Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Art-to-music realisations, a royal farewelling, and interplanetary evocations – all in an evening’s work for the NZSO

By , 30/03/2019
Tonight’s concert began with a sobering reminder of the tragedy that had shaken the whole of the country just over a fortnight previously, audience and musicians alike standing for a minute’s silence in remembrance of the incident’s victims, conductor Edo de Waart eschewing his “maestro’s entrance” on this occasion, and accompanying his concertmaster, Vesa-Matti Leppänen onto the concert platform, to stand with the other performers. As this was the... read more

Cathedral organ in major series of important French works: Widor’s second organ symphony

By , 29/03/2019
I missed the first, on 1 March, of this year-long series of recitals by the two organists at the Cathedral of Saint Paul.  These ‘symphonies’ are not well known in New Zealand, and perhaps in most Anglophone countries, apart from the last movement, Toccata, of the fifth symphony. But according to the authoritative Wikipedia the organ symphonies are among his better known works. They represent Widor's early style. Widor’s first four... read more

Youthful and visionary Schubert from Helene Pohl and Jian Liu

By , 29/03/2019
Within a fortnight of the NZ String Quartet’s inspirational presentation at the NZ School of Music’s Adam Concert Room of two major works from the string quartet repertoire, we were, at another lunchtime concert, able to enjoy for a second time, on this occasion, the artistry of one of the Quartet’s players – the group’s leader, Helene Pohl, performing in tandem with the much-acclaimed Jian Liu, who’s currently the... read more

Poetry and music co-habit most successfully at St Andrew’s lunchtime concert

By , 27/03/2019
The world of music has almost totally overwhelmed the world of poetry. That’s not to say that there has ever been a large, ravenous audience for poetry, particularly over the past couple of centuries. There are probably few people today who have poetry anthologies and even volumes of poetry by the likes of Wordsworth, Keats, Tennyson, Kipling, on their shelves; fewer than those with a piano in the house... read more

Janacek and Beethoven String Quartets from the amazing NZSQ at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music

By , 25/03/2019
It all seemed too good to be true - here we were at a FREE CONCERT at the Adam Concert Room up at the University, about to be enthralled by the country’s most prestigious string quartet in two major works from the genre’s repertoire, one from the nineteenth and the other from the twentieth century, plus an additional piece from someone who’s proving to be a most interesting member... read more

Karori’s “Colours of Futuna” plays host to string quartet classics from the Orion Quartet

By , 24/03/2019
Futuna Chapel was the venue for a sweet hour of marvellous music and music-making on the previous Sunday afternoon – here was the Orion Quartet, one whose work I hadn’t yet encountered “live”, presenting two of the classical repertoire’s “cornerstone” chamber works, in itself something of an irresistible prospect for any music-lover. With players from both the NZSO and Orchestra Wellington, informed by an interest in historical period practice... read more

Alleluia: varied settings splendidly delivered by Inspirare and Schola Cantorum (St Mark’s School) under Mark Stamper

By , 23/03/2019
Best to start with Mark Stamper’s own description of this concert of settings of ‘Alleluia’: “fourteen unique and innovative settings of this glorious text. The selections will come from different musical periods dating back to the Baroque and on through 2019”. There can be few words or phrases that have inspired such generally positive and hopeful music, though there are other memorable phrases in the Mass. Mark Stamper’s choices were... read more

Brahms’ String Quintets on Naxos – graceful, beautifully-lit readings by the NZSQ with Maria Lambros (viola)

By , 23/03/2019
Playing and getting to know this disc recorded in Canada as long ago as 2016 has been, for me, a salutary experience on a couple of counts – firstly it’s been a recrimination of sorts, one that’s asked me in no uncertain tones of disapproval, why I hadn’t sought out and explored this venture by one of our most renowned and treasured musical ensembles before now! A different kind... read more

Chamber Music Hutt Valley to submit a winding-up motion at the 2019 AGM

By , 15/03/2019
The agenda of Chamber Music Hutt Valley’s AGM on Wednesday 27 March includes a motion that would wind up the society and bring its history of forty years of chamber music concerts in Lower Hutt to an end. The motion reads: “That the Executive is given the authority by this AGM to make CMHV inactive after the end of the 2019 season: the decision being based on a lack of committee... read more

Wilma and Friends win all hearts at Wellington Chamber Music’s first 2019 concert

By , 13/03/2019
Beginning the year with the musical equivalent of a hiss and a roar is always a good sign for what might follow – and Wellington Chamber Music organisers can feel well-pleased with their opening offering for 2019, regarding both repertoire and the performances. In fact I sat there throughout this concert imagining, for some reason, how much “better” it all possibly might be were one in London, Berlin or... read more

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