Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Category: Reviews – Recordings

Tribute to Kurt Sanderling from ICA Classics

By , 31/01/2012
Kurt Sanderling, who died last year in Berlin at the age of 98, was a name known to me from my formative days of record-collecting, through his 1950s recording made with the Leningrad Phllharmonic of Rachmaninov's Second Symphony - one of those early cotton-stitched white-and-yellow panelled Deutsche Grammophon LP covers with the composer's facsimile autograph scribbled across the central vertical yellow panel (all very tasteful and esoteric, obviously aimed at... read more

Georgina Zellan-Smith – fond piano memories

By , 15/11/2011
I must confess my first reaction upon receiving this CD was of surprise that so gifted an executant as Georgina Zellan-Smith would expend so much of her energies on "faded trifles" such as these. Especially in the wake of the same pianist's excellent Beethoven/Hummel CD, whose interesting and unique compilation of repertoire "enlarged" the piano-playing world for me, I thought this collection seemed, by comparison, somewhat surplus to requirements... read more

NZSO concludes its Sibelius Symphony cycle on Naxos

By , 21/09/2011
Sometimes, when listening to performances of music one knows and loves, one has to try to come to terms with interpretations markedly different to one's own ideas. Common sense suggests that this is a healthy process to take part in - and, after all, to expect uniformity or even conformity of music-making or listening across different performances would be unrealistic, let alone undesirable. And music-making which goes against the... read more

Dream team together on record – Trpčeski, Petrenko and Rachmaninov

By , 18/09/2011
Avie Records and its NZ distributor Ode Records will have pleased Wellington concertgoers enormously with a recent pair of CD recordings (available separately) featuring pianist Simon Trpčeski and conductor Vasily Petrenko in the music of Rachmaninov - all four Piano Concertos and the Rhapsody on Theme of Paganini. Of course, both Simon Trpčeski and Vasily Petrenko have been recent guest artists with the NZSO, though not performing together -... read more

Boris Pigovat’s Requiem – a stunning CD presentation

By , 15/09/2011
This recording commemorates the first performance outside the Ukraine of Boris Pigovat's Requiem, given by violist Donald Maurice, with the Vector Wellington Orchestra conducted by Marc Taddei, on November 9th, 2008 at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington. The composer, whose grandparents and aunt were victims of the Babiy Yar tragedy in 1941, when thousands of German Jews were massacred in cold blood by the Nazis, had wanted for a... read more

A new generation’s Lilburn, from Atoll Records

By , 14/09/2011
If there's ever a composer who seems to have been "rediscovered" by a fresh generation of performers, then Douglas Lilburn is the one, his music seeming to appeal as readily to today's young players as it did to many of the composer's similarly delighted and steadfast contemporary champions. New recordings of many of Lilburn's major works have appeared over the last few years, a couple of these projects containing substantial... read more

An Angel Released – music by Eve de Castro-Robinson

By , 26/07/2011
Listening to the very opening of Releasing the Angel, the first music track on composer Eve de Castro-Robinson's new, eponymously-titled CD from Atoll Records, leaves me "on-the-spot smitten" by the music's attractive tactile quality. How readily those shimmering orchestral sounds fly towards and wrap themselves around and about my ears! - and how, just as tantalizingly, they fall away, leaving the voice of a solo 'cello floating in those same... read more

Brahms piano trio and Czech duos at St Andrew’s

By , 20/03/2011
Many of my most memorable musical experiences come from unexpected encounters with either unfamiliar compositions or stunningly good performances. In Wellington, these days, one expects at most concerts certain levels of musical understanding and technical accomplishment, but that still leaves plenty of stratospheric spaces for performances which take the listener to those out-of-the-ordinary heights that can't help but enlarge and enrich one's view of existence in general. This... read more

New Zealand wind music to mark Waitangi Day at Nelson

By , 06/02/2011
A concert to mark Waitangi Day in appropriate fashion took place at lunchtime in the Nelson School of Music. It was given over to wind instruments, driven no doubt by the decision to feature Maori instruments, taonga puoro, largely wind. The first piece for taonga puoro had been commissioned by Richard Nunns from Martin Lodge, but illness had stopped Martin from getting past a few sketches. Recent studies by Nunns... read more

Ensembles combine in magnificent Nelson concert

By , 05/02/2011
At several points during the festival the question what was the essence of chamber music arose through the pieces played. Given thaat the essential ingredient of chamber music is music with one player to a part, the rearranging of music from orchestral to chamber music, and vice-versa, raises interesting questions; and there's the related question, the effect of arrangements for other instruments or for more or fewer instruments that... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy