Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Firstly sparks, and then a conflagration – pianist Otis Prescott-Mason in recital

By , 20/11/2021
Having heard, and spoken or written about so many piano recitals and recordings over the years in a critical capacity, I’m finding myself these days increasingly gravitating towards performances that bring to the fore a sense of sheer enjoyment of and involvement in the music’s playing. On the strength of what I heard at St.Andrews’ Church last Saturday afternoon, the young Wellington pianist Otis Prescott-Mason seemed to me to... read more

Duo pianists charm and delight lunchtime concertgoers at St.Andrew’s-on-The-Terrace

By , 17/11/2021
A delightful programme! I thought I’d not heard the Mendelssohn Andante and Allegro Brilliante before, but, upon checking the “Middle C” website discovered to my bemusement that I had seen and heard  pianist Sunny Cheng play this and the Schubert Rondo in A Major already, on that occasion with fellow-pianist Kris Zuelicke at Victoria University’s Adam Concert Room over a year ago!  While enjoying the concert as a whole... read more

Circa’s “The Little Mermaid” pantomime awash with enjoyment and conjecture

By , 17/11/2021
My first thought upon hearing about the projected scenario for this year’s Circa Pantomime was surprise that a story with grim and murderous elements (Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Little Mermaid”) had been chosen – not having seen or even registered the Disney film adaptation of the story I wasn’t aware that the inevitable process of sanitisation of this story had already begun, as had previously happened to countless other... read more

Dramatic and innovative Haydn in the Church from Camerata with soprano Carleen Ebbs

By , 05/11/2021
At the end of a busy and distracted Friday I found myself headed for St.Peter’s-on-Willis-St Church for Camerata’s latest “Haydn in the Church” concert series, which I’d been looking forward to ever since attending and enjoying the last one, though on this occasion I’d not been as assiduous in my preparation for the evening’s music as per usual – I had seen the programme on-line a couple of days... read more

SILVER STONE WOOD BONE a miracle of evocation from Rattle Records

By , 29/10/2021
I have written less of a review and more of an account of a listening journey, here, which seems, now that I have returned to where I began my listening, a pity to disturb or subject to more conventional reviewing strictures. I hope readers might enjoy this slightly different approach, marked by many moments on my part of wide-eared wonderment at such “age-old newness” as is conjured up by... read more

Wellington’s Ghost Trio’s flair and brilliance concludes an eventful 2021 for Chamber Music Hutt Valley

By , 13/10/2021
What a year for Chamber Music Hutt Valley! – a glance at my season ticket brings back ripples of musical pleasure as memories crowd in of concert following extraordinary concert, with only one pang of disappointment clouding the glow of satisfaction generated by the Society’s 2021 series. This was the cancellation of August’s “Sweet Chance” Vocal Duo presentation - Morag Aitchison (soprano), and Catrin Johnsson (mezzo), with Rachel Fuller... read more

Musicam scribo cogito ergo sum! – with a vengeance! – from the remarkable Ghost Trio

By , 13/08/2021
This was a concert that packed a great deal into a short time, an out-and-out “moments-per-minute” affair which encouraged and repaid the listener’s active involvement, but also “came to get you” if you had any thoughts of hanging back as if you were some kind of passive observer! Each of the three composers with the help of some extraordinarily dynamic and impactful, infinitely varied playing from the musicians of... read more

Orpheus Choir’s Concert title “I Was Glad” eponymously shared by audience response at Wellington’s Cathedral of St.Paul

By , 07/08/2021
We were, I think, all imbued with gladness at Wellington’s Cathedral of St.Paul on Saturday evening at the splendours of the music-making by the Orpheus Choir in partnership with the instrumentalists throughout most of the concert and with the vocal soloists in the concluding  Szymanowski work, the whole directed to lustrous effect by conductor Brent Stewart. It was an occasion whose intensities and excitements seemed, throughout the evening, to escalate... read more

Roger Hall’s “terrific couple” at last back on stage in Wellington – “Winding Up” at Circa Theatre

By , 01/08/2021
Sir Roger Hall’s “Winding Up”, an exploration of love weathering age and untoward circumstance, has finally made the stage at Circa Theatre, over a year after being first scheduled and then waylaid by Covid-19 and Lockdown. This afternoon its performance by Ginette McDonald and Peter Hayden as the play’s two characters, Gen and Barry, flickered all about to begin with, gradually warmed, then connected with, and finished up conflagrating... read more

Wellington Youth Orchestra and Andrew Joyce take on quintessential Beethoven and Dvořák

By , 31/07/2021
Today’s concert given by the Wellington Youth Orchestra in Lower Hutt’s Anglican Church of St James seemed to me a fascinating instance of a certain event’s “atmosphere” influencing one’s reaction to musical performance. I say this in comparing today’s concert with a not-so-long-ago occasion at the same venue and involving the same players, albeit with a different conductor - though I didn’t think the latter a significant factor in... read more

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