Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Christmas in 1677

By , 18/12/2021
The Queen’s Closet is an early music ensemble specialising in ‘historically-inspired’ performance of music from the English Restoration (1660-1714, approximately) on period instruments at Baroque pitches.  The focus of this concert was two works by the Habsburg composer Pavel Vejvanovsky (c. 1633-1693), with a piece each by Fux and Volckmar. The performers were members of The Queen’s Closet (Sarah Marten and Emma Brewerton (violins), Lyndsay Mountfort (viola), Jane Young... read more

Dolce e misterioso

By , 18/12/2021
The City Gallery invited Nota Bene to perform a short programme (about 20 minutes of a capella music) to accompany their exhibition of the Swedish mystical painter, Hilma af Klint, in the upper gallery of the exhibition. The original idea was that the concert would provide agreeable background music: a sympathetic soundscape in which to view the works. But conductor Shawn Condon put together a programme of works for women’s voices by Swedish, Estonian, Finnish... read more

Ludwig is My Darling

By , 18/11/2021
These well-known singers, old friends and opera collagues, are accustomed to presenting a lunchtime concert at this time of year, and the programme was an interesting mix of songs that reflected their tastes and interests. Unfortunately, such was the lack of parking on The Terrace, I missed the lighter items that opened the concert, ‘Dashing away with the smoothing iron’, and ‘The Boatie Rows’ from The Book of Scottish Song... read more

What I would take through death’s dark door

By , 15/11/2021
This concert, like its predecessor on Friday 12 November, was delayed by the Covid-19 Level 4/3 restrictions in August and September, and was also displaced from the Hunter Council Chamber to St Peter’s Church. The change of venue was positive. Although the NZSQ has never performed in the church before, it is an excellent venue for chamber music, with its warm and rather dry acoustic contributing to a clear... read more

“Rockin’ On” with the Lockdown Quartet at St.Andrew’s on-The-Terrace

By , 20/10/2021
From 26 March to 27 May 2020, when New Zealand was locked down in Alert Level 4 and many of us were watching Netflix in our pyjamas until it was time for the 1 pm press briefing, the Maurice-Maitra family were putting in some useful quartet practice. Soon they were giving concerts on Zoom ‘to audiences all over the world’. In this charming lunchtime concert at St Andrew’s, they... read more

The pleasures of intensity – chamber music liberated by distinctive voices, superbly delivered

By , 03/10/2021
Violinist Donald Armstrong is always an interesting programmer. I loved his innovative programming for the NZ Chamber Orchestra. But this concert had me fooled: Liszt, Mozart, Chausson. I was looking forward to hearing the Chausson, but not sure about the rest. How wrong I was! The audience was restricted to 100, under Alert Level 2 conditions, and everyone showed up for the last concert of the Wellington Chamber Music season. This has been a mostly... read more

“The Long Day Closes” – Mozart, with “Evening Music and Lullabies” from the Bach Choir of Wellington

By , 24/07/2021
This was a concert of two halves, as they say in rugby. The first half consisted of the advertised Mozart Solemn Vespers, and the second half consisted of ‘Evening Music and Lullabies’, on the basis, I suppose, that Vespers is the evening prayer service, one of the Canonical Hours in the Catholic liturgy, although you wouldn’t find any of these items following a Catholic Vespers. But more of this... read more

Fever’s Candlelight Jazz Standards with Retro Pack at Wellington’s Public Trust Hall

By , 21/07/2021
Jazz is a polarizing genre. For aficionados, it’s all about innovation, pushing the boundaries, expanding the genre whilst respecting its traditions. Technical skill is prized, but always in the service of new ideas. For your average classical concert-goer, it’s pretty much a mystery, and sometimes incomprehensible. But everyone loves a jazz standard. Jazz musicians know them inside out and sometimes reference them on their way to something else. Every Wellington... read more

Jade Quartet presents a somewhat “patchworked” concert at St.Andrew’s

By , 18/07/2021
This was an unlucky concert from the first. It was originally scheduled for 27 June, but had to be rescheduled when Wellington went into Level 2 lockdown a few days prior. At some point the second violin (William Hanfling) and cello (Edith Salzmann) became unavailable: the first due to illness and the second being caught in a COVID-19 lockdown in Melbourne. When the Jade Quartet finally arrived to present this concert, Hanfling had been... read more

A girdle about the earth from Antarctica to Leningrad – the NZSO National Youth Orchestra concert

By , 11/07/2021
It was going to be something of a risk, programming a work by the NYO Composer in Residence against one of the greatest symphonies of the twentieth century. A risk – or an act of faith. Ihiara McIndoe’s Ephemeral Bounds was written in response to a visit to Antarctica last year, courtesy of the Antarctic Heritage Trust. It used less than half the players required for the Shostakovich, and scattered... read more

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