Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

RNZAF Wind Quintet plus piano, in diverting programme closes Marjan van Waartenberg’s era at St Andrew’s

By , 09/12/2020
Not only was this the last in the 2020 St Andrew’s lunchtime concert series (not counting the church’s Christmas carol service next Wednesday, 16 December); but the last concert organised by Marjan van Waardenberg at St Andrew’s: a voluntary job she has done since 2005. The concerts have been transformed dramatically during the time she has led them, from short series of concerts through the year to an unbroken... read more

Compelling Beethoven recordings from Eugene Albulescu

By , 08/12/2020
It’s a measure of the remarkable staying power of Beethoven’s music that new performances and recordings of works that many of us know so well through having heard them countless times over the years simply keep coming (and show no signs of abating two hundred and fifty years after the composer’s birth).  Having recently heard a good deal of the New Zealand String Quartet’s acclaimed traversal of the great... read more

Orchestra Wellington: huge percussion resources exploited in Psathas masterpiece from Olympus complemented by huge Rachmaninov symphony

By , 05/12/2020
The large line-up of percussion instruments at the front of the orchestra would have given an inkling to the audience that they would be in for a challenging, interesting evening of music. Although the John Psathas' View from Olympus has had many performances, premiered by the Halle Orchestra in Manchester in 2002, it is still music off the beaten track for an audience of predominantly older concert goers. The... read more

“The Older the Better” – a triumph of age and experience at Circa Theatre

By , 03/12/2020
A footnote to the show’s title above the cast list in the programme reads: “The performers you may or may not see, tonight....”. When putting the show together around the talents of three ninety-plus performers, Dame Kate Harcourt, Coral Trimmer and Sunny Amey, the producer of “The Older, the Better” Kate JasonSmith found so many willing participants among what she called “a fabulous collection of Gold Card performers” that... read more

Gareth Farr’s “Chemin des Dames” Concerto and Elgar’s ‘Cello Concerto together a powerful “concerted” statement on disc

By , 02/12/2020
I tried, I REALLY DID try to NOT look at my previous review for “Middle C” of the concert featuring the Gareth Farr 'Cello concerto played by the same ‘cellist, Sébastien Hurtaud (also with the NZSO, though with a different conductor, Hamish McKeich) before writing this present review of the piece’s CD recording – of course, it was a different performance which needed to be “responded to” on its... read more

Splendiferous sounds captured on CD from Christchurch Town Hall’s rejuvenated Rieger organ courtesy of Martin Setchell

By , 29/11/2020
This recording, “Resounding Aftershocks”  broke an eight-year silence for the Christchurch Town Hall Rieger organ which followed the catastrophic 2011 earthquakes, and, as befitted the occasion, celebrated the instrument’s return to full prowess in heady fashion! Organist Martin Setchell’s long-established brilliance and elan as a performer is here demonstrated to the utmost thanks to the skills and expertise of the disc’s sound engineer Mike Clayton, capturing the occasion most... read more

Cinderella (Rogernella? Gingerfella?) the Pantomime, delightfully mixed-up fun at Circa Theatre

By , 23/11/2020
Two of the show’s actors, Simon Leary (Buttons the Rat) and Gavin Rutherford (Rosie Bubble, the Fairy Godmother) are the authors of this wonderfully irreverent “take” on the classic Cinderella story, complete with up-to-date parochial and international references, foot-tapping music (two songs I actually KNEW, despite my advanced years!) and entertainingly-staged ensemble dancing, some of the best I’ve seen at Circa Pantomimes. In fact I thought Leigh Evans’ actual... read more

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

Unfamiliar music given a chance to shine in characterful performances at St. Andrew’s

By , 18/11/2020
One of the great joys of the lunch time concerts at St. Andrews on the Terrace is that these provide opportunities to hear some of the talented artists living among us, the other is to hear music that otherwise is seldom performed. Rebecca Steel is one of the most experienced flautists around, having played with orchestras both overseas and here in Wellington and Christchurch. Kris Zuelicke moved from Germany... read more

Belated rapture from Orchestra Wellington’s “Rachmaninov 1”, but well worth the wait…..

By , 15/11/2020
Covid-19 has played havoc with many things over 2020, not the least with schedules of music performances, hence the somewhat belated "Rachmaninov 1" title for this concert. Fortunately, the quality of the music and its making seemed unimpaired by any such privations, leaving us grateful all over again for the experience, similar to the feeling engendered by the Orchestra Wellington's previous concert I'd attended - https://middle-c.org/2020/10/riveting-performances-by-the-orpheus-choir-and-orchestra-wellington-of-works-by-faure-and-rachmaninoff/ Here, I found myself... read more

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