Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Seven Strings by Candlelight: New Zealand String Quartet plus 3 at St Mary of the Angels

By , 30/09/2011
Imaginative programming can often bring surprising results. Candlelight in a beautiful church is a certain winner through producing a spiritual atmosphere, especially if timed so that the evanescent sunlight through the stained glass fades in the course of the first half hour. As for the programme, all three pieces had been played before by the quartet; Metamorphosen at the Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson in February this year, and... read more

Of conflict and tragedy – New Zealand School of Music Orchestra

By , 29/09/2011

Brilliant recital of French organ music from Michael Stewart

By , 25/09/2011

I hadn’t adjusted my watch and as a result, missed the first item in the recital: Guilmant’s Grand choeur en forme de marche pour grand orgue, in G minor. Two of the three composers in the programme had been honoured as Radio New Zealand Concert’s Composers of the Week which had been introduced by Stewart himself (Guilmant died in 1911 and Alain was born in that year. Alain's father... read more

Celebrating the rugby, with Beethoven, without the violence

By , 22/09/2011
A relatively short piece was needed for the first half of a concert that was to be dominated by the Choral Symphony. A new New Zealand piece using the same soloists as in the symphony was sensible, and the choice of Gareth Farr was unlikely to prove a deterrent for those allergic to music after 1900. With this in mind, Farr could actually have risked offering something a little... read more

NZSO concludes its Sibelius Symphony cycle on Naxos

By , 21/09/2011
Sometimes, when listening to performances of music one knows and loves, one has to try to come to terms with interpretations markedly different to one's own ideas. Common sense suggests that this is a healthy process to take part in - and, after all, to expect uniformity or even conformity of music-making or listening across different performances would be unrealistic, let alone undesirable. And music-making which goes against the... read more

A horn trio wins converts at Wellington Chamber Music recital

By , 18/09/2011

Wilma Smith, a former NZSO concertmaster, has been returning to New Zealand every year or so since she became co-concertmaster with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra: usually with a strings and/or piano ensemble. This time, inspired by the urge to play Brahms’s Horn Trio, an appropriate trio was put together, comprising the Melbourne Orchestra’s principal horn and pianist Amir Farid.

Why Nautilus? Nautilus is a mollusc with a spiral... read more

Dream team together on record – Trpčeski, Petrenko and Rachmaninov

By , 18/09/2011
Avie Records and its NZ distributor Ode Records will have pleased Wellington concertgoers enormously with a recent pair of CD recordings (available separately) featuring pianist Simon Trpčeski and conductor Vasily Petrenko in the music of Rachmaninov - all four Piano Concertos and the Rhapsody on Theme of Paganini. Of course, both Simon Trpčeski and Vasily Petrenko have been recent guest artists with the NZSO, though not performing together -... read more

A new element in the ‘Live in Cinemas’ phenomenon – orchestral concerts

By , 17/09/2011

Boris Pigovat’s Requiem – a stunning CD presentation

By , 15/09/2011
This recording commemorates the first performance outside the Ukraine of Boris Pigovat's Requiem, given by violist Donald Maurice, with the Vector Wellington Orchestra conducted by Marc Taddei, on November 9th, 2008 at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington. The composer, whose grandparents and aunt were victims of the Babiy Yar tragedy in 1941, when thousands of German Jews were massacred in cold blood by the Nazis, had wanted for a... read more

Delightful American songs from Megan Corby and Craig Beardsworth at the Hutt

By , 14/09/2011

It’s a few years since I heard either of these singers in a solo recital of any kind. This lunchtime concert was such an enterprising and attractive event that I felt real regret that the audience was so small, though not very different from the audiences that usually come. The real sadness is the failure of the Lower Hutt City Council to save the Laing’s Road Methodist Church... read more

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