Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Wondrously unified piano trio gives two of the greatest works for Chamber Music New Zealand

By , 14/09/2019
Musicians of the stature of Viktoria Mullova are much rarer visitors to New Zealand now than they were 30, 50 years ago. Then the entire season of chamber music concerts arranged by the then Federation of Chamber Music Societies consisted of pretty distinguished international players. Something of a commentary on the relative decline of New Zealand’s economic standing, as well, I suspect, as a trend away from classical music... read more

Nailing it with Style – Circa’s “The Pink Hammer” a delightful and moving tribute to playwright Michele Amas

By , 10/09/2019
Author of “The Pink Hammer”, playwright Michele Amas – also an actor, theatre director and poet – died at the very end of 2016, after a 30-year career in television, radio and theatre. Towards the end of her career she turned her hand increasingly to writing, to poetry and for the theatre, producing firstly a pantomime, and then a play, the present production, premiered in 2014 at Palmerston North’s... read more

Percussion-driven “Carmina Burana” with the Orpheus Choir a triumph

By , 07/09/2019
Oddly enough, nowhere in the programme could I see mentioned that this was a version of Carl Orff’s most renowned work prepared by his “disciple” Wilhelm Killmayer in 1956, and authorized by Orff himself, 20 years after the original composition, one allowing smaller instrumental ensembles the opportunity to perform the piece. While relishing the prospect of hearing the Orpheus Choir’s “different” take on the composer’s evergreen “Carmina Burana”, I... read more

Asher Fisch, Louis Lortie and the NZSO in splendid form with classical masterpieces

By , 06/09/2019
Asher Fisch is taking this NZSO programme with pianist Louis Lortie on a four city tour. It’s his first visit to New Zealand, though I encountered him as conductor of the production of Wagner’s Ring cycle in Adelaide in 2004 (it was an Australian production, in some kind of reaction to the cycle borrowed from the Châtelet Theatre in Paris, six years before). Rachmaninov's Number Two ‘Rach 2’, along with the... read more

Korngold: exploration of beguiling Lieder one didn’t know, from Georgia Jamieson Emms

By , 04/09/2019
Middle C has been neglecting its responsibilities with respect to the wonderful lunchtime concerts at St Andrew’s on The Terrace. Partly the result of our diminished ‘human resources’ and partly … well, other things. There are notes for two or three of them that seem to have failed to find a first sentence, but given time, some the right words and thoughts might emerge on the RNZAF woodwind quintet, six... read more

Lazarus String Quartet, with one New Zealander remaining, at end of adventurous tour with highly interesting programme

By , 01/09/2019
Here was an interesting ensemble that formed in 2007 when four University of Canterbury students got together, winning a ROSL Arts/Pettman Scholarship in 2010 which took them to study at the Hochschule für Musik in Hanover. That led to concerts that have included St Martin-in-the-Fields in London, the Salle Gaveau in Paris, Poland and elsewhere, and at music festivals (the Edinburgh Fringe and Heidelberg Spring festivals). The original members, all... read more

Two sides of a genius – Beethoven’s Eighth and Ninth Symphonies from Edo de Waart and the NZSO

By , 31/08/2019
This, the final concert in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s Beethoven Festival, presented two symphonic works at what seemed like opposite ends of everything – black-versus-white parameters of style from a composer of genius. Beethoven in his Eighth Symphony appears to be “playing” with the form, parodying the classical symphony, satirising fashions and fads, heightening and debunking all kinds of gesturings and yet still producing a forward-moving, radically original... read more

Compelling, relentless performances of Beethoven’s sixth and seventh symphonies continue the NZSO’s festival

By , 30/08/2019
When I looked around at the audience at the third of the Beethoven concerts and saw that every last seat was occupied, right to the far sides of the stalls, I felt I needed to retract my post-script remark about Wednesday’s audience, which was indeed not very large. I needed to consider that there were probably many who couldn’t afford all four and had to make a hard decision... read more

And then we heard……Symphonies Four and Five from the NZSO in its Beethoven-fest……

By , 29/08/2019
My Middle C colleague Lindis Taylor having reviewed the opening night of this momentous occasion (one would expect that performing the complete Beethoven Symphonies would be something of a milestone for any orchestra that takes itself and its “craft” seriously), it was my “turn” with the following two works of the canon. This was in no way tied to any preference for any particular work on the part of... read more

Rewarding start to the NZSO’s Beethoven Festival from Edo de Waart

By , 28/08/2019
While under Edo de Waart’s musical direction the NZSO has performed several Beethoven symphonies (I recall only 1, 3 and 7) the last complete cycle was a valedictory series (well, his penultimate year) by Pietari Inkinen in 2014. And De Waart is following the same, strictly chronological order, with the first concert devoted to Nos 1, 2 and 3. Looking back at what I wrote about the first Inkinen concert... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy