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Posts tagged: Renaissance

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

A richly-informed austerity – music by Heinrich Schütz, from the Tudor Consort

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... read more

Monteverdi gets keen, sharp-edged and exciting treatment

By , 27/02/2016

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

The Tudor Consort 30th anniversary with founder Simon Ravens

By , 13/02/2016
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... read more

Audience rapture with splendid performance from Tudor Consort

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... 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

Moving performances of three Tudor composers by The Tudor Consort

By , 06/06/2015
The Tudor Consort returned to its origins with this concert at the Catholic Basilica (as we used to call it). Its focus was on 500 years ago, and two anniversaries. Robert Wylkynson died that year and John Sheppard was born – both approximatrions. Putting it in historic perspective, as Michael Stewart made short introductory remarks that set the scene, Henry VIII had just come to the throne, after his... read more

Memorable and illuminating exploration of the Miserere, its rivals earlier and later, by The Tudor Consort and Michael Stewart

By , 03/04/2015
I have been rather neglectful in recent years of pre-concert talks. This time, even in the disagreeable face of train replacement by buses and possible crowds heading for the Stadium, I decided to expose myself to the possibility that I might learn something by listening to Michael Stewart. I had already heard him talking with Eva Radich on Upbeat and wanted to get a bit more clarity on the... read more

Brief and benign “Spanish Disquisition” on St.Andrews’ Chamber Organ

Although relatively short, and not well attended, the organ recital was interesting, in that it introduced an organist new to most of us, was played entirely on the small baroque organ, and consisted almost entirely of Spanish organ music, which I am sure was new to everyone in the audience. Pedals were not part of the design of Spanish organs (or indeed many others) at the period covered by the... read more

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