Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Two out of three from Puccini’s Il Trittico boldly and confidently presented by the NZSM

By , 19/07/2019
When Giacomo Puccini first penned his Il Trittico (Triptych), consisting of three short operas designed to fill a single evening (premiered as such in New York in December 1918), various considerations combined to elevate the third of these works, the rollickingly comic Gianni Schicchi, to pride of place in the public’s affections, leaving the other two, the violent, bloody Il Tabarro (The Cloak) and the somewhat sanctimonious Suor Angelica... read more

A piano recital at St Andrew’s deserving a full house: Beethoven’s Eroica Variations surrounded by circus variety

By , 17/07/2019
Her name rang a bell, but I couldn’t recall actually seeing or hearing her play. The Middle C archive revealed that my colleague, Peter Mechen had reviewed an earlier lunchtime recital by her in August 2016 when, inter alia she had played Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänz, later Rameau’s Le rappel des oiseaux. Born in Taiwan and educated mainly in the United States, she now lives in Auckland. That sort of programming clearly... read more

Extraordinary music-making from the 2019 Adam Troubadours

By , 17/07/2019
Behold, the 2019 Adam Troubadours! – a name that suggested something adventuresome and “here-and-now”, performers whose defining characteristics would give their music-making real distinction – and so it proved, in a concert for Chamber Music Hutt Valley that disarmed one’s listening by the act of its performers simply surpassing themselves as the evening ran its course. The above are young string musicians selected from those attending Adam Summer Schools... read more

The Night Watch’s “Every Breath you take” a great success at the NZSM

By , 14/07/2019
2019 is turning into a “bumper” year for me as regards richly-stimulating and keenly-recalled concert experiences! As befits a place that likes to style itself as something of a cultural centre, Wellington has certainly played host to the efforts of some remarkable musicians performing some fascinating assemblages of repertoire so far this year, and with more to come, as a glance at any collection of concert schedules to hand... read more

Splendid, richly satisfying NZSO concert of four strongly contrasted works played with mastery and conviction

By , 13/07/2019
Anniversary: Cook’s first voyage and Matauranga  The first piece in Saturday’s concert was entitled Matauranga, which means ‘knowledge, wisdom, understanding, skill’, according to the programme note. It was in part to mark the 250th anniversary of Cook’s first voyage one of whose purposes was to observe the transit of Venus in Tahiti in June 1769. His reaching New Zealand was timely to observe the transit of Mercury on the Coromandel... read more

Medlyn and Greager give rewarding and intelligent recital of early 20th century songs, plus four by Vincent O’Sullivan/Ross Harris

By , 10/07/2019
A song recital by two internationally renowned singers based in Wellington is a significant musical event. The programme was like a snapshot of the music of the first half of the twentieth century across a wide range of countries, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, with a more recent item from New Zealand. The concert began with Margaret Medlyn singing Alban Berg's Seven Early Songs (1907). These songs were written under... read more

“Exhibition” – a variety of brass, with Wellington bands playing host to the Chicago Brass

By , 08/07/2019
Having never reviewed a brass band concert before, I didn’t really know what to expect, other than hearing an evening’s-worth of splendid and varied sounds! On that score I wasn’t disappointed, with the music in every case projected with flair, sensitivity and energy, the sounds at times suitably roof-raising, while tempered by contrasts of every conceivable variety. Being an “exhibition” concert meant that there were considerable bonuses to be had... read more

Wellington Chamber Music’s fine, imaginative violin and piano recital from Beer and Watkins

By , 07/07/2019
Andrew Beer, Concert Master of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Sarah Watkins, highly regarded chamber musician played an interesting recital in the Wellington Chamber music Sunday Concerts series. Two new New Zealand works were sandwiched in between a rarely heard sonata by Ravel and one of the most popular pieces of the violin repertoire, César Franck's violin sonata. Leonie Holmes is a prolific and versatile composer, teaching composition at the... read more

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