Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Baroque Voices – resplendent 20th birthday offerings

By , 28/06/2014
Wellington's Baroque Voices celebrated twenty years of music-making with a concert on the last Saturday of June given in the same inaugural venue, the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, in Hill St., Wellington - a splendid place for music-making by vocal ensembles. It was a truly epic and resplendent affair - perhaps a trifle overlong for listeners and performers alike, though the presentation certainly succeeded in bringing to the fore... read more

NZSO under Venezuelan conductor triumphs with essential German and Russian masterpieces

By , 27/06/2014
A couple of highly promising young musicians whose existence have so far escaped my attention appeared with the NZSO on Friday.  Rafael Payare is the product of Venezuela’s Sistema musical organisation that involves young people seriously in classical music, and has already given rise to one of the most illustrious young conductors, Gustavo Dudamel. Payare is obviously following a similar path. He is married to Alisa Weilerstein, the cello soloist... read more

The lyrical and the spectacular from Thomas Gaynor at TGIF Cathedral lunchtime recital

By , 27/06/2014
This year is the 50th anniversary of the dedication of Wellington’s Anglican Cathedral, and so the concerts staged this year celebrate that. This particular recital was apparently organised by the late John Morrison, who, among many activities that helped the arts, particularly music, to flourish in Wellington, was chairman of the Wellington branch of the New Zealand Wagner Society. Your reviewer, as a member of the society, wants to record... read more

Stroma’s third “Mirror of Time” – thoroughly engaging fun

By , 26/06/2014
As I listened to this highly diverting and thoroughly engaging assemblage of music old and new, expertly put together by Stroma's artistic director Michael Norris and stunningly performed by the ensemble and its conductor, Hamish McKeich, I was struck repeatedly by the profoundly unoriginal, but nevertheless compelling thought that this presentation was great fun! Perhaps that observation might appear trite to some people, unworthy of inclusion in a "serious review"... read more

Gamut of emotions – Orchestra Wellington’s second 2014 concert

By , 22/06/2014
The phrase "What Love Tells Me" which gave its name to this concert given by Orchestra Wellington is irretrievably associated with the music of Mahler. It's the original title the composer gave to the sixth and final movement of his Third Symphony, titles that were dropped by Mahler after the work's first performance, but have still "hung around" the work ever since. Mahler was often to experience this initial... read more

Winner’s tour for Nikki Chooi, 2013 Michael Hill Violin Competition: a finished artist

By , 20/06/2014
Canadian Nikki Chooi won the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition and this concert was in the middle of a series of sixteen concerts and recitals around New Zealand, which forms part of the prize. Oddly, the biographical notes in the programme only listed the competitions in which he’s had success, orchestras with which and places where he has played. It neglected to say where and when he was born... read more

Beautiful Britten, sterling Brahms – a heartfelt tribute to Norbert Heuser

By , 17/06/2014
What would have been planned originally by violist Peter Barber and pianist Catherine McKay as an occasion featuring a richly-wrought and most gratifying pair of contrasting works for viola and piano took on an additional note of elegiac sadness by the time the two musicians came to present their concert. Two days before, the death had occurred of a former NZSO colleague of Barber's - in fact, a fellow-violist... read more

Choral Symphony in a triumphant end to NZSO’s monumental Beethoven symphony cycle

By , 15/06/2014
In the NZSO’s Beethoven cycle of 1995, the Choral Symphony was accompanied by Symphony No 1, an arrangement just as interesting as linking it with No 8. Each is similar in length, and both represent Beethoven writing in a style more traditional than some of those he would write or had written. These juxtapositions, that have illuminated each concert, have been as rewarding as the performances themselves; probably none has... read more

In the marvellous heartland of Beethoven’s symphonies: concert No 3

By , 14/06/2014
On Friday, after posting my Thursday review, I was reminded that this was not the first Beethoven cycle that the NZSO has undertaken – a fact that I should have remembered for I reviewed them for The Evening Post, in November 1995.  Then, the symphonies, conducted in the Town Hall (give it back to us!) by Janos Fürst who died in 2007, were spread over five concerts over three... read more

Beethoven from Inkinen and the NZSO – the excitement continued…..

By , 13/06/2014
This was the second concert in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra's Beethoven symphony traversal with conductor Pietari Inkinen. Putting the Fourth and Fifth Symphonies in the same programme brought listeners face-to face - perhaps cheek-to-jowl would be a more apt expression - with one of the most cherished cornerstones of critical appraisal of these works. This is the long-established idea of a dichotomy that separates the composer's odd- and... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy