Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Posts tagged: Renaissance

Gaudete at St Mary of the Angels with Baroque Voices and Palliser Viols

By , 20/12/2017
This was a beautifully devised and presented programme, appropriately given the name “Gaudete” as a kind of seasonal evocation, an enjoining spirit of joyfulness, as well as a reflection of the sentiments proclaimed by both words and music throughout the evening, such as with an eponymously-named work written especially for these musicians by New Zealand composer Ross Harris. The term “verse anthem” is the English equivalent of the German “cantata”... read more

Monteverdi again – at last! – The Fifth Book of Madrigals, from Baroque Voices

By , 03/12/2017
Continuing with a concert series which began in 2011, Baroque Voices, led by the intrepid and perennially fresh-voiced Pepe Becker, performed for us on this occasion all but the final madrigal in Monteverdi’s “Quinto Libro” (Book Five), the last-named requiring a greater number of singers than the rest of the collection. The group has, sometimes, in these concerts, re-ordered the chronology of the works (Book Four, for example, was... read more

A polished and scrupulously studied recital by male vocal quartet, Aurora IV

By , 22/11/2017
I’m fairly sure that this was my first hearing of Aurora IV, a male vocal quartet whose repertoire stretches from the 16th to the 21st century, though I have long been familiar with Simon Christie’s voice and recall hearing Richard Taylor in other groups, particularly The Tudor Consort. One of the characteristics of the recital was the choice of words and music from widely separate eras. Thus the opening piece... read more

Outstanding concert for peace, of Renaissance music, plus Arvo Pärt, plus momentous New Zealand work

A substantial audience heard a most innovative and rewarding concert from the ever-reliable Tudor Consort.  An unusually large dose of contemporary music was adorned with Renaissance music, in a concert marking International Day of Peace (21 September). It began with a setting by Italian Carlo Gesualdo (1566-1613) of ‘Da pacem Domine’.  As Michael Stewart said in his pre-concert talk, this composer was ahead of his time; his writing for choirs... read more

Baroque Voices pay rich homage to NZ “Masters”

By , 28/05/2017
This concert was the eighth in the "Alleluia: a newë work" series by Baroque Voices, the idea being, in director Pepe Becker's own words, to "present works from the early music era alongside modern compositions", an undertaking which the group first instigated as long ago as 1995. Though the presentations have been consistent in their overall approach, the ensemble has managed to maintain an ever-fascinating and invariably rewarding range of... 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

Sombre Music of the Low Countries from the Bach Choir

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 10th symphony and Berg’s violin concerto) the previous evening ... read more

English anthems straddling 1600 offer rich and satisfying concert from voices and viols

By , 29/05/2016
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 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

A thousand years of church music in well chosen programme for voice and organ

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... read more

Superb song tribute for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, from the resourceful Nota Bene

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... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy