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
The theme of this concert,
symphony and Berg’s violin concerto) the previous evening ... read more
Most of this music made me feel low, like the countries. Only Sweelinck (1562-1621) seemed to sparkle with life, and he was much the oldest of the composers performed, the others being all from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. I decided that I liked soulful music – but not doleful music. After hearing two sombre works (first movement from Mahler’s 10
Hear my Words, Ye People
. In Tudor times they were particularly prolific. All of the anthems and harpsichord pieces in this concert came from the Elizabethan and Stuart... read more
Verse anthems are the English equivalents of the Latin or French motet or Lutheran cantata.
They were not just an early music genre, but continued to be composed till modern times. The Bach Choir recently sang an English verse anthem, in Parry’s
The title puzzled me a little; it was a beautiful day without wind, and the winds of the organ pipes had plenty of company – there were over 70 people present.
It was a very well thought-out programme, revealing thought on how to present it, and which physical positions the baritone should take up. The choice of items obviously involved quite a bit of research. The climax of the recital...
Despite the title of the concert, the song referenced appeared in the printed programme as ‘The Cloud-clapped Towers’. Some of those in Christchurch certainly were, although the tall buildings on the cover of the programme represented Auckland and Wellington.
Joking aside, the programme presented was a marvellous conception by Peter Walls and Jacqueline Coats. Peter Walls has taken over as Nota Bene’s new musical director; he’s a busy man, having...
Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672) is perhaps largely known as a precursor of J.S. Bach, in the development of baroque music. Peter Walls, in his pre-concert talk, referred quite extensively to Johann Sebastian. Thus it came as quite a shock to discover how different Schütz’s music was from that of Bach. Schütz was born a hundred years before the great master, and like him, was involved in music for the Lutheran...
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
Simon Ravens was an English choral musician who, while an undergraduate, had become the conductor of an early music choir at the University of Wales; he came to Wellington in 1985 where he sang with the choir of Saint Paul’s Cathedral. He was soon taken with the idea of forming his own choir that would specialise in Renaissance music. It was named The Tudor Consort, modelled to some extent...
The Tudor Consort is noted not only for wonderful singing; it is also noteworthy for its innovative programming.
This time, an almost full Sacred Heart Cathedral heard music of Victoria. It is not infrequently that we hear short choral works by this composer, but a Requiem Mass extended by liturgical items such as the Collect, the Epistle, the Gospel and others, was new. These liturgical movements were either plainsong settings...
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...