Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

‘NZTrio’ at Paekakariki’s Mulled Wine concerts

By , 28/03/2011

The Mulled Wine concert series at Paekakariki has become an interesting and singular event in the pattern of music in the Greater Wellington region. Some of the concerts are indeed to be found repeated elsewhere in the region; some are not. The NZ Trio’s concert could have been heard again the following evening at Lower Hutt and I took myself there in order to get a different aural... read more

NZSO’s first subscription concert fills the MFC

The title ‘Apotheosis’ may seem dramatic, but as Peter Walls pointed out at the pre-concert talk, the two major works were lofty to the extent of being other-worldly.

It must have felt like a sort of black apotheosis in Christchurch a month ago; at this concert, money was collected for the Red Cross earthquake relief fund, and subtle red and... read more

Eggner Trio wins all hearts

By , 24/03/2011
CMNZ's 2011 Season couldn't have gotten off to a better start with the return of the inspirational Eggner Trio from Vienna, being no less than the third visit by the Trio to New Zealand. Good also to read in the program a message of support from Carolyn and Peter Diessl, the latter in his role as Honorary Consul-General for Austria in this country, and as a major supporter of... read more

NZSO concert this Friday the 25th – correction

By , 23/03/2011

Profane Bach at St Paul’s Lutheran Church

Bach’s birthday is being celebrated at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in King Street, Newtown. Last Sunday there was a concert of concertos and a secular cantata; next Sunday there is more Bach, also at 5pm. Bach was born on 21 March 1685, so this was his 326th anniversary.

Bach’s secular cantatas are not heard very often, in this country at least, so it was refreshing to... read more

Brahms piano trio and Czech duos at St Andrew’s

By , 20/03/2011
Many of my most memorable musical experiences come from unexpected encounters with either unfamiliar compositions or stunningly good performances. In Wellington, these days, one expects at most concerts certain levels of musical understanding and technical accomplishment, but that still leaves plenty of stratospheric spaces for performances which take the listener to those out-of-the-ordinary heights that can't help but enlarge and enrich one's view of existence in general. This... read more

Impressive recital by piano duettists at St Andrew’s

By , 18/03/2011

What was revealed in the leaflet advertising this highly enjoyable series at St Andrew’s hardly covered the reality. The names of neither of the two pianists were familiar, nor were two of the composers, though the name Guastavino might have rung bells. The two pianists have played together for several years, and are currently staff pianists at the University of Auckland School of Music.

However, Liszt’s Dante Sonata... read more

Snell, Castle and Bryony Williams in opera recital at St Andrew’s

A well-filled church greeted the performers; it was necessary for the latter to introduce the items, since programmes had run out. This introduced a level of informality as well as information.

Martin Snell opened the evening’s opera excerpts; his resonant speaking voice made a memorable introduction to the first aria, ‘Sorge infausta una procella’, sung by Zoroastro in Handel’s Orlando of 1733. Hearing the singer in this resonant... read more

Handel’s Xerxes from New Zealand Opera in brilliant period orchestral setting

It was very satisfying to see a fully-staged performance of Xerxes, unusually with two counter-tenors singing lead roles, rather than at least one being a woman, and to hear the arias at the original pitch.

A further bonus was to have an experienced and professional baroque orchestra accompany in the pit. There were some rumblings about using an imported orchestra when this... read more

A String Quartet with a difference – the NZGQ

By , 16/03/2011
As one can see from the NZGQ's program, the evening consisted mainly of transcriptions, with a few original compositions. Given that two of these reworkings were of music originally for strings (JS Bach and Warlock) and the other two drew heavily for their original inspiration on music for Spanish guitar, the presentations seemed entirely apposite, and (with one reservation, humbly proffered by this non-guitarist!) were delivered with what seemed... read more

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