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Category: Reviews – church environment

A dramatic and sharply-focused St.John Passion from Nota Bene and the Chiesa Ensemble at St Mary of the Angels

By , 14/04/2019

Of four Scriptural “Passion” settings associated in some way or another with Johann Sebastian Bach, two have been fully “authenticated”, the larger St.Matthew Passion, and the smaller, more intense and visceral St.John Passion – while two others, settings of the other evangelists’ accounts of Jesus’ death, are either spurious or recyclings of lost material. Bach undertook the St.John Passion during his first year as director of church... read more

NZSO’s Telemann/Handel presentation at Wellington Cathedral – spectacle before music?

By , 01/02/2019
This was one of those concerts better described by the word “occasion” – yes, there was music, yes there were musicians, and yes, the music was played; but at every step of the way the emphasis of the event’s publicity, presentation and performance seemed to be more on the “occasional” nature of the pieces and their sounds rather than their actual substance. Historically, this wasn’t at all inappropriate considering the... read more

Rachmaninov’s Vespers richly resound with Inspirare and Mark Stamper at St.Mary of the Angels

By , 07/04/2018
Rachmaninov’s somewhat cumbersome title for this work (The Most Important Hymns of the “All Night Vigil”) though literally accurate, epitomises the composer’s characteristic self-effacing attitude to all of his musical undertakings. Fortunately for its deserved popularity, the piece has come to be commonly known as the “Vespers”, pure and simple (in the manner of Monteverdi’s similarly-titled work), however incorrect as a description – in fact Rachmaninov’s work contains settings... read more

Imposing commemoration of 500th anniversary of Lutheran Reformation

By , 29/10/2017
This was an ecumenical service, celebrating the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, led by Bishop Mark Whitfield of the Lutheran Church of New Zealand, in the Anglican Cathedral, with choral support from the Cathedral choir. Earlier in the year, there was a commemorative service that involved the Roman Catholic Church at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, jointly hosted by Cardinal John Dew and Bishop... read more

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