Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Cinderella (Rogernella? Gingerfella?) the Pantomime, delightfully mixed-up fun at Circa Theatre

By , 23/11/2020
Two of the show’s actors, Simon Leary (Buttons the Rat) and Gavin Rutherford (Rosie Bubble, the Fairy Godmother) are the authors of this wonderfully irreverent “take” on the classic Cinderella story, complete with up-to-date parochial and international references, foot-tapping music (two songs I actually KNEW, despite my advanced years!) and entertainingly-staged ensemble dancing, some of the best I’ve seen at Circa Pantomimes. In fact I thought Leigh Evans’ actual... read more

Belated rapture from Orchestra Wellington’s “Rachmaninov 1”, but well worth the wait…..

By , 15/11/2020
Covid-19 has played havoc with many things over 2020, not the least with schedules of music performances, hence the somewhat belated "Rachmaninov 1" title for this concert. Fortunately, the quality of the music and its making seemed unimpaired by any such privations, leaving us grateful all over again for the experience, similar to the feeling engendered by the Orchestra Wellington's previous concert I'd attended - https://middle-c.org/2020/10/riveting-performances-by-the-orpheus-choir-and-orchestra-wellington-of-works-by-faure-and-rachmaninoff/ Here, I found myself... read more

Warm response for an innovative “Seen-and-Heard” Kristallnacht Concert at Wellington’s Public Trust Hall

By , 09/11/2020
I was surprised to find, upon arriving at the Public Trust Hall a good quarter-of-an-hour before the concert’s scheduled starting time, at least three-quarters of the seats already filled, and the queues still bringing people in – by the time I got my ticket sorted I found myself almost at the back of the hall, and was left wondering how I could possibly get from such a position a... read more

Wellington vocal trio delights its Whanganui audience with a “charmer” of a programme…..

By , 08/11/2020
This delightful concert was the second of three concerts I was scheduled to attend and review over three consecutive days – and now, looking back at the three events while writing the notices for this second one , I’m suddenly reminded of Franz Liszt’s description of the Allegretto movement in the middle of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata Op. 27 No. 2, commonly nicknamed the “Moonlight” Sonata. Liszt called the movement... read more

Adventurous programming and bold concert presentation from The Capital Band, at Vogelmorn Hall, Brooklyn

By , 07/11/2020
The success of The Capital Band’s first concert (reviewed by Middle C in September of this year – see https://middle-c.org/2020/09/a-memorable-debut-by-a-new-ensemble-the-capital-band-presents-works-by-mozart-and-schubert/) augured well for this, the ensemble’s second outing at the same venue, particularly in view of the announced programme’s adventurous spirit, incorporating as it did a “spoken word” performance element in some shape or form associated with the music of JS Bach. It all added interest to the... read more

Dazzling Diabelli Variations from pianist Ya-Ting Liou at St.Andrew’s make an indelible impression

By , 14/10/2020
The Diabelli Variations, or to give the pieces their proper collective name, “Thirty-three Variations on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli in C Major, Op.120” represent in their entirety Beethoven’s final and loftiest thoughts concerning the piano and its expressive capabilities.  It’s both characteristic and appropriate that such sublimity of invention on Beethoven’s part should have emanated from such an unprepossessing source. Thanks to Beethoven’s somewhat free-wheeling biographer, Anton Schindler, the... read more

THe NZSO’s “Monumental” concert…..counting the ways

By , 09/10/2020
As much as I’m not a great fan of the use of “catchwords” to describe the content of concerts, such as both the NZSO and the NZSQ have been using to characterise specific events over the past year, I must admit that occasionally the description “hits the spot”, as with the use of the word “Monumental” to describe the orchestra’s most recent concert in Wellington. Though a somewhat “loose”... read more

Riveting performances by the Orpheus Choir and Orchestra Wellington of works by Faure and Rachmaninoff

By , 03/10/2020
Under the circumstances of Covid-19 and its world-wide strictures, I’m truly grateful, along with so many others, to be living in a place where activities such as concerts of the quality of that which I attended in the Michael Fowler Centre on Saturday evening could even happen, let alone be enjoyed so freely and readily. Given in the same week as the NZSO’s inspiring “Eroica” concert conducted by Miguel... read more

NZSO’s “Eroica” programme title lives up to its name at Wellington’s MFC

By , 27/09/2020
CEO of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Peter Biggs, summed it up in his foreword in the printed programme for the orchestra’s most recent presentation initiative – named after one of the three works presented, Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony – when he referred to 2020 as “what continues to be a challenging year for us all.” Biggs and his staff rose to that challenge admirably in enabling  Peruvian-born conductor Miguel... read more

NZSM Orchestra with conductor Hamish McKeich showcases achievements by 2020 award-winning composer and instrumentalist at St.Andrew’s-on-The-Terrace, Wellington

By , 26/09/2020
Pandemic restrictions having been relaxed of late (though judiciously more “on hold” than entirely done away with), we were allowed more-or-less regularly-spaced seating at St. Andrew’s to hear the most recent of the NZSM Orchestra’s public concerts, one featuring the recent winner of the School’s Concerto Competition, flutist Isabella Gregory (see the review at https://middle-c.org/2020/07/nzsm-concerto-competition-an-evening-of-elegance-frisson-and-feeling/), playing the Reinecke concerto with which she won the prize, though on this... read more

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