerts in the series... read more

Another appearance by cellist Rustem Khamidullin with Sarah Watkins, at Paekakariki

By , 19/06/2016
I had gone to my third encounter with Rustem Khamidullin, not to write about it but just to enjoy without a pen in my hand, to hear him in another context. And of course, the pleasure of being able to get there by train, being able to look at the heavy seas and Kapiti Island from high on the cliffs north from Pukerua Bay rather than seeing little while... read more

Diverting harp duo recital affected by too much musical competition

This harp duo was enjoyed by all those present, but the atrocious weather and the number of other music events on in the city may have contributed to the rather small audience – approx. 40 people. The Thomas piece made a good opening work for the concert with its robust tones, demonstrating that harps are not just other-worldly instruments. The beginning could have been a hymn tune, with cheerful chords... read more

Audience delights in evocative, danceable music from the age of Shakespeare from Robert Oliver’s consort of viols

The name Palliser Viols had not meant anything to me, but it turned out to be a group led by that master of early music, Robert Oliver. The brief but excellent programme notes confirmed that all the composers were English, and that the reason why William Brade’s music was published in Hamburg was because he spent his career in Denmark and Germany.  Nevertheless, a certain sameness in the music doubtless... read more

Acclaimed Guitarist Recital highlights venue shortcomings

Matt Withers is head of Guitar at the University of Canberra and a widely acclaimed performer who has picked up many awards in his relatively short career. He is currently touring New Zealand for the first time doing recitals and master classes, and this was a welcome opportunity to hear someone of this calibre whose reputation has gone before them. He described his varied programme as “a round-the-world tour”, and... read more

Memorable, varied programme from singers and instrumentaists of Note Bene

Nota Bene chamber choir appeared to be a little larger than it has sometimes been, but not all singers sang in all items.  Once again it grabbed the attention and held it, with a varied programme incorporating diverse instruments as well as the voices, sometimes women’s only. Again, Peter Walls was guest conductor, and his vigorous yet sensitive conducting bore out a comment in his biography in the printed programme... read more

Scholarly and musical – Sergey Malov plays Bach

One might think that a recital composed entirely of unaccompanied Bach would not reveal the versatility of the performer.  In fact, it did.  The other thought is that it would pall for the audience.  Although I heard remarks afterwards from some audience members that they missed piano accompaniment, I don’t think this was a general reaction. However, I don’t believe I have been to a completely solo violin recital before... read more

Saxophones for all seasons from the NZSM

The puzzle of this concert was that it was advertised, and titled on the programme cover, as ‘Original and transcribed works from Vivaldi to today’, yet the earliest composer featured was Berlioz!  However, I’m not sure that I would have enjoyed Vivaldi on saxophones, so am not mourning the lack. The items were introduced by Deborah Rawson, Head of Woodwind at the School, in brief, interesting and lively fashion –... read more

Turning over a Blue Leaf – Adam Page and Stroma

By , 09/12/2012
This concert put me in mind of a review I once read of a performance given by the great 19th Century pianist/composer Anton Rubinstein, while on tour in the United States, the writer turning to a kind of “vernacular” in order to be able to express the wildness of exhilaration that had seized him when confronted with such music-making – “….the house trembled, the lights danced, the walls shuck, the... read more

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