Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

NZSO Soloists in interesting but problematic programme

It is an interesting innovation to have sections of the NZSO featured in their own concerts; this year, the string players (or 18 of them) and next year it will be the turns of the woodwind players and the brass players. Vessa-Matti Leppänen has chosen the music for all these concerts. Since the sad demise of the NZSO Chamber Orchestra (co-founded, and directed, by Donald Armstrong), we have not heard... read more

Michael Fulcher demonstrates virtues of Congregational Church organ

By , 30/09/2010

The pages of Middle C have been unusually filled by reviews of organ recitals over the past month on account of National Organ Month, which is one of the more useful special celebrations in the musical calendar.

Interest in the organ lies rather outside the field of vision for many music lovers and, I suppose, particularly as a result of religious belief and church-going seeming to be... read more

NZSM voice students on show at Lower Hutt

A wide-ranging programme gave opportunity for NZSM students of Richard Greager, Margaret Medlyn, Flora Edwards and Jenny Wollerman to demonstrate their skills. The printed programme did not state, but I suspect some of these students are at an early stage of their study. However, all acquitted themselves well in front of an audience, and did not exhibit obvious signs of nervousness.

All sang... read more

William Green (piano) on The Enchanted Island

By , 24/09/2010

This was a recital that had more than a whiff of magic, mystery and atmosphere about it, thanks in part to a tempestuous Wellington spring wind that roared around and about St. Andrew's Church throughout the evening, activating creaks, groans and occasional muffled bumpings and rumblings. It was as if an army of musical ghosts had congregated amid the rafters of the church and were making their presence... read more

Rigg and Olivier delight with Debussy and Prokofiev at Lower Hutt

By , 22/09/2010


There are days when Wellington is one of the best places in the world. When the sun’s shining after a southerly and you can see the trees on the Orongorongos and a midday concert at Lower Hutt calls for a drive (though better, a train... read more

Violin and piano duo in interesting 20th century recital at Old Saint Paul’s

By , 21/09/2010


Last year I heard these two musicians play the Elgar and Franck sonatas in this place. This year they stepped firmly into the 20th century, even though, ironically, Janáček was born before Elgar.


Flute and string quartet wide-ranging end to Wellington’s Sunday afternoon series

By , 19/09/2010


The last in the Sunday 3pm concert series from Wellington Chamber Music was a relatively new ensemble of musicians of varying backgrounds, who presumably do not play together as often as does a professional ensemble. Yet they sounded in command of the music, totally familiar with each other, and comfortable with... read more

Wellington Community Choir’s 5th Birthday Gala Concert

By , 18/09/2010

The printed programme accompanying this rousing and heart-warming event contained a number of enthusiastic testimonials from members of the Wellington Community Choir regarding the group and their activities, one of which I thought beautifully summed up the reason people get involved with music, be they music-makers or listeners:

"...The choir is a place where I found my inner voice. Not only my singing voice, but my real inner... read more

Donald Nicolson at the Maxwell Fernie organ


A small audience heard a fine recital on this splendid pipe organ.  Unfortunately the printed programme, which did not bear the date, had some of the items in the wrong order, and movements did not all appear printed.   The corrected version appears above

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From darkness to light – soundscapes of the mind from the NZSO

By , 18/09/2010
I liked this programme because it broke the mould - it didn't follow the concert format which the NZSO seems to visit more often than not, to the detriment of pieces such as Ravel's enchanting Pavane pour une Infanta défunte (or, Pavane for a Dead Princess). The common concert layout (overture, concerto, interval,  symphonic-type work) is obviously favoured by orchestral managements because it provides variety over the course of... read more

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