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Posts tagged: St.Andrew’s March Concerts

Brahms piano trio and Czech duos at St Andrew’s

By , 20/03/2011
Many of my most memorable musical experiences come from unexpected encounters with either unfamiliar compositions or stunningly good performances. In Wellington, these days, one expects at most concerts certain levels of musical understanding and technical accomplishment, but that still leaves plenty of stratospheric spaces for performances which take the listener to those out-of-the-ordinary heights that can't help but enlarge and enrich one's view of existence in general. This... read more

Impressive recital by piano duettists at St Andrew’s

By , 18/03/2011

What was revealed in the leaflet advertising this highly enjoyable series at St Andrew’s hardly covered the reality. The names of neither of the two pianists were familiar, nor were two of the composers, though the name Guastavino might have rung bells. The two pianists have played together for several years, and are currently staff pianists at the University of Auckland School of Music.

However, Liszt’s Dante Sonata... read more

Snell, Castle and Bryony Williams in opera recital at St Andrew’s

A well-filled church greeted the performers; it was necessary for the latter to introduce the items, since programmes had run out. This introduced a level of informality as well as information.

Martin Snell opened the evening’s opera excerpts; his resonant speaking voice made a memorable introduction to the first aria, ‘Sorge infausta una procella’, sung by Zoroastro in Handel’s Orlando of 1733. Hearing the singer in this resonant... read more

Elios Ensemble captivates at St Andrew’s season

By , 15/03/2011

This was the kind of programme that probably sorts out its own audience, or rather, it would sort them out if there were enough to provide a good statistical sampling.

On the one side are those who are drawn to a concert by names that are familiar, both composers and pieces; and on the other, Stendhal’s ‘Happy Few’, those who are enticed by a mix of the familiar... read more

Two supreme chamber works at St Andrew’s season of concerts

By , 11/03/2011

The second concert in this admirable series arrived at the very heartland of chamber music. The two pieces played are, I am sure, among the top ten of any real music lover’s favourites, both coming from the wonderful store of Slav romantic masterpieces. But you wouldn’t guess that from the sad array of worthy but utterly predictable stuff that gets into Radio New Zealand Concert’s New Year count-down... read more

Joanna Heslop sings Russian songs for St Andrew’s season

Richard Greager and Marjan van Waardenberg and their supporters are to be congratulated on the variety and excellence of the concerts they are presenting in this year’s ‘Season of Concerts’ running for ten days from the date of this first presentation. It is a pity that there was not greater patronage: approximately 30 people attended this recital, into which so much work had been put. Among these it... read more

Full-frontal Mahler at St.Andrew’s

By , 19/03/2010
No composer is more identified with song as integral to his output than Gustav Mahler. The creator of a number of vast symphonic edifices, he worked into most of these compositions either direct quotations from his own songs or melodies derived from them. His Eighth Symphony is, in essence a choral symphony, and his orchestral song-cycle Das Lied Von Der Erde he regarded as a symphony in all but... read more

3 2 Tango and Friends – pleasures of the dance

By , 17/03/2010
For this concert, the group 3 2 Tango became four, and then five, firstly with percussionist Matt Collie joining the group, and a little later, accordion player Rebekah Greig. And, as if the pleasures of those tango rhythms and tones alone weren't sufficient, we in the audience were able to luxuriate in the tango dancing of a couple who were introduced as "Sharon and Stephen". What was more, we... read more

Martin Riseley – consorting with the Devil’s Fiddler

By , 14/03/2010
Niccolo Paganini's Op.1, the set of 24 Caprices for solo violin, remains the ultimate test of virtuosity for a violinist - these pieces explore almost every aspect of violin technique, and remain a unique example of performance art which has subsequently continued to inspire both composers and performers. Robert Schumann described Paganini's effect upon the musical world as "the turning point in the history of virtuosity", and  the greatest... read more

SMP Ensemble: Nexus – Poles Apart

By , 10/03/2010
The SMP Ensemble was formed in 2008, and set up as a forum for the work of Wellington-based composers and performers. Over a short period it has, under the direction of Andrzej Nowicki,  already developed a reputation as a fresh and stimulating force in the capital's contemporary music activity, organising and performing a number of concerts. Its most recent was a presentation at one of the St.Andrew's March 2010... read more

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