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Posts tagged: viola

Wellington Youth Orchestra in winning performances, especially Brahms No 1

By , 23/05/2017
Looking back over Middle C’s reviews of the Wellington Youth Orchestra, one sees a couple of repeated themes. One that through them we sometimes hear unfamiliar but great and enjoyable music, and that the citizens of Wellington turn up in such sparse numbers that one wonders what can justify boasts of our being the cultural capital. This evening’s concert ticked both those notions. It began with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Festival Overture:... read more

Successful violin and viola duo reveal rare Mozart and well-known Halvorsen

By , 08/03/2017
The names of the two performers at this lunchtime concert should no doubt have been familiar to me, as they have been on the Wellington scene on and off for a long time; both had played in the NZSO. Both have lived and studied overseas and now work in other fields in Wellington, though music clearly remains an important part of their lives. The programme note explained that Mozart wrote... read more

Impressive Kristallnacht commemoration in concert by Holocaust Centre and NZ School of Music

By , 09/11/2016
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... read more

Viola central to an interesting programme of student performances from three centuries

My apologies if I have not got the first performers’ names correctly; they were not in the printed programme, but were announced at the beginning of the concert. However, a person behind me was talking on a cellphone at the time, and I could not hear them properly. I made enquiries at the end of the concert, but this has meant my interpreting another person’s handwriting – possibly not... read more

Violist Gillian Ansell and student Aidan Verity with viola concertos at NZSM Showcase

Having been told the previous day, and by the listed outline of concerts to come in this week of NZSM student recitals that this was to be one of ‘viola students’, I was disappointed to discover that in fact only one such student was playing, plus her teacher, Gillian Ansell.  I hastily add that it is no disappointment to hear Gillian Ansell play, but over the years NZSM has... read more

Four feasts forward – Catherine McKay and Peter Barber at St.Andrew’s

By , 04/03/2015
At the beginning of the concert Peter Barber announced a change to the printed programme, one involving both a rearrangement of the existing order, and an additional item. So, Brahms' FAE Sonata Scherzo Movement, which was to have opened the programme now became its concluding item; and an arrangement of Rachmaninov's Vocalise for viola and piano was introduced, here put just before the Brahms. It all seemed to work marvellously... 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

Scholarly and musical – Sergey Malov plays Bach

One might think that a recital composed entirely of unaccompanied Bach would not reveal the versatility of the performer.  In fact, it did.  The other thought is that it would pall for the audience.  Although I heard remarks afterwards from some audience members that they missed piano accompaniment, I don’t think this was a general reaction. However, I don’t believe I have been to a completely solo violin recital before... read more

Their own sounds: Viola students from the NZSM

The presence of Gillian Ansell, violist in the New Zealand String Quartet, as a teacher of viola at the School of Music appears to be producing excellent results, in the numbers of skilled violists who are her students, emerging there. Even so, there is definitely a difference between the performers and in the sounds they make; no carbon copies here.  The variety thus produced provided some of the interest in... read more

Students explore viola repertoire at St Andrew’s

These major twentieth-century viola works (excluding the Schumann) made an impressive muster.  The latest composition was Bloch’s, dating from 1958 (and the most modern-sounding it was); 1928-29 was the period of Walton’s concerto, though it was revised in 1961, and Hindemith’s was the earliest, composed in 1919. The Hindemith was the first work played, by Vincent Hardaker.  The composer was himself a violist.   The work opened with low-pitched notes for... read more

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