Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

A St Patrick’s Day ensemble: clarinet, piano and strings

By , 17/03/2010
This early evening concert may have been one of the most looked forward to though its audience may have been reduced by the clash with the first of the two concerts by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. Those present were richly rewarded. There was curiosity about the meaning of the name, and the best guess seemed to be the date of the concert, St Patrick’s Day. Philip Green is co-principal clarinet in... read more

3 2 Tango and Friends – pleasures of the dance

By , 17/03/2010
For this concert, the group 3 2 Tango became four, and then five, firstly with percussionist Matt Collie joining the group, and a little later, accordion player Rebekah Greig. And, as if the pleasures of those tango rhythms and tones alone weren't sufficient, we in the audience were able to luxuriate in the tango dancing of a couple who were introduced as "Sharon and Stephen". What was more, we... read more

Michael Houstoun plays Beethoven

By , 17/03/2010
What a thoroughly enjoyable and life-enhancing experience! I well remember my excitement, back in the 1990s, when Michael Houstoun began recording the Beethoven sonatas for Trust Records, beginning with the "Middle Period" works (MMT 2001-3), marvellous playing captured in what I thought was perfectly decent and listenable sound-quality. Alas, my excitement was considerably lessened by the recorded sound on subsequent issues in the Trust series, a change of venue... read more

St Andrew’s: a Tuesday of New Zealand music

By , 16/03/2010
Lunchtime: New Zealand Music for Woodwind. Music by Anthony Ritchie, Pieta Hextall, Jack Spiers, Gillian Whitehead, Ben Hoadley and David Farquhar This proved to be a wholly New Zealand day. At lunchtime, a group of mainly contemporary pieces for solo winds or groups and in the 6.30 slot, three string quartets by New Zealand’s first real composer, Alfred Hill. The lunchtime concert comprised mostly solo pieces for flute, clarinet and bassoon... read more

Figaro’s marvellous marriage in Day’s Bay garden

By , 15/03/2010
I was at the third of the three performances of this startling and brilliant staging of Mozart’s great comedy. It was at the initiative of Rhona Fraser who was both producer and the Countess, as well as owner of the property in a natural amphitheatre against the beech forest behind Day’s Bay. Her own background, as a singer of some enterprise, made this project look inevitable. Music graduate of Victoria University, studies in... read more

Cornucopia in big ensembles at St Andrew’s

Can you cope with all these horns? the name of the group seems to ask.  Yes, when they are played as expertly as Ed Allen and Heather Thompson play them. The Beethoven sextet proved to be enchanting music, and being an early work, was rather unlike what we think of when we hear the composer’s name.  The playing was very expert, as one would expect from NZSO musicians.  There was... read more

Benefit concert for James Rodgers

It was good to hear James Rodgers again, after his years studying in the United States.  He provided a generous recital of an interesting variety of works, accompanies by his girlfriend, an excellent pianist.  His spoken introductions were informal and succinct. The Tosti songs proved that Rodgers has become an very accomplished singer.  But both he and the accompanist had not taken sufficiently into account the size and acoustics of... read more

Martin Riseley – consorting with the Devil’s Fiddler

By , 14/03/2010
Niccolo Paganini's Op.1, the set of 24 Caprices for solo violin, remains the ultimate test of virtuosity for a violinist - these pieces explore almost every aspect of violin technique, and remain a unique example of performance art which has subsequently continued to inspire both composers and performers. Robert Schumann described Paganini's effect upon the musical world as "the turning point in the history of virtuosity", and  the greatest... read more

St Andrew’s series features splendid Aroha Quartet

By , 13/03/2010

Wellington is particularly well endowed with excellent string quartets; this one, consisting of permanent or occasional NZSO players and now in its sixth year, has achieved a polish and energy that deserves to be given full attention by Wellington’s musical community. Why so few there?

Lunch with Nikau Trio at St Andrew’s

By , 12/03/2010

A series such as this of essentially small-scale music (i.e. chamber music) can afford to deviate from the more narrow field of chamber music – mainly the string quartet and the piano trio, with woodwind add-ons – that the main promoters of chamber music feel obliged to pursue.

read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy