Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Camerata at St.Peter’s-on-Willis does Haydn (and others) proud…..

By , 01/05/2021
Camerata’s leader, Anne Loeser was kind enough to alert us to two musical anniversaries on this particular day, opening the concert at St.Peter’s-on-Willis with one, and concluding the evening’s music with another as a delightful “encore surprise”, more of the latter in a moment.  It was in fact the 300th anniversary of the presentation by JS Bach of his six Brandenburg Concertos to Christian Ludwig, the Margrave of Brandenburg... read more

Cantoris Choir celebrates its fiftieth anniversary with the help of Te Kōkī NZSM Orchestra and Mozart

By , 24/04/2021
Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music Orchestra Reuben Brown (conductor – “Haffner” Symphony) Cantoris Choir Georgia Jamieson Emms, Michaela Cadwgan (sopranos) Jamie Young (tenor), William King (bass) Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music Orchestra Thomas Nikora (Music Director, Cantoris Choir – “The Great” Mass) St.Peter’s-on-Willis, Wellington

Saturday, 24th April, 2021

“The devil take organisations that programme concerts for Saturday nights” I muttered repeatedly to myself, driving around Wellington’s busy streets, and looking for a car-park with... read more

Mozart’s Don Giovanni from the new Wellington Opera Company – a promising beginning

By , 20/04/2021
How refreshing to read in the programme accompanying Wellington Opera’s “Don Giovanni” an appreciation of Mozart’s and his librettist Lorenzo da Ponte’s opera from the Governor-General, Dame Patsy Reddy, thus: “Quite apart from the exquisite pleasures of Mozart’s score, it (the opera) offers a timeless plot line that will resonate with audiences in the “Me Too” era.” For me, that sums up in a nutshell the potential for a... read more

Unusual trio ensemble with a highly satisfying, widely international series opens Wellington Chamber Music year

By , 18/04/2021
The first concert in Wellington Chamber Music’s 2021 season attracted a fairly full audience, no doubt partly a response to their deprivation in 2020. It would have appealed to chamber music aficionados on account of the three well-known musicians and the inclusion of at least one well-known work, plus a couple of others by familiar and attractive composers – Albéniz and Piazzolla, and a popular New Zealand composer –... read more

Dvorak’s “Stabat Mater” given sweet and resounding treatment by Wellington’s Bach Choir

By , 17/04/2021
I had momentarily forgotten that my Middle C colleague of the time, Lindis Taylor, had reviewed a performance of this work in Paraparaumu as recently as 2018, a circumstance which effectively stymied any thoughts I might have had of extravagantly proclaiming it a “neglected masterpiece”! However, as I didn’t attend this earlier performance and thus came new to the work as a “live” experience on Saturday at Queen Margaret... read more

Wellington Chamber Orchestra’s Mendelssohn and Shostakovich make for stimulating contrast

By , 17/04/2021
It says a lot about Wellington’s musical life that groups such as the Wellington Chamber Orchestra – an orchestra made up of about 70 players, all proficient amateur musicians, young, and not-so-young – can thrive and enrich the city’s music, with four interesting and varied concerts during this 2021 season. This concert began with the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, one of the most popular works in the repertoire, and understandably so... read more

The Capital Band in Brooklyn – Pärt, Janáček and Bartók a great workout for the Vogelmorn Hall

By , 13/04/2021
This was the first of four concerts scheduled by The Capital Band for 2021, a fascinating programme of music which engaged throughout for different reasons – the works played were straightforwardly presented in their “original” forms, or (in the case of Arvo Pärt’s Summa) an alternative form crafted by the composer. The remaining concerts in the 2021 series will each contain a chamber work “rearranged” for The Capital Band’s... read more

Music of magical flight – Palmer, Mozart and Stravinsky from the NZSO

By , 08/04/2021
Throughout the first half of Canadian-based New Zealand-born composer Juliet Palmer’s work Buzzard, I was enraptured,  totally enthralled by Palmer’s self-proclaimed “digestion” of Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird. I was bowled over as much by the former’s mastery of orchestral techniques we all readily ascribe to the latter’s music, the brilliance of the orchestrations, the motoric rhythms, and, by turns, the fluency and the angularity of the changing time-signatures, as by... read more

“Gloria” from Nota Bene and The Queen’s Closet gladdens hearts and minds at St Mary of the Angels

By , 28/03/2021
As it has happened the three concerts I have reviewed so far this year have taken place in various splendid Wellington churches, each contributing to the atmosphere, ambience and impact of the music and its making, spectacularly so in the case of the third occasion at St Mary of the Angels Church in Boulcott St., where a programme entitled “Gloria” was given by the Nota Bene Choir with the... read more

NZSO launches into 2021 determined, with a splendid, dynamic programme to evade Covid 19

By , 26/03/2021
The first of the NZSO’s main concert series, which is entitled the “Podium Series”, proved a conspicuous triumph. Though it might have seemed difficult to account for the name “Carnival” which was given to this particular concert, it was vividly illuminated in Feby Idrus’s colourful and well-informed programme notes, indirectly with La Valse, but quite specifically with Petrushka, where the word relates directly to Stravinsky’s setting of the first... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy