Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

The long way to Bohemia

By , 19/06/2022
A cold grey afternoon in the middle of winter. But the programme looked interesting: a Czech club sandwich with a slice of Bowater. The New Zealand Chamber Soloists have a history of commissioning new works. The work by Helen Bowater was commissioned in 2020 as part of their ‘Seven by Seven’ project: seven works by seven New Zealand women composers, lasting seven minutes, with support from Creative New Zealand... read more

Rhapsody and Rapture

By , 11/06/2022
‘It’s all about Clara Schumann,’ said Marc Taddei, Orchestra Wellington’s conductor. Brahms wrote his Alto Rhapsody for the wedding of Clara’s third daughter, Julie, in 1869. The second work on the programme was written by Clara Weick, as she then was, between the ages of 13 and 15. And Robert Schumann’s Symphony No 4, written in the first rapturous year of their marriage, has the word ‘Clara’ musically encoded throughout One... read more

Late afternoon sunlight

By , 01/05/2022
This was the first concert of a new season for Wellington Chamber Music, and the organisers must have been anxious. The pandemic has changed audiences and the business of giving concerts. Would they come? They needn’t have worried. St Andrew’s was pleasantly full for this delightful concert, featuring Rachel Vernon on clarinet. The Aroha Quartet have been regular performers here over the years – they were founded in 2004 – and... read more

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

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