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Posts tagged: violin

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

Enlightening, themed concert at hands of skilled, insightful musicians

By , 09/11/2016
It was either this interestingly promoted programme of music that influenced Bach, or the nice weather that broke out at lunchtime that brought a somewhat larger than average audience to this concert. The programme pushed a couple of useful buttons. The names of the performers, players in the NZSO and/or Orchestra Wellington, and a keyboardist whose name rang bells, and some kind of guarantee of musical worth, inasmuch as it... read more

Wellington Youth Orchestra and Simon Brew – playing for keeps

By , 11/10/2016
From the first solo ‘cello note of the Wellington Youth Orchestra’s performance of the “William Tell” Overture, I was spellbound – I’d never heard that opening ascending phrase speak more eloquently and poetically. Naturally, I couldn’t straight-away rustle about in my seat turning my programme’s pages to discover who the ‘cellist was - which was good, because my attention wasn’t then diverted from the playing of the other individual... read more

America: NZSO performances of brilliant new violin concerto plus Dvořák in New York and Reich in minimalist heaven

By , 08/10/2016
Once upon a time to have scheduled the New World Symphony would have guaranteed a pretty full house in spite of its being accompanied by unfamiliar music. But sometimes I think that as the years pass, the general public is becoming, not more open and adventurous, and simply ‘well-informed’ in the arts, and music too, but less in all those spheres. And there are various reasons: slavery to the flat... read more

Schubert’s “Great”, and Mahler-Berg connections explored brilliantly by Wilma Smith and Orchestra Wellington

In his introductory remarks about each work to be played, Marc Taddei referred to the poignant use of the Bach chorale ‘Ich habe genug’, by Alban Berg in the latter part of his violin concerto, the second item on the programme.  He said ‘Wouldn’t it be good if there was a way to let you hear that’.  He turned away from the audience, and up popped a choir from... read more

Change of players leads to interesting programme nevertheless

Sadly, the change from the advertised programme, Maaike Christie-Beekman, mezzo-soprano, with Catherine Norton, piano, was caused by the singer’s illness.  We trust that she is making a speedy recovery. In its place was an interesting instrumental programme – a different combo from what we usually experience: violin and cello. Mike Curtis is a contemporary American composer and bassoonist, much influenced by Mexican rhythms, as here, in his suite of Huapangos.  The... read more

Full vindication of the glories of the violin and piano repertoire, courtesy the Michael Hill violin competition

By , 02/07/2016
Suyeon Kang won last year’s Michael Hill International Violin Competition and it is thanks to the splendid relationship between the competition and the chamber music organization that the winners can be heard in a series of concerts throughout New Zealand. There are others in this project: the Queenstown Winter Festival (where the preliminary rounds of the competition are held), Musica Viva Australia (where two of the concerts in the series... read more

Cervantes’ quadricentenary through diverting music of the 17th to 20th centuries

By , 27/03/2016
This year is the 400th anniversary not just of the death of Shakespeare, as the whole world knows, but also of Miguel Cervantes. Not only the same year, but also the same month – April – and even more surprising just one day apart! S. on 23 and C. on 22 April. Cervantes was longer-lived, having been born in 1547. In an introduction it was pointed out that the two players... read more

Accomplished duo play Brahms at St Andrew’s lunchtime concert

By , 17/02/2016
The lunchtime concerts at St Andrew’s started last Wednesday; Middle C neglected it. But I was delighted to be at this one, starting the year so splendidly with Brahms. Catherine Norton’s name is reasonably familiar in Wellington, and I realized that Carolyn van Leuven’s ought to have been, too, as her short biography revealed, though her origins are in Canterbury, with studies and work in Europe and America, that she... read more

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