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Posts tagged: violin

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

Waikanae Music Society scholars through their paces in impressive concert

By , 11/10/2015
The Waikanae Music Society’s Charitable Trust for Young Musicians was formed in 2008 to help talented young musicians in their studies, mostly overseas. It has been a considerable task to bring them together to help demonstrate to the citizens of Kapiti how worthwhile the project is proving to be. This concert has fully justified the effort. It opened with Gemma Lee who has just returned from Britain where she was the... read more

Beethoven and bravura violin music from Valerie Rigg and Mary Barber at Old St Paul’s

By , 15/09/2015
I had no knowledge of the programme till I arrived on this sunny, breezy morning, at Old Saint Paul’s, now famous as one of the most beautiful buildings in New Zealand. So that in spite of sightline problems here and there, and acoustic oddities with some sounds, the pleasures to be found just to be there are great. The stained glass creations, among almost an entire suite of stained... read more

Cathedrals and landscapes – delight and awe with the NZSO

By , 28/08/2015
Sibelius and Bruckner on the same programme? - bracing cocktails of icy spring water, followed by restorative draughts of schnapps, or, perhaps, aromatic coffee? (that is, to say, their musical equivalents!)……..an intriguing prospect, one that didn't arise the last time Simone Young was in New Zealand to conduct Bruckner with the NZSO. Paired with his mighty Fifth Symphony on that occasion was the music of Mozart, Bruckner's fellow-countryman. The... read more

Duo Tapas: violin and guitar play winning St Andrew’s lunchtime concert

By , 05/08/2015
Duo Tapas is a fairly visible little ensemble on the Wellington music scene; but it pays not to take them for granted, as playing much the same repertoire, with minor variations in their frequent concerts. It could be because I haven’t heard a couple of their recent concerts that this programme was entirely new to me. They began with Rudolph Buttman’s arrangement of one of Vivaldi’s violin sonatas, the last... read more

Unmissable violin sonata programme from APO’s Canadian concertmaster and Sarah Watkins

By , 21/06/2015
The violinist’s name would have been new to Wellingtonians – the recently appointed Concertmaster of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra; the pianist however, is very well known. But the audience was disappointing: see comments in my Coda. I think this programme, entirely of worthwhile, interesting works, but containing only one familiar, major work, might have seemed missable to non-subscribers, unless driven by Lilburn-loyalty or special love of Bartok, and who would... read more

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