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Category: Reviews – Concerts

A splendid St Andrew’s lunchtime concert from NZSM voice students

By , 22/07/2020
From a purely musical point of view, this was an interesting recital, with a very wide range of songs and arias, a lot familiar, some not, but very worth being exposed to. One song I didn’t know at all was Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s ‘Sons of the Sea’. Once upon a time those three names together (in a different order) would have meant only the great poet linked with Wordsworth. Now... read more

Ghost Trio haunts sensibilities long after final notes in concert sounded

By , 17/07/2020
I had heard the Ghost Trio perform the same Beethoven work more than a fortnight previously (a concert reviewed below by my colleague, Steven Sedley), though this time round it was coupled to a different programme. Instead of the remarkable Piano Trio Op.1 by Polish composer Andrzej Panufnik (which I would have liked to hear again), the musicians chose to branch out in a different direction,  with each of... read more

Wellington Chamber Music attracts full house for its first post-Covid appearance at Sunday concert

By , 12/07/2020
The first in Wellington Chamber Music’s 2020 concert series attracted a near full house (though without the gallery open), for a programme that looked very attractive. Though, in the event, neither of the two Beethoven works would have been familiar to most. How appropriate that the group’s first post-lock-down concert should be music by two of the world’s very greatest composers. Throughout his earlier years Beethoven wrote several ‘miscellaneous’ chamber works... read more

Well contrived and performed recital of piano music from NZSM students at St Andrew’s

By , 11/07/2020
This was a thoughtfully contrived hour-long recital: and an interesting range of music, even if only one piece was composed after 1850. Haydn Sonata Shangrong Feng’s sonata by Haydn is one of the 50-odd that he composed, which have not till recently been universally considered worthy of performance by professional pianists even though they were generally written for eminent adults. No 48 in the exhaustive Hoboken catalogue (1789/90) was among the... read more

“Emperor of Composers” – an eponymous Piano Concerto and a lovely Symphony, “live” from the NZSO

By , 08/07/2020
Following its hugely successful inaugural post-lockdown concert Ngū Kīoro… Harikoa Ake (Celebrating Togetherness), the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra has refocused its concert activities on rather more conventional repertoire with this all-Beethoven presentation, a sure-fire audience drawcard which certainly worked its magic in that respect, the result being a sold-out Michael Fowler Centre for the concert. An additional attraction was the presence of Diedre Irons, one of the country’s finest... read more

Ghost Trio makes an auspicious debut at St.Andrew’s with music by Beethoven and Panufnik

By , 01/07/2020
  This was a concert of music by two young composers living more than a century apart, still finding their musical language, but already foreshadowing the great works they were to produce later. Panufnik is hardly a household name. He was a prolific composer of 10 symphonies and other orchestral works, songs, chamber music and piano pieces. He was not yet twenty when he wrote the  Piano Trio in C... read more

First in the world with a normal public concert : NZSO’s record, celebrating the emergence from Covid 19 lock-down

By , 26/06/2020
The orchestra announced that this was the first post-pandemic concert by a professional symphony orchestra anywhere in the World in front of a full audience: the extraordinary achievement of intelligent and clear-sighted management of our response by government and people. The programme’s content and balance was carefully thought out, with a couple of pieces by established New Zealand composers, opera arias, Māori songs and one extended orchestral work. And there... read more

Moving and delightful recital of German Lieder at St Andrew’s

By , 24/06/2020
Though we missed St Andrew’s lunchtime concert last week celebrating the survival of live music in public places, this was warmly encouraging with a back-to-normal audience, from two graduate students at Victoria University's School of Music. The last time I heard Will King was in Eternity Opera’s production of The Marriage of Figaro in 2017. Though I’d like to hear him again in opera, this recital showed him as a... read more

A beautiful “Mozart hat-trick” from Orchestra Wellington

By , 20/06/2020
This was the third and final of the three programmes of Mozart presented on consecutive Saturdays in June 2020 by Amalia Hall and members of Orchestra Wellington, of which ensemble she is the concertmaster. Intended to be a kind of celebration of the nation’s lifting of “lockdown” conditions originally imposed by the Government to counter the presence of the Covid-19 virus, the concerts, though still limiting audience numbers to... read more

Orchestra Wellington’s second concert featuring Mozart violin concertos and city-named symphonies

By , 13/06/2020
This second programme in Orchestra Wellington’s ‘recovery’ series of concerts at St Andrew’s continued with the twin themes: the last three of the five violin concertos written in 1775 when Mozart was 19 {if we don’t count the dubious violin concerto “No 7 (K 271a/271i)”}; and the three symphonies that bear place names. Now in the pandemic’s ‘alert level 1’, this was a full house, if we don’t count the... read more

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