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Category: Reviews – Concerts

Taioro – words and music of Aotearoa New Zealand at St.Andrew’s-on-The-Terrace, Wellington

By , 16/02/2022
This lunchtime concert at St.Andrew’s-on-The-Terrace furthered what’s become a refreshing change of late for ears inundated in the past with “standard” repertoire and presentations – a recital of words and music from a recently-formed group, Taioro, presenting works whose origins and inspirations stemmed from our own place, Aotearoa New Zealand.  Of course, there’s an impressively-growing body of work already emanating from our own composers, with names too numerous to... read more

William Berry – a “young lion of the keyboard” at St.Andrew’s

By , 30/01/2022
I was invited to attend this concert merely as a listener rather than as a reviewer; but the playing of eighteen year-old William Berry, a finalist in last year’s National Competition, calls, I think, for some comment by way of appreciation of what I consider to be the young performer’s tremendous talent. The competition he’s about to take part in stipulates two thirty-minute programmes of music chosen by the... read more

Christmas in 1677

By , 18/12/2021
The Queen’s Closet is an early music ensemble specialising in ‘historically-inspired’ performance of music from the English Restoration (1660-1714, approximately) on period instruments at Baroque pitches.  The focus of this concert was two works by the Habsburg composer Pavel Vejvanovsky (c. 1633-1693), with a piece each by Fux and Volckmar. The performers were members of The Queen’s Closet (Sarah Marten and Emma Brewerton (violins), Lyndsay Mountfort (viola), Jane Young... read more

Dolce e misterioso

By , 18/12/2021
The City Gallery invited Nota Bene to perform a short programme (about 20 minutes of a capella music) to accompany their exhibition of the Swedish mystical painter, Hilma af Klint, in the upper gallery of the exhibition. The original idea was that the concert would provide agreeable background music: a sympathetic soundscape in which to view the works. But conductor Shawn Condon put together a programme of works for women’s voices by Swedish, Estonian, Finnish... read more

Steadfast Wellington Chamber Orchestra brings off an exhilarating concert to finish an eventful year

By , 12/12/2021
Congratulations right at the outset are in order to whomever devised such a scintillating programme for the Wellington Chamber Orchestra to finish this remarkably unpredictable year of years with!  It certainly was one that made up in part for earlier schedules being plagued by the vagaries of Covid-19 and the resulting ripplings of disruption! Here we were freely delivered plenty of satisfyingly full-blooded excitements and festive revelries, side-by-side with... read more

Brahms’ Schicksalslied gives its name to a programme of uplifting music from the NZSO

By , 25/11/2021
Welcome back! We have been starved of orchestral concerts for the last three months. It was a delight to have a full symphony orchestra on the stage, albeit with the players discreetly separated. A very special welcome back was due to James Judd, who was principal conductor of the NZSO for some eight years, and who has been closely associated with the orchestra ever since. And a great thank... read more

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

Ludwig is My Darling

By , 18/11/2021
These well-known singers, old friends and opera collagues, are accustomed to presenting a lunchtime concert at this time of year, and the programme was an interesting mix of songs that reflected their tastes and interests. Unfortunately, such was the lack of parking on The Terrace, I missed the lighter items that opened the concert, ‘Dashing away with the smoothing iron’, and ‘The Boatie Rows’ from The Book of Scottish Song... 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

What I would take through death’s dark door

By , 15/11/2021
This concert, like its predecessor on Friday 12 November, was delayed by the Covid-19 Level 4/3 restrictions in August and September, and was also displaced from the Hunter Council Chamber to St Peter’s Church. The change of venue was positive. Although the NZSQ has never performed in the church before, it is an excellent venue for chamber music, with its warm and rather dry acoustic contributing to a clear... read more

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