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Posts tagged: New Zealand music

Splendid NZSO concert with a greatly gifted cellist and young conductor prodigy

By , 20/05/2017
This was the second of three concerts in the NZSO’s main series to feature a solo cello: a fortnight ago, a new work by Gareth Farr, and in a month's time, Schumann’s cello concerto played by Daniel Müller-Schott. Interesting: that Müller-Schott was here in 2013 playing the Dvořák concerto which was the concerto tonight, played by alarmingly talented Armenian cellist, Narek Hakhnazaryan. But first, to follow the Gareth Farr premiere... read more

“Firebird” from Orchestra Wellington an incendiary experience

By , 13/05/2017
This was, in this best of all possible worlds, the best possible start to Orchestra Wellington's "The Impresario" season, a beautifully-devised concert whose centrepiece was Igor Stravinsky's 1910 Ballet "The Firebird". This piece, commissioned by the Russian-born artistic entrepreneur Sergei Diaghilev for the Ballets Russes in Paris, began a collaboration between composer and impresario which was to produce three of the most famous ballets of the 20th century, the... read more

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

Aotearoa Plus from the NZSO set alight by Gareth Farr premiere

By , 05/05/2017
A concert with the name "Aotearoa Plus" begs the question of how an orchestra might best support and present the music of native composers - the title is one which, in my artless way, I thought might have fairly been expected to accompany rather more homegrown examples of composition than were allowed for here. Thank goodness, then, in my view, for Gareth Farr's work, and its performance, which delivered 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

Marking Holy Week through Biblical Lamentations and music inspired by 20th century atrocities

By , 14/04/2017
The theme of this concert, The Desolate City, was a reason to look at two cities that have suffered terrible, war-driven destruction in living memory (Dresden and Hiroshima), and to associate physical destruction with social and moral destruction as described in Biblical accounts of cities considered to have been desolated by sin or perhaps merely by adoption of a rival religious faith. The Book of Lamentations and Psalm 137 provided... read more

Galvanic lunch hour with the Rangapu Duo at St.Andrew’s

By , 26/10/2016
The names of both performers in this lunchtime concert at St.Andrew’s were new to me, each of them being Hamilton-based musicians, though I ought to have remembered that Liam Wooding was a prizewinner at Christchurch in 2015 at the National Concerto Competition. His duo partner, Noelle Dannenbring, for her part won the University of Waikato Concerto Competition earlier this year. Currently, both are studying at the University under the... 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

Quintessence on show via youth and experience at Michael Fowler Centre

By , 17/09/2016
What a lovely idea,  arranging a day of performances of quintets for strings, and then giving the arrangement the name “quintessence” – and I must confess to not previously knowing the origin of the term in classical and medieval philosophy, of the “fifth” element or essence, a substance said to comprise the makeup of the celestial bodies, no less! In relation to Chamber Music New Zealand’s event, Quintessence was... read more

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