Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

An exhilarating piano duet concert from Duo Harmonics at St Andrew’s

By , 30/09/2020
Duo Enharmonics, the Nicole Chao and Beth Chen piano duo team, have become regular performers at the St Andrew's lunch time concerts. This year they offered a journey from a graceful Mozart Sonata of 1765 through Rachmaninov's nostalgic Russian group of six pieces of 1894, to the grand spectacular duo piano arrangement of Ravel's La Valse of 1920. The Mozart Sonata in D Major, KV.381 is a very early work... read more

NZ Trio with accessible and illuminating music for Wellington Chamber Music

By , 27/09/2020
Perhaps because of Auckland’s continued restrictions, and limits on audience size, Wellington, and no doubt other cities, seem to benefit from more concerts. This was the first of three concerts by the NZ Trio, the others at Lower Hutt and Waikanae, with the same programme. Beethoven  It began with Beethoven’s third piano trio in C minor: sombre, restrained with the violin sounding cautious, but a crescendo slowly prevailed, subtly enough: the... read more

NZSO’s “Eroica” programme title lives up to its name at Wellington’s MFC

By , 27/09/2020
CEO of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Peter Biggs, summed it up in his foreword in the printed programme for the orchestra’s most recent presentation initiative – named after one of the three works presented, Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony – when he referred to 2020 as “what continues to be a challenging year for us all.” Biggs and his staff rose to that challenge admirably in enabling  Peruvian-born conductor Miguel... read more

Orchestra Wellington delivers spectacular concert of two great classics and a major New Zealand work

By , 26/09/2020
This was not the first concert by Orchestra Wellington: that was on 27 July and featured Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony and Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto, played by Michael Houstoun. This also featured Houstoun, playing what would be called a concerto in some contexts, but here, it was a three movement work by John Psathas called Three Psalms, with an important piano part, but also drawing on various musical and other artistic... read more

NZSM Orchestra with conductor Hamish McKeich showcases achievements by 2020 award-winning composer and instrumentalist at St.Andrew’s-on-The-Terrace, Wellington

By , 26/09/2020
Pandemic restrictions having been relaxed of late (though judiciously more “on hold” than entirely done away with), we were allowed more-or-less regularly-spaced seating at St. Andrew’s to hear the most recent of the NZSM Orchestra’s public concerts, one featuring the recent winner of the School’s Concerto Competition, flutist Isabella Gregory (see the review at https://middle-c.org/2020/07/nzsm-concerto-competition-an-evening-of-elegance-frisson-and-feeling/), playing the Reinecke concerto with which she won the prize, though on this... read more

Michael Stewart at TGIF, Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, celebrates Tournemire’s L’Orgue mystique

By , 25/09/2020
Charles Tournemire is probably one of the less familiar organ composers and performers in France. Though he certainly rates, in terms of his fame as both composer and performer, with some of them: Franck, Guilmant, Saint-Saëns, Widor, Gabriel Pierné, Vierne, Dupré... But bearing composition in mind, Tournemire must be regarded as more interesting and significant than half of those. There is a singular divergence between this group of French organists... read more

“….And we shall be changed” – the New Zealand String Quartet’s completion of its 2020 Beethoven journey

By , 25/09/2020
The listings in both the printed programme and the advance publicity suggested that we would get to hear BOTH of the “finales” of Beethoven’s String Quartet Op.130  at the culminating concert of the New Zealand String Quartet’s series presenting all of the composer’s String Quartets. TWO finales? Well, after the first performance of Op.130 in 1826, the general critical reaction regarding the original “Grosse Fugue” finale was one of... read more

New Zealand String Quartet triumphantly reaches the heights of Beethoven’s Late Quartets

By , 23/09/2020
Violist Gillian Ansell opened the concert with cheerful and interesting remarks about the significance of Beethoven’s last quartets, written well after the last piano sonatas, the Missa Solemnis, the Choral Symphony, and the Diabelli Variations. Quartet in F, Opus 135 This concert included the last that he wrote, Op 135, and the second, written for his patron Prince Galitzin, Op 132 which contains the remarkable Heiliger Dankgesang. In between was the... read more

Wellington Chamber Orchestra justifies attention to neglected Schumann symphonies, among some less triumphant performances

By , 20/09/2020
This was the first concert by the Wellington Chamber Orchestra that Middle C has attended this year. And I think this was the first time that Luka Venter has been the conductor. He studied at the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University, in singing, composition and conducting. Since then he has had grants from the opera foundation and other trusts, has studied in Florence, London and Berlin... read more

Nota Bene Choir – an amalgam of mystery and illumination at St. Mary of the Angels

By , 20/09/2020
Surely the Church of St.Mary of the Angels in Wellington’s Boulcott St. is one of the city’s most spectacularly beautiful places in which one can make music, in addition to its acoustics being particularly suited to certain kinds of music for the human voice. In terms of sheer amplitude of sound the venue is surpassed by Wellington’s Cathedral of St.Paul, but in some music it’s at the expense of... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy