Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Tudor Consort revives ancient Tenebrae rituals marking the stories of Holy Week

By , 19/04/2019
The number of people familiar with the word Tenebrae is probably getting fewer by the year as religious belief declines and the deep-rooted traditions, including the use of Latin, are ‘modernised’. It’s not just a Roman Catholic Easter observance but it is also in the Anglican, Methodist, Lutheran, Western Orthodox and other churches. And since the Roman church ditched the use of Latin in normal services, the spirit of... read more

Wide-ranging and imaginative song recital at Waikanae: Mellaerts and Baillieu

By , 14/04/2019
The Waikanae Music society had taken this recital from Chamber Music New Zealand’s associate society series. It was about the last of a ten-concert tour around the country. It was a courageous step since, for many years – decades? – there has been a belief that audiences avoid song recitals; the same belief has been cultivated about piano recitals. There is not a huge amount of evidence for either display... read more

Edo de Waart’s NZSO subscription concert full of charm and affection with Brahms, Elgar and Strauss

By , 13/04/2019
Two professional orchestral concerts on successive days looks more like the style of a significant European city, but here it was the chance to display one of the few remaining signs that Wellington is, or rather, used to be, the country’s cultural capital, a title that has really belonged to Auckland for the past 20 years or so. Orchestra Wellington celebrated the sesquicentenary (150 years) of Berlioz’s death by programming... read more

Dazzling pianist, Alessio Bax, gives sole Wellington performance at Upper Hutt

By , 08/04/2019
Last Thursday, 4 April. RNZ Concert broadcast the usual Thursday concert from the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. It included Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony and Grieg’s Piano Concerto. A generation and more ago it was common to be dismissive of the Grieg concerto, but the classical music world has grown up a bit since then and sensible people with cultivated but unpretentious tastes rate it among the loveliest in the repertoire. I hadn’t... read more

Cathedral organ in major series of important French works: Widor’s second organ symphony

By , 29/03/2019
I missed the first, on 1 March, of this year-long series of recitals by the two organists at the Cathedral of Saint Paul.  These ‘symphonies’ are not well known in New Zealand, and perhaps in most Anglophone countries, apart from the last movement, Toccata, of the fifth symphony. But according to the authoritative Wikipedia the organ symphonies are among his better known works. They represent Widor's early style. Widor’s first four... read more

Poetry and music co-habit most successfully at St Andrew’s lunchtime concert

By , 27/03/2019
The world of music has almost totally overwhelmed the world of poetry. That’s not to say that there has ever been a large, ravenous audience for poetry, particularly over the past couple of centuries. There are probably few people today who have poetry anthologies and even volumes of poetry by the likes of Wordsworth, Keats, Tennyson, Kipling, on their shelves; fewer than those with a piano in the house... read more

Alleluia: varied settings splendidly delivered by Inspirare and Schola Cantorum (St Mark’s School) under Mark Stamper

By , 23/03/2019
Best to start with Mark Stamper’s own description of this concert of settings of ‘Alleluia’: “fourteen unique and innovative settings of this glorious text. The selections will come from different musical periods dating back to the Baroque and on through 2019”. There can be few words or phrases that have inspired such generally positive and hopeful music, though there are other memorable phrases in the Mass. Mark Stamper’s choices were... read more

Chamber Music Hutt Valley to submit a winding-up motion at the 2019 AGM

By , 15/03/2019
The agenda of Chamber Music Hutt Valley’s AGM on Wednesday 27 March includes a motion that would wind up the society and bring its history of forty years of chamber music concerts in Lower Hutt to an end. The motion reads: “That the Executive is given the authority by this AGM to make CMHV inactive after the end of the 2019 season: the decision being based on a lack of committee... read more

Michael Endres surrounds Schubert with varied companion pieces at Mulled Wine concert

By , 10/03/2019
The first of this year’s Mulled Wine Concerts, organised by Mary Gow, usually in the Paekakariki Memorial Hall, took place in the South Raumati Hall because the other is undergoing earthquake treatment. It was a fine beginning to the year, musically, but was subject to sound problems (as does the Paekakriki hall to a less degree), broad, hard surfaces that present difficulties for a pianist. It’s easy enough to... read more

NZSO’s season-opening concert splendid, popular programme under Hamish McKeich

By , 27/02/2019
After nearly a fortnight touring this programme through seven towns throughout the country, the NZSO reached Wellington, where there was probably some expectation of highly polished performances. It was the first of the orchestra’s 16-concert, Podium Series. The surprise, to a certain extent, was that the orchestra not only seemed to have achieved a wonderful degree of clarity and flawlessness, but that it had lost no sense of spontaneity... read more

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