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Posts tagged: New Zealand music

Some great hits from NZSO’s popular classics concert; a win by a big margin

By , 15/09/2018
I don’t know what sort of audiences have been showing up at the other ten performances of this concert between Invercargill and Kerikeri, but the thin population in the MFC was a bit of a surprise. There was certainly competition from the rugby on Saturday evening; but there was probably also a more insidious factor: no glamorous overseas soloist; no internationally recognised conductor. Other inhibitors: a deterrent for the serious... read more

Richard Mapp at St.Andrew’s in Wellington – piano-playing with a quality of connection

By , 02/09/2018
Most intriguingly, the mere prospect of attending a piano recital by Richard Mapp gives rise to feelings within me of a kind of anticipation that I find difficult to explain, except with what seems like vague and insubstantial language, unable to properly grasp the essence of what gives my feelings any kind of actuality. But there’s a quality I’ve always felt in his playing that, in my experience of... read more

Stroma – Iconic Sonics at the City Gallery, Wellington…..revisiting the new, along with the new

By , 29/08/2018
Eighteen years into the 21st Century a lot of music-lovers are still coming to grips with the innovators and radical figures of twentieth-century music. It’s a process which was in some ways mirrored a century ago by the fin de siècle attitude of many people to the works of Berlioz, Liszt, Mussorgsky, Bruckner and Mahler, all of whom had to wait for a “later time”, at which stage their creative... read more

Musically satisfying concert of three disparate works, from New Zealand String Quartet

By , 25/08/2018
The New Zealand String Quartet is in the middle of its big annual tour of the country, taking it from Howick and Waiheke Island to Invercargill (though there are curious omissions, inevitably, with a 12-concert tour – absent are Hamilton, Napier, Christchurch, Dunedin…). However, the two in Wellington evidence the high level of musical discernment found in this city. The Hunter Council Chamber (the university’s beautiful library in earlier times)... read more

East and West mingle at Wellington Youth Orchestra Concert

By , 19/08/2018
A most striking frontispiece on the programme cover (uncredited) for this enterprising concert seemed to alert us to the presence of something out-of-the-ordinary - an illustration something along the lines of those disconcerting front-and-profile images of one and the same person. It wasn’t exactly that, in this case, but the effect certainly caused a double-take on my part, which I presume was the idea! – here, a youthful portrait... read more

Swedish-New Zealand ensemble beguiles Waikanae with varied pieces: brand new, interesting, much loved

On picking up my printed programme when entering the hall, I recalled the last chamber music concert I reviewed: Wellington Chamber Music Trust’s concert at St. Andrew’s Church in Wellington on 15 July, where larger-size programmes (double A4) were available; an example Waikanae should follow, given the older-age group that comprises the bulk of the audience. This time the audience was considerably smaller than is usual at this venue, which... read more

Klara Kollektiv musicians vary the musical fare to resounding effect

By , 26/07/2018
I wondered on first sighting whether the name “Klara Kollektiv” indicated the first names of the group’s three musicians – could this be “a bevy of Klaras”, a “Klaras kollektiva”, so to speak? And then I saw Anna McGregor’s name in the publicity, which in the nicest possible way put paid to my brief whimsy, as subsequently did the ensemble’s playing throughout the concert, demonstrating part of the title’s... read more

The Heath Quartet – from church and the chamber to the open air

By , 27/06/2018
This was a concert whose music-making I thought extraordinary, and I’m still thinking about why this was so days after the event! It was partly to do with the repertoire, which featured a range of diametrically opposed modes of expression from different composers, and partly the result of the Quartet’s singularly “interior” way of realising these different modes, in search of the music’s different and unique essences. That the... read more

NZSO in splendid form under Harth-Bedoya with Brahms and Tchaikovsky

It is always a case of pleasant anticipation when a new Gareth Farr work is to be performed, and this was the case again.  Farr’s piece was commissioned by the NZSO to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s first landing in this country, which occurs next year (he departed from Britain in 1768). The title comes from Governor William Hobson’s greeting to Maori chiefs as they came forward to... read more

Faith and Commitment: Tony Vercoe and the Kiwi-Pacific Records Story

By , 08/06/2018
One doesn’t know whom to thank most heartily regarding the appearance of this book, “The Kiwi-Pacific Records Story” – perhaps the triumvirate of storyteller Tony Vercoe, interviewer Tony Martin and publisher Roger Steele deserves equal shared credit. It’s a book whose subject – the formation and development of a truly homegrown recording company determined to support the work of classical and indigenous composers, musicians, poets, artists and designers within... read more

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