Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Camerata’s latest Haydn in the Church concert elegantly “framed” by youthful endeavours

By , 20/08/2020
With a single downbeat at the beginning of this concert from Camerata we were taken, it seemed to me, into a kind of youthful magicland of creative wonderment, via the eleven year-old Mozart’s Sinfonia from a sacred Singspiel Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebotes  (translated as “The Obligation of the First and Foremost Commandment”), a kind of allegorical depiction of the trials of a Christian soul. This was Mozart’s first... read more

Baroque Voices’ “Bingen to Becker” a harmonious celebration

By , 16/08/2020
Thanks to a newly-emerged Covid-19 chapter in Auckland we were a precautionary “restricted” audience for this concert, but of good cheer, nevertheless, with convivial company and food and drink available at the venue, the evocatively-named “The Third Eye - Tuatara’s Temple of Taste", from out of which scenario “emerged” the musicians, informally dressed and congregating at the platform end of the listening-space, six singers and a bass violist, all... read more

Musical gems at lunchtime

By , 10/08/2020
My horoscope for Friday 7th August predicted that I "may get tempted to steal a short vacation in the midst of work” and, as it turned out, this prediction was indeed fulfilled when I entered St. Paul’s Cathedral at 12:40pm to thank God it was (finally) Friday. It was then and there that soprano Pepe Becker and the local early music group The Queen’s Closet presented a delightful selection of... read more

The phenomenon of Beethoven – celebrated here by Wellington Chamber Music with Te Kōkī Trio

By , 09/08/2020
It’s a bit of a truism to say that Beethoven and his music represent a kind of apex of enduring creative expression for modern-day humankind; and while such pronouncements can be literally questioned in terms of world-wide demographics and cultural bias, they still carry weight in a kind of “perceived-by-many” fashion – it would be difficult to think of another composer whose music has penetrated such widespread spheres of... read more

Violin and piano recital in a new concert hall makes life worth living again

By , 06/08/2020
The first concert, post-Covid-19 lock-down from Chamber Music New Zealand was held in a new auditorium which was opened in September last year: in the former Public Trust Office headquarters. The hall, presumably the former public area, with ceiling decoration that survived in banks half a century ago; a well-proportioned, elegant space. It seats 300 people, about the same size as the Ilott Theatre in the old Wellington Town... read more

Simon O’Neill generates plenty of “Spirit” in NZSO Podium Series Concert

By , 06/08/2020
Hurrah for the NZSO, one of the very few orchestras anywhere in the world able to give live concerts. The large audience showed its appreciation. For reasons not clear to this writer, the concert was labelled “Spirit” though there was nothing particularly spiritual about the programme. There was no narrative theme to the programme, but this didn't matter. Many in the audience came especially to hear the renowned New Zealand heldentenor, Simon O'Neill, star of the... read more

Following last year’s NZ Opera production, another local “take” on Henry James’ famous ghost story “The Turn of the Screw”

By , 06/08/2020
A recent feather in the cap of New Zealand film-making has been the inclusion of “The Turn of the Screw”, an adaptation of Henry James’s classic ghost story by Wellington director Alex Galvin, in the recent Shanghai film Festival. Within a few days of the Shanghai showing the film had its New Zealand premiere at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington, an event that was sold out. Its audience witnessed... read more

Stimulating, evocative recital from NZSM piano student Liam Furey at St Andrew’s

By , 05/08/2020
A month ago Liam Furey was one of several piano students representing Victoria University in St Andrew’s lunchtime concert; then, he played Beethoven’s Op 49 No 2. This time he moved some distance from the sort of music played and enjoyed around 1800: into what must still be regarded as music that after more than a century has still not found anything like comprehension, acceptance and enjoyment, among 90... read more

“Morgen” – pianist Rae de Lisle makes a welcome return to performing, with ‘cellist Andrew Joyce – and with help from Julia Joyce

By , 04/08/2020
This recording has gone to the top of my “play for friends” list!  The beauty and expressiveness of it all instantly captivates whomever I demonstrate the disc to, and never fails to re-ignite my own initial struck-dumb response  – beginning as a “double distillation” of beauty, with Andrew Joyce’s ‘cello and Rae de Lisle’s piano exquisitely duetting their way through vistas of the utmost enchantment, it transforms into a... read more

Delightful vocal recital from Takiri Ensemble at Waikanae

By , 02/08/2020
The journey by train to Waikanae to one of the Waikanae Music Society’s concerts is one of the real pleasures for Wellingtonians; especially bearing in mind that for those of a certain age, train is free. We keep running into people who are unaware of both the delightful train ride (enriched by the sight of endless queues of cars travelling south on the return journey), and the wonderful concerts... read more

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