An die Natur
, written... read more
It was a pleasure to have out-of-town performers at the lunchtime concert; this married couple are from Dunedin, where Tom McGrath is on the staff of the University of Otago.
The programme consisted of some familiar Schubert and Schumann lieder and songs by Fauré, and others less familiar. All the words were printed in translation, and the authors of the poems were given.
The first Schubert lied was
Two days short of the marking of the World War I armistice, on 11 November 1918, another event took place in the country that had accepted an armistice, but not defeat, and whose sense of humiliation found expression 15 years later with the take-over of Germany by Hitler and the Nazis.
Evidence of a policy of violence against the Jews arose within days of the Nazis taking power in 1933, and...
A Concert of Conversations:
some lovers, others indifferent, contemptuous or hostile. Perhaps the Brahms folk-song settings were much the same as originally planned but the inclusion of five of songs from Mahler’s cycle drawn from the huge folk song collection, Des Knaben Wunderhorn
was a response to the change from three to two singers.
Brahms’s setting of... read more
The advertised programme was slightly modified in the absence of Lesley Graham. It was called
I Capuleti e i Montecchi
) by tackling a ¾ hour recital of varied and engaging songs in the generous and kind acoustic of St Mark's church, Lower Hutt.
Though the opera had not, this time, involved her in a singing role, this recital gave us some reassurance that her... read more
Rhona Fraser relaxed after the strenuous weeks of management and production of her opera at Days Bay over the weekend (Bellini’s
A recital entirely of song-cycles is perhaps a little unusual, but it made for a very satisfying concert. Maaike Christie-Beekman introduced each in a lively and informative way, giving a summary of the words of each song. Even though she was not using a microphone, most of what she said could be heard clearly.
The Debussy cycle used poems by Pierre Louÿs, which the latter claimed were translations of the...
This time, pianist Catherine Norton, the promoter of Songbook, took a rest from the piano. Seasoned accompanist extraordinaire Bruce Greenfield did the honours.
The concert was but an hour long, and concentrated on one composer instead of the many composers featured in April’s concert. Despite the promoter’s title for the group, this concert featured woodwind music, beloved of a number of French composers, as well as song. With top musicians...
It might have been possible to blame a rival entertainment or the wet and chilly weather for the rather loosely packed audience for a concert that I’d expected to have a ‘full house’ notice at the door. One might also wonder whether it’s a reflection on the slow decline of musical tastes, and that those of us who were brought up with a certain amount of great music in...
Magdalena Darby’s bio begins with her studies at the Conservatorium of Music in Utrecht, but shies away from dates, early education, or when she came to New Zealand; one assumes she was born in the Netherlands. Before coming to New Zealand she lived in Mexico and presumably Paris. Her bio refers to performing in Paris as well as London and elsewhere in Europe (can we still assume that ‘Europe’...
by Mendelssohn. The voices were well-matched, and Catherine Norton, as always, was a reliable and... read more
Here was a recital that would have hacked it in the Wigmore Hall, London, or in any other suitably-sized venue, for that matter. It was good to have a programme (mainly) of duets – so rarely heard these days.
The programme began with great panache, in ‘Herbstlied’ and ‘Maiglökchen und die Blümelein’ from
I got to four of the five concerts in this splendid little Schubert Festival which I like to refer to as a Schubertiade. I know of no other such social/musical circle that formed spontaneously around a living composer; the sure sign that not only did plenty of people in the Vienna of the 1820s recognize Schubert’s enormous gifts, but they actually loved the guy.
The most famous contemporary version of...