Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Category: Live performance

NZSO with three widely varied works: two masterpieces and a charming, approachable New Zealand concerto

By , 20/11/2020
The audience at this concert would have been intrigued, as they took their seats, to see some orchestra members finding their way to a row of music stands in the gallery above and behind the orchestra: two players each of first and second violins, violas, cellos and one double bass.  The rest – strings only of course – were in their normal places Vaughan Williams with Tallis The position of players... read more

Another entertaining Shed Concert from the NZSO touching the Weimar era

By , 13/11/2020
(Lateness of this review regretted: an intractable computer problem) This was one of the few concerts, including several from the NZSO, which was not cancelled or changed (apart here, from the order of the pieces) by the effect of the Coronavirus. Most concerts have come to be ’named’, in a way intended to reflect the character of the music, and this one was Kabarett, German for the obvious English word: the... read more

Remarkable NZSO concert of Bach family music inspired by Vesa-Matti Leppänen, Diedre Irons and Andrew Joyce

By , 31/10/2020
This was a very novel and interesting enterprise by the orchestra, partly on account of the venue, the surprisingly spacious hall at Wellington College. In the light of the lack in Wellington of a suitable auditorium that seats between 300 and 2000, apart from St Mary of the Angels and the Anglican cathedral, this space, presumably able to seat around 1500, could be useful for large musical events. W F... read more

Admirable Waikanae chamber music from friends of a non-existant Wilma Smith

By , 26/10/2020
This concert was to have been given by ‘Wilma and Friends’ – that is Wilma Smith, the former concertmaster of the New Zealand and Melbourne symphony orchestras; she lives in Victoria and was prevented from travelling; Martin Riseley, head of violin at the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University stepped in, as did cellist Andrew Joyce and violist Nicholas Hancox from the NZSO. ‘Wilma and Friends’ has not... read more

Orchestra Wellington and Sistema Orchestra Hutt Valley in varied and colourful concert

By , 17/10/2020
This concert was one of Orchestra Wellington’s rather special events, not only in parallel with a rather singular election day that tended to absorb the animated attention of most of the audience before the concert and during the interval, but also sharing the platform of the MFC with another orchestra: the Arohanui Strings. That band was founded in 2010 on the model of the Sistema Youth Orchestra in Venezuela... read more

A programme of brilliantly scored Romantic era music from Wellington Youth Orchestra

By , 04/10/2020
The listing in Middle C’s Coming Events had misread details about this concert; the conductor was identified as Miguel Harth-Bedoya. In fact, he had conducted a rehearsal of the orchestra  a few weeks before. But there would be no need to attribute the splendid performances on Sunday directed by Mark Carter to anyone but Mark Carter. To begin, it was a colourful programme of music that would have excited any... read more

An exhilarating piano duet concert from Duo Harmonics at St Andrew’s

By , 30/09/2020
Duo Enharmonics, the Nicole Chao and Beth Chen piano duo team, have become regular performers at the St Andrew's lunch time concerts. This year they offered a journey from a graceful Mozart Sonata of 1765 through Rachmaninov's nostalgic Russian group of six pieces of 1894, to the grand spectacular duo piano arrangement of Ravel's La Valse of 1920. The Mozart Sonata in D Major, KV.381 is a very early work... read more

NZ Trio with accessible and illuminating music for Wellington Chamber Music

By , 27/09/2020
Perhaps because of Auckland’s continued restrictions, and limits on audience size, Wellington, and no doubt other cities, seem to benefit from more concerts. This was the first of three concerts by the NZ Trio, the others at Lower Hutt and Waikanae, with the same programme. Beethoven  It began with Beethoven’s third piano trio in C minor: sombre, restrained with the violin sounding cautious, but a crescendo slowly prevailed, subtly enough: the... read more

Orchestra Wellington delivers spectacular concert of two great classics and a major New Zealand work

By , 26/09/2020
This was not the first concert by Orchestra Wellington: that was on 27 July and featured Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony and Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto, played by Michael Houstoun. This also featured Houstoun, playing what would be called a concerto in some contexts, but here, it was a three movement work by John Psathas called Three Psalms, with an important piano part, but also drawing on various musical and other artistic... read more

Michael Stewart at TGIF, Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, celebrates Tournemire’s L’Orgue mystique

By , 25/09/2020
Charles Tournemire is probably one of the less familiar organ composers and performers in France. Though he certainly rates, in terms of his fame as both composer and performer, with some of them: Franck, Guilmant, Saint-Saëns, Widor, Gabriel Pierné, Vierne, Dupré... But bearing composition in mind, Tournemire must be regarded as more interesting and significant than half of those. There is a singular divergence between this group of French organists... read more

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