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Posts tagged: song recital

Mostly German folk songs: droll, dark, disassociative duets from Linden Loader and Roger Wilson

By , 02/11/2016
The advertised programme was slightly modified in the absence of Lesley Graham. It was called 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

Charming recital of French and English songs by Rhona Fraser and Richard Mapp at Lower Hutt

By , 31/08/2016
Rhona Fraser relaxed after the strenuous weeks of management and production of her opera at Days Bay over the weekend (Bellini’s 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

Maaike Christie-Beekman with Rachel Thomson in admirable song recital

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... read more

Renaissance of the song recital heralded with Poulenc and ‘Songbook’ at St Andrew’s

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... read more

NZSO and Christiane Libor in wonderful Strauss songs and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony

By , 06/08/2016
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... read more

Beguiling concert of French chanson, torch songs, café and cabaret songs by Magdalena Darby and friends

By , 27/07/2016
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’... read more

Two fine sopranos in rare, varied, Wigmore Hall-quality recital

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 Sechs Duette by Mendelssohn.  The voices were well-matched, and Catherine Norton, as always, was a reliable and... read more

Wonderful Lieder recital ends Schubertiade at St Andrew’s, with powerful case for more

By , 05/06/2016
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... read more

Schubertiade Hohenems/Wellington at St Andrew’s: piano and song

By , 04/06/2016
The weather assorted poorly with Schubert’s anguished, obsessional Sonata in A minor. It had been sunny and calm, though cold; but the music was penetrated with sudden squally gales and dark clouds, broken by only brief shafts of light and fleeting moments of repose. Diedre Irons understood, as her programme note made clear, how the tragic illness revealed in 1823 must have affected his music. Though she responded to... 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