Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Seven voice students from Victoria’s school of music present varied and well delivered recital

By , 16/09/2020
Here was one of the frequent recitals by Victoria University’s school of music’s students – this time voice students: two second years, the rest third years. Rather than plod through the two songs each by the seven singers, it might be interesting to regard it as a concert that drew music of various kinds, chronologically, from 300 years of European music. I’ll start with the earliest: From Bach’s Cantata no 68... read more

Beethoven 250th anniversary: first concert from New Zealand String Quartet

By , 11/09/2020
This was the first of six concerts this month of all 17 of Beethoven's string quartets (17 includes the Grosse Fuge, the original last movement of Op 130). They are being played in largely chronological order of publication, modified a bit to help in the appreciation of Beethoven’s developing genius: for example, here were the first two quartets alongside the first of the Op 59 (Razumovsky) group. While in... read more

Young musicians of Poneke Trio deliver singularly revelatory concert

By , 28/08/2020
This was a promising recital by three young women who have lived around Worser Bay in Wellington: two are sisters, the cellist a long-time friend. Both Tarrant-Matthews are violinists who have played in Orchestra Wellington and the NZSO, but are also proficient pianists; both graduated in music from Victoria University. Claudia who is violinist in the trio, has been studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London while... read more

Violin and piano recital in a new concert hall makes life worth living again

By , 06/08/2020
The first concert, post-Covid-19 lock-down from Chamber Music New Zealand was held in a new auditorium which was opened in September last year: in the former Public Trust Office headquarters. The hall, presumably the former public area, with ceiling decoration that survived in banks half a century ago; a well-proportioned, elegant space. It seats 300 people, about the same size as the Ilott Theatre in the old Wellington Town... read more

Stimulating, evocative recital from NZSM piano student Liam Furey at St Andrew’s

By , 05/08/2020
A month ago Liam Furey was one of several piano students representing Victoria University in St Andrew’s lunchtime concert; then, he played Beethoven’s Op 49 No 2. This time he moved some distance from the sort of music played and enjoyed around 1800: into what must still be regarded as music that after more than a century has still not found anything like comprehension, acceptance and enjoyment, among 90... read more

Delightful vocal recital from Takiri Ensemble at Waikanae

By , 02/08/2020
The journey by train to Waikanae to one of the Waikanae Music Society’s concerts is one of the real pleasures for Wellingtonians; especially bearing in mind that for those of a certain age, train is free. We keep running into people who are unaware of both the delightful train ride (enriched by the sight of endless queues of cars travelling south on the return journey), and the wonderful concerts... read more

Two less familiar cello masterpieces from Lavinnia Rae and Gabriela Glapska at St Andrew’s

By , 30/07/2020
Although this recital offered a good opportunity to hear two significant cello sonatas, not often played, the audience at St Andrew’s was a lot smaller than it had been for New Zealand School of Music vocal students the day before. Two lunchtime concerts a week might seem excessive; no doubt it’s an effort to meet the expectations of players whose concerts were scheduled in the months of silence: it’s... read more

A splendid St Andrew’s lunchtime concert from NZSM voice students

By , 22/07/2020
From a purely musical point of view, this was an interesting recital, with a very wide range of songs and arias, a lot familiar, some not, but very worth being exposed to. One song I didn’t know at all was Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s ‘Sons of the Sea’. Once upon a time those three names together (in a different order) would have meant only the great poet linked with Wordsworth. Now... read more

Camus’s La Peste … our Covid-19 … the sterility of opera … and …

By , 21/07/2020
'It may surprise people to learn that Albert Camus once wrote about opera – in his definitive novel about a twentieth century epidemic. La Peste (The Plague) includes a bizarre, disturbing scene in an opera house. Seventy-five years after its publication, the novel can still speak to us about such a plague, and even more about opera. 'Yet Camus describes a very different epidemic from ours. Social distancing, let alone... read more

Wellington Chamber Music attracts full house for its first post-Covid appearance at Sunday concert

By , 12/07/2020
The first in Wellington Chamber Music’s 2020 concert series attracted a near full house (though without the gallery open), for a programme that looked very attractive. Though, in the event, neither of the two Beethoven works would have been familiar to most. How appropriate that the group’s first post-lock-down concert should be music by two of the world’s very greatest composers. Throughout his earlier years Beethoven wrote several ‘miscellaneous’ chamber works... read more

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