Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Goldner Quartet and Piers Lane shine and glow…

This was an outstanding concert by an exceptional Australian ensemble playing a wonderful programme. Earthquake strengthening work has obliged Chamber Music NZ to move concerts from the Town Hall to the Fowler Centre and there were some doubts about the new venue’s suitability, given its acoustics and size. To offset its lack of intimacy for chamber music, a small pre-stage podium had been set up for the first two... read more

R.S.Thomas – a centenary remembered in poetry, scripture and music

R. S. Thomas was a 20th Century Anglican Priest-Poet who died in the year 2000 after 40 years in the priesthood. He was a passionate Welsh nationalist, and a pacifist active in the C20th Nuclear Disarmament movement. Throughout his life he expressed his  spiritual explorations in poetry whose highly abstract language would sound unfamiliar to most young ears today. Over his ministry he moved progressively further and further from... read more

Wellington Chamber Orchestra – after the First Cuckoo……

By , 29/09/2013
A comment from a friend at the interval helped answer my unspoken query "Why isn't this gorgeous music more often played?" which I'd been posing to myself while listening to the two Delius items at the concert, before voicing it out loud to her - "Oh, it's such dreary, shapeless, formless stuff! - I can't bear it!" was her response. It reminded me that music-lovers world-wide can be readily divided into two groups... read more

Splendid, dramatic Mozart Mass from huge Orpheus and Youth Choirs

By , 28/09/2013
Many of us think of Mozart’s ‘Great’ Mass as being one of the unassailable masterpieces, up there with his Requiem and the requiems of Verdi, Berlioz, Brahms and Fauré, and great choral works Messiah, Bach’s passions and the B Minor Mass, Beethoven’s Missa solemnis, and so on. But the not exactly over-flowing Michael Fowler Centre suggested that I do not have a lot of company (were ticket prices a bit... read more

The Fab Five explore neglected vocal territory at St Andrew’s lunchtime concert

By , 25/09/2013
When you Google many 19th century composers and look at the list of their works, the casual browser is likely to be surprised at the number of vocal pieces that are not the usual Lieder or Mélodies or other classes of solo songs: there are collections of part-songs, songs for duet, quartet and other small ensembles, not to mention the cantatas and motets and other choral pieces. It is... read more

Violinist Blythe Press delivers fine Artist Diploma recital at the New Zealand School of Music

It seemed an odd time for a recital, but perhaps the timing was dependent upon those grading the performance.  A mere handful of people attended apart from staff and students of the School of Music.  A lack of publicity was probably as much responsible as was the awkward timing. Nevertheless, those who heard Blythe Press and Emma Sayers were well rewarded, by fine playing and an interesting and wide-ranging programme, all... read more

Lazarus String Quartet tackles the classics

This talented ensemble was formed in 2009 and comprises graduates of the University of Canterbury. They currently hold the Yehudi Menuhin ‘Live Music Now’ Scholarship in Hannover, Germany, where they are all studying at the Hochschule for Musik. They offered an attractive programme of works by three giants of the string quartet repertoire – Haydn, being known as “the father of the string quartet”; his former pupil Beethoven; and Brahms... read more

China meets New Zealand in music – the NZ Trio

By , 21/09/2013
Some years ago there appeared a famous LP recording entitled "West meets East", featuring violinist Yehudi Menuhin and the famous sitar-player Pandit Ravi Shankar, which was a kind of "ear-opener" for people who hadn't been exposed to any kind of eastern "classical" music. A quick search through the chaos of my collection failed to locate the actual album, but I do remember the presentation being a mixture of "genuine"... read more

Impressive final recital as Isabella Moore prepares for study abroad

A massive thunderstorm, such as we seldom get in Wellington, prevented me from arriving at the recital in time; hail and heavy rain meant I had to stop en route because I simply could not see the surface of the road.  However, it was well worthwhile persisting with the journey.  Isabella Moore has an impressive voice of wide range, an imposing platform persona, and is accomplished across a variety... read more

A rare, delightful Lieder recital from two seasoned musicians at St Andrew’s

Here were two seasoned musicians, in contrast to the many recitals at St. Andrew’s from emerging performers.  It was a delight to hear lieder; in Wellington we all too seldom have an opportunity. The two opening Schubert items were well-known: “Der Wanderer an den Mond” and “Auf dem Wasser zu singen”.  It was a delight to have both German words and translations printed; even though Roger Wilson’s German pronunciation is... read more

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