Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

“Nature, Life and Love” for our time, from the NZTrio

By , 29/10/2014
I did like the NZTrio's characterizing of its most recent Wellington concert at the City Gallery as "an edgy international exploration" - though further linking the concert to the Gallery's October exhibition of the work of William Kentridge, a multi-media presentation called "The Refusal of Time" was frustrating, as I hadn't had the chance to see the latter - apparently a truly "immersive" amalgam of cinematic methodology - animation... read more

Glittering prizes from a talented duo at St.Andrew’s

This concert was a joy, definitely in the very top bracket of 2014 lunchtime offerings at St. Andrews on the Terrace. The committed musicianship and professionalism of the two artists was apparent from the first note, when one understood immediately that this was all about the music, not the players. Lili Boulanger’s Nocturne is a gem. In this duo’s hands it opened as a gentle meditation, languid with the warm... read more

Two Harps create magic at Futuna Chapel

The Futuna chapel proved to be an ideal venue for harp music, being small and intimate,  and very resonant, with its timber and concrete surfaces.  There was no difficulty in hearing the quietest sounds, and the resonance of notes after they had ceased to be plucked, was sustained and beautiful.  The occasional raw tone, upon a string being plucked again while still sounding, also stood out, but this happened... read more

Inspiring lunchtime performances from NZSM string players

It was nothing short of astonishing to hear the level of musicianship and accomplishment on their instruments that these students demonstrated. As an undergraduate concert it was quite staggering. The concert opened with the cello of Caitlin Morris, playing a section from Saint-Saëns' Cello Concerto No.1, Op.33. Hers was dynamic and exciting playing. The tempo was quite fast, despite the ‘non troppo’marking of the opening. It was a little too... read more

High Mountain Flowing Water – theatre, poetry and music

By , 22/10/2014
Encounters with exotic art-forms and performance-styles which are unfamiliar can have profound consequences - one thinks, for instance of the effect upon the composer Claude Debussy of the Paris International Exhibition of 1889 with its displays of art and music from places like Java, in particular the sounds made by the gamelan orchestra. Earlier the prints of Japanese artists such as Hokusai had reached Europe and inspired a whole... read more

Wellington Youth Orchestra’s final, tumultuous concert for 2014

By , 21/10/2014
Richard Wagner described Beethoven's Seventh Symphony as "the Apotheosis of the Dance", referring to the dominance of rhythm over melody throughout much of the symphony's duration. Yes, the tunes are there, but, apart from some lyrical sequences in the work's introduction, and throughout the trio of the third-movement Scherzo, the melodies are constantly dancing, stamping or galloping about! If ever a work by Beethoven demonstrated the composer's own euphoric description... read more

Yvette Audain and friends “in the groove” – a new CD

By , 19/10/2014
Yvette Audain modestly commented beforehand that what would make her night would be at least TWO people in the audience for the launch of her CD "Grooves Unspoken". Well, she got her wish and more, besides - not a great deal more, but those of us who were there were caught up in the creative and recreative web and waft of the music and its performance. And with the... read more

Music in evocative spaces – Diedre Irons at Wellington Cathedral

By , 17/10/2014
"Piano music in a vast space" read the heading on the programme sheet which we were given at the concert - and it certainly was that! In fact, I had wondered beforehand regarding the efficacy of performing a piano recital at all in such an environment, and certainly in respect of some of the repertoire - the "Appassionata?… on earth?….all those notes!…… As well, I remembered reading about some wag... read more

Borodin Quartet in Wellington – Old-World elegance, universal beauty

By , 16/10/2014
Mention the name "Borodin Quartet" and the average classical music-lover's eyes will either take on a dreamy, far-away look as if contemplating whole histories of music-making in every prestigious place imaginable, or else flash with sudden excitement at the prospect of encountering this world-renowned group's playing. Last week in Wellington, chamber-music enthusiasts had the chance to indulge in either or both reactions, as the Borodins (their 2014 lineup of... read more

Alexa Thomson – possibility and accomplishment on the viola

 This concert was an Honours music degree recital for Alexa Thomson, and St.Andrew’s church was a most suitable venue for this scale of performance. The Brahms Sonata is, of course, one of the lynchpins of the violist’s repertoire, and it was a good vehicle for Alexa’s artistic phrasing and warmth of tone which was entirely free of the edgy, nasal quality that can often detract from the upper register... read more

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