Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Impressive performances of Brahms choral works, including the German Requiem from Kapiti Chamber Choir

A full church greeted choir, soloists and orchestra for a very rewarding concert of Brahms’s choral music.  It was a very warm afternoon (Paraparaumu reached 24deg.) which was hard on the performers.  Nevertheless, they responded magnificently. The first work was new to me, a piece written in memory of a friend of Brahms.  The title means ‘song of mourning’.  It had an appealing orchestral introduction, in which an oboe melody... read more

Eugene Gienger – Dakota Pianist – more feeling than fireworks…..

By , 06/04/2014
Eugene Gienger, an engagingly self-styled "Dakota Pianist" originally hails from Streeter, North Dakota, USA. According to his accompanying publicity he is the only pianist of renown to have emerged from the Dakota region, and can therefore be counted as a kind of "local boy made good". An international performer, he has given recitals and concerto performances in the United States, Canada, Russia and Australia. He's currently in New Zealand... read more

Festival Singers under Berkahn explore baroque byways, a romantic Stabat Mater and a modern, jazz cantata

By , 06/04/2014
The concert was advertised as performing two works: a Stabat Mater by minor German composer, Josef Rheinberger, contemporary of Brahms and Bruch, and The Third Day by the conductor. The works that accompanied the Stabat Mater in the first half were of a similar kind: organ and vocal pieces by Buxtehude, Bach, Lachner, and religious songs by John Ireland and Berkahn. Lachner’s name probably rings faint bells as Franz was one... read more

Audience gives enthusiastic reception to splendid NZSO concert

What better composer to open the programme than Wagner, with conductor Pietari Inkinen fresh from conducting Wagner in Europe and Australia!  However, this was very different Wagner.  The Idyll was written as a birthday present for his wife, Cosima, in 1870.  (She wrote about it in her dairy, according to the printed programme!)  Not that a full symphony orchestra performed it for her to wake up to on the... read more

Bach Choir of Wellington – Faure and other delights

By , 05/04/2014
Despite the "music for Easter" title of the Bach Choir's recent programme, I would imagine that most people would have been drawn to the concert by the prospect of hearing a performance in a proper church setting of Faure's supremely beautiful and perennially fresh (as it proved here) Requiem. Quelling an element of impatience lurking within the recesses of my being at having a "first half" to get through before... read more

Sparkling playing of Bach for flute and organ at St Andrew’s

A third player in the recital was the fine acoustic of St. Andrew’s Church, allowing all the nuances of sound from the instruments to be clearly heard, even the quietest ones. The programme opened with organ only, playing perhaps the most familiar of Bach’s Preludes from The Well-Tempered Clavier (or Keyboard, in this translation), which unfortunately I missed, due to parking problems. However, I heard the fugue, delightfully played on... read more

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