Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Wondrously unified piano trio gives two of the greatest works for Chamber Music New Zealand

By , 14/09/2019
Musicians of the stature of Viktoria Mullova are much rarer visitors to New Zealand now than they were 30, 50 years ago. Then the entire season of chamber music concerts arranged by the then Federation of Chamber Music Societies consisted of pretty distinguished international players. Something of a commentary on the relative decline of New Zealand’s economic standing, as well, I suspect, as a trend away from classical music... read more

Asher Fisch, Louis Lortie and the NZSO in splendid form with classical masterpieces

By , 06/09/2019
Asher Fisch is taking this NZSO programme with pianist Louis Lortie on a four city tour. It’s his first visit to New Zealand, though I encountered him as conductor of the production of Wagner’s Ring cycle in Adelaide in 2004 (it was an Australian production, in some kind of reaction to the cycle borrowed from the Châtelet Theatre in Paris, six years before). Rachmaninov's Number Two ‘Rach 2’, along with the... read more

Korngold: exploration of beguiling Lieder one didn’t know, from Georgia Jamieson Emms

By , 04/09/2019
Middle C has been neglecting its responsibilities with respect to the wonderful lunchtime concerts at St Andrew’s on The Terrace. Partly the result of our diminished ‘human resources’ and partly … well, other things. There are notes for two or three of them that seem to have failed to find a first sentence, but given time, some the right words and thoughts might emerge on the RNZAF woodwind quintet, six... read more

Lazarus String Quartet, with one New Zealander remaining, at end of adventurous tour with highly interesting programme

By , 01/09/2019
Here was an interesting ensemble that formed in 2007 when four University of Canterbury students got together, winning a ROSL Arts/Pettman Scholarship in 2010 which took them to study at the Hochschule für Musik in Hanover. That led to concerts that have included St Martin-in-the-Fields in London, the Salle Gaveau in Paris, Poland and elsewhere, and at music festivals (the Edinburgh Fringe and Heidelberg Spring festivals). The original members, all... read more

Compelling, relentless performances of Beethoven’s sixth and seventh symphonies continue the NZSO’s festival

By , 30/08/2019
When I looked around at the audience at the third of the Beethoven concerts and saw that every last seat was occupied, right to the far sides of the stalls, I felt I needed to retract my post-script remark about Wednesday’s audience, which was indeed not very large. I needed to consider that there were probably many who couldn’t afford all four and had to make a hard decision... read more

Rewarding start to the NZSO’s Beethoven Festival from Edo de Waart

By , 28/08/2019
While under Edo de Waart’s musical direction the NZSO has performed several Beethoven symphonies (I recall only 1, 3 and 7) the last complete cycle was a valedictory series (well, his penultimate year) by Pietari Inkinen in 2014. And De Waart is following the same, strictly chronological order, with the first concert devoted to Nos 1, 2 and 3. Looking back at what I wrote about the first Inkinen concert... read more

Visiting Russian cellist inspires a fine, short-lived piano trio and an interesting recital

By , 18/08/2019
It might be unusual to give a common name to a group of three musicians who are clearly going to have only a few weeks together because one of its members lives in another country. The owner of the first three letters of the name ‘Levansa’ is the Russian cellist whose residence looks peripatetic at the present time, though his appointment in 2017 as principal cello of the Zurich... read more

Third of NZSO’s Shed series delivers some hits, some misses, and a couple of real successes

By , 09/08/2019
The NZSO’s Shed series is one of the orchestra’s gestures that seeks to attract new audiences. You stay out of conventional venues, you avoid any of the trappings of a forbidding classical music concert which finds the entire audience in white tie and tails and ball gowns; there are no rows of comfortable seats. Instead, just a few dozen seats with backs, a lot of padded benches scattered around... read more

Camerata continues exploring Haydn with an aside to Mozart: charm and surprises

By , 08/08/2019
Looking back on Middle C’s reviews of Camerata, I see they have been a peripatetic ensemble, having been in St Mary of the Angels, the Wesley Church, Taranaki Street and the Adam Concert Room in the university school of music, but most often at St Peter’s. St Peter’s may not be such a prolific provider of concerts as St Andrew’s, but it always shows its virtues when musicians choose to... read more

Illuminating, even sublime perfection in solo recital by cellist Lev Sivkov

By , 07/08/2019
Sadly, it is rare that major soloists with our professional orchestras are taken in hand by enterprising entrepreneurs and offered recitals around the country. Lev Sivkov is clearly in the hands of an enterprising manager in New Zealand who is making excellent use of him. Having heard him last Friday with Orchestra Wellington playing Barber’s cello concerto, I was delighted to be handed a flyer about this recital in St... read more

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