Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Trans-Atlantic: music theatre piece from Boutique Opera

By , 28/02/2009
The tradition of concocting new operas or music theatre from popular bits of existing operas goes back almost to the beginnings of opera 400 years ago: the word is pastiche. That’s what Boutique Opera, Wellington’s enterprising little company, now seven years old, has done for its 2009 production. There were three performances in Wellington, 27, 28 February and 1 March, and the following Saturday in Otaki. Michael Vinten and Alison Hodge... read more

The Tudor Consort sings songs of the sun and the moon of all ages

By , 20/02/2009

For years performers of what we regard as “classical” music took an extremely formal and rigid attitude towards live concert presentation. Historical precedents regarding concert-giving, such as the patronage-driven pragmatic baroque example, the chaotic classical performance era and the flamboyance of the romantic age were all brought to heel during the nineteenth century by martinet-like reactionaries such as Hans von Bulow and Clara Schumann, whose loathing of... read more

Soprano recital with baroque oboe: Rowena Simpson and Samantha Owens

By , 18/02/2009

A most engaging programme, this, mellifluous and varied, and expertly performed by soprano Rowena Simpson, with her instrumental partner, baroque oboist Samantha Owens, and their sterling continuo duo cohorts, Emma Goodbehere (‘cello) and Douglas Mews (harpsichord). I had not previously heard a note of music written by either Angelo Domenico Legnani (1663-1700), or Johann Sigismund Kusser (1660-1727) - or “Cousser” as he was known in France., so the... read more

Adam Chamber Music Festival at Nelson

By , 02/02/2009
The 1pm concert at St John’s on Monday featured both quartets in a special programme offering an example of Mendelssohn’s devotion to his predecessors. Having heard the first quartet, Op 12, on the Sunday, a work in which Beethoven’s influence is clear enough, this concert was specifically devoted to playing Beethoven’s Quartet in A minor, Op 132 on which Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No 2, Op 13 was modelled. Gillian Ansell... read more

Adam Chamber Music Festival, Nelson

By , 01/02/2009
The first phase of the mini-Mendelssohn festival featured the Prazak Quartet, Piers Lane and other musicians. Cellist Rolf Gjelsten was the first of the others, playing Mendelssohn’s Cello Sonata, Op 38, with Piers Lane; it’s a wonderful, ripe, joyous work of fearful difficulty. Mendelssohn is in his characteristic scherzo vein right from start; the score, filled with melody, drives both players through high-speed, finger-breaking gymnastics. The quintessential Romantic, even... read more

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