Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Glittering prizes from a talented duo at St.Andrew’s

This concert was a joy, definitely in the very top bracket of 2014 lunchtime offerings at St. Andrews on the Terrace. The committed musicianship and professionalism of the two artists was apparent from the first note, when one understood immediately that this was all about the music, not the players. Lili Boulanger’s Nocturne is a gem. In this duo’s hands it opened as a gentle meditation, languid with the warm... read more

Alexa Thomson – possibility and accomplishment on the viola

 This concert was an Honours music degree recital for Alexa Thomson, and St.Andrew’s church was a most suitable venue for this scale of performance. The Brahms Sonata is, of course, one of the lynchpins of the violist’s repertoire, and it was a good vehicle for Alexa’s artistic phrasing and warmth of tone which was entirely free of the edgy, nasal quality that can often detract from the upper register... read more

Illuminating the Bard – sonnets for a 450th birthday

This performance was a celebration of Shakespeare’s sonnets on the 450th anniversary of his birth. By happy chance the two actors were in New Zealand during the 50th anniversary celebrations of Wellington’s Cathedral of St. Paul, and as part of those, they had devised a programme to “perform from Shakespeare’s sonnets and other works with sidelights on his mysterious life, some original pronunciation and a few surprises”. There were... read more

Saxophone feast from the New Zealand School of Music

The Bach aria which opened this concert must be one of the most sublime vocal duos ever written, and it has been sung with breathtaking beauty by all the great oratorio artists. Hence it has to be a very demanding challenge to achieve a successful transcription for saxophones. The power of the original is such that I found it impossible to banish that version from my mind, and hear... read more

NZSM Classical Guitar students square up to a challenging recital

This brief concert was a welcome opportunity to hear again the talents of the NZSM Classical Guitar students under the tutelage of director Dr. Jane Curry. The full ensemble consisted of fifteen players, of whom four were guest members from the School’s pre-tertiary programme. The recital comprised a wide variety of works that spanned the “Golden Age” of Elizabethan lute music, the Baroque, and the 19th and 20th centuries The... read more

Eggner Trio and Amihai Grosz win all hearts

The Eggner sibling trio of Georg (violin), Florian (cello) and Christoph (piano) presented this programme with viola player, Amihai Grosz, Principal Viola of the Berlin Philharmonic and a founding member of the Jerusalem String Quartet. I had not heard the Eggner group before, but from the very opening lines of the Mozart it was obvious why they are firmly established in the forefront of chamber ensembles today. Viola associate Amihai Grosz... read more

Fine Israel in Egypt from Tudor Consort in challenging acoustic

Israel in Egypt sets out to recount the Old Testament story of Israel’s final period in Egypt under a Pharaoh that withdrew all previous privileges and inflicted on the Israelites a physical bondage of the harshest kind. Handel set an entirely biblical libretto which dramatically depicts the Ten Plagues that Israel’s God visited on the Egyptians, the captives’ escape towards the Red Sea, the Egyptian pursuit with murderous intent... read more

Brilliant, rewarding performance of The Creation from NZSO and Orpheus Choir

This concert was billed as one where “Haydn brings forth magnificence from silence as he retells the creation of the world, taking inspiration from the Bible’s Book of Genesis and Milton’s Paradise Lost. Haydn once confessed, ‘I want to write a work that will give permanent fame to my name in the world’. With The Creation, he has certainly achieved this.” This was the work that provided the striking platform... read more

Forbidden Voices: Documentary film on German/Jewish composer Richard Fuchs, also neglected in New Zealand

“Richard Fuchs was a composer believed by his father to be 'the third Richard', successor to Strauss and Wagner. He loved German culture above all others. Unfortunately German culture hated him. His music was banned by the Nazis and he was banished, so he fled to New Zealand in the 1940s. No longer persecuted, just ignored. A man out of place and out of time. An enemy in Germany because... read more

Imaginative programme of too rarely played masterpieces from Orchestra Wellington

This imaginative programme by Orchestra Wellington was an opportunity to enjoy a selection of colourful works heard all too infrequently on concert stages here. Haydn’s The Hen Symphony was performed with appropriately modest orchestral forces for which Orchestra Wellington is admirably suited. The opening Allegro Spiritoso sparkled with clean vigorous playing of exemplary precision that allowed inner voices to speak through beautifully clearly. The contrasting central episode was beautifully... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy