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Posts tagged: St.Andrew’s lunchtime concert

Brilliant guitar recital from Owen Moriarty at St Andrew’s

By , 08/04/2015
At some stage at most guitar recitals, the famous words of Chopin come to mind. “Nothing is more beautiful than a guitar, except, possibly, two.” We had only one, though Jane Curry, head of guitar at the university School of Music, was there too, evidently without her guitar. Owen Moriarty began with the youngest piece, a Little Sonata by Polish-born Marek Pasieczny (it was wrongly spelled in the programme). It... 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

St Andrew’s lunchtime concerts resume for 2015 with a piano quintet

An attractive programme brought a good-sized audience to the first St. Andrew’s lunchtime concert for 2015.  Many people are grateful to the church and to Marjan van Waardenberg, for providing so many marvellous concerts. Unfortunately, another engagement meant that I was able to hear only the Schubert in its entirety.  The opening allegro moderato of the sonata featured very lively, bright playing, as did the scherzo: presto that followed.  The andantino... read more

Wellington Chamber Orchestra – a wonderful concert and a promising conducting debut

By , 07/12/2014
This was a programme whose contents promised delight at every turn - although one listener's favorite can be another's aversion, there are surely pieces which have such a wide range of appeal, that even the most hardened, narrowed-down listener would find it difficult to resist their blandishments. Such was this happy assemblage - in fact I haven't been able to find a single person who attended and DIDN'T say... read more

Polished and delightful lunchtime with winds at St Andrew’s

By , 12/11/2014
To return from a nearly two-month trip in Europe to a Wellington rich with such plentiful and excellent live music has been a considerable consolation. Not that I ever underestimated the phenomenon of a fairly small city with such a wealth of practising musicians, plus their indispensable facilitating by enterprising impresarios and concert managers such as St Andrew’s enjoys. In the Paris weeklies Officiel des spectacles or Pariscope, in a... read more

Carnival for Guy Fawkes’ Day – the music of Alfred Hill

This work was the earliest of Alfred Hill’s string quartets to be expanded later into an orchestral version, and is better known as Symphony No.5 “The Carnival”. He frequently “recycled” existing works into new formats, and this transcription benefitted from the larger forces which could very successfully convey the bustling, crowded atmosphere of a fiesta. The opening street scene was graphically depicted with vigorous, sunlit writing and attractive melodies, propelled... read more

Glittering prizes from a talented duo at St.Andrew’s

This concert was a joy, definitely in the very top bracket of 2014 lunchtime offerings at St. Andrews on the Terrace. The committed musicianship and professionalism of the two artists was apparent from the first note, when one understood immediately that this was all about the music, not the players. Lili Boulanger’s Nocturne is a gem. In this duo’s hands it opened as a gentle meditation, languid with the warm... read more

Inspiring lunchtime performances from NZSM string players

It was nothing short of astonishing to hear the level of musicianship and accomplishment on their instruments that these students demonstrated. As an undergraduate concert it was quite staggering. The concert opened with the cello of Caitlin Morris, playing a section from Saint-Saëns' Cello Concerto No.1, Op.33. Hers was dynamic and exciting playing. The tempo was quite fast, despite the ‘non troppo’marking of the opening. It was a little too... read more

Alexa Thomson – possibility and accomplishment on the viola

 This concert was an Honours music degree recital for Alexa Thomson, and St.Andrew’s church was a most suitable venue for this scale of performance. The Brahms Sonata is, of course, one of the lynchpins of the violist’s repertoire, and it was a good vehicle for Alexa’s artistic phrasing and warmth of tone which was entirely free of the edgy, nasal quality that can often detract from the upper register... read more

Diverting woodwinds a delight from first to last at St Andrew’s

This was a concert I headed to with simply no idea of what to expect. It proved to be a delight from first to last. All the works explored the less frequently heard registers and timbres of the various instruments involved, and all evoked moods of reflection and introspection that are not often associated with music for instruments like the saxophone family. It has always baffled me why “classical”... read more

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