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Posts tagged: chamber music

Martinborough Music Festival – an overview of a delightful feast of chamber music

By , 29/09/2019
Martinborough is a charming, tastefully preserved and restored little country town 65 km from Wellington. Running a Music Festival there, featuring some of  New Zealand's finest musicians is an incredibly ambitious project. The festival, held this year over three days, 27-29 September, was their third. It featured Michael Houstoun, piano, Jenny Wollerman, soprano, Wilma Smith, violin and viola, Vesa-Matti Leppanen, Yuka Egochi, Amy Bookman and Alan Molina, violins, Christopher... read more

Martinborough Music Festival; Saturday evening of songs and Schubert String Quintet

(This review from Charlotte Wilson arose as a result of my being unable to attend the third and fourth concerts: Festival chairman Ed Allen told me that he’d mentioned the matter to Charlotte; she offered to help and I welcomed her readiness to fill the gap between my review of the Friday concert and Steven Sedley’s covering the two afternoon concerts: Middle C is delighted to publish her sparkling... read more

Enterprising first concert in Martinborough’s splendid little music festival

By , 27/09/2019
Here was a festival of chamber music made in heaven. I think that if you’d asked most chamber music regulars to create four programmes of the most beautiful music for a festival, they would have looked very much like what was programmed for Martinborough. I regretted missing the two earlier festivals, 2017 and 2018. Scarlatti The opening pieces of the first concert were perhaps unexpected in this context. Though Michael Houstoun... read more

Orchestra Wellington succeeds with an odd programme of important, challenging and beautiful works

By , 21/09/2019
For a subscription concert series labelled 'Epic', that included Berlioz's Symphonie Fantasique, Bruckner's 8th Symphony, Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, a concert by a string orchestra, with no major symphonic work was odd programming. It is not that Verklärte Nacht, or Beethoven's C sharp minor quartet were not worth hearing, but they were arrangements of works not written for orchestra. But let me not quibble, they are all beautiful... read more

Stroma breathes life into its collection of “Sonic Portraits”

By , 19/09/2019
I came across an interesting article on the American composer Virgil Thomson when exploring the idea of “Portraits” in music. Inspired by novelist Gertrude Stein in Paris during the mid-1920s, who had made a series of free-association "literary portraits" written in a single sitting, Thomson thought he would try the same technique in music composition – his subject would “sit”, and Thomson would compose, on the spot... read more

Fairly rare but totally delightful music from the Koru Trio at St Andrew’s

By , 18/09/2019
One of the delights of the lunchtime concerts at St Andrew’s is the quite sharp contrasts from week to week between students, semi-professional and fully professional musicians. Last Wednesday we heard a group of vocal students from Hawkes Bay: a group of young singers, several very promising, who’d studied with the Napier-based Project Prima Volta. This Wednesday, three full-time musicians with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra performed a surprising and... read more

Wondrously unified piano trio gives two of the greatest works for Chamber Music New Zealand

By , 14/09/2019
Musicians of the stature of Viktoria Mullova are much rarer visitors to New Zealand now than they were 30, 50 years ago. Then the entire season of chamber music concerts arranged by the then Federation of Chamber Music Societies consisted of pretty distinguished international players. Something of a commentary on the relative decline of New Zealand’s economic standing, as well, I suspect, as a trend away from classical music... read more

Lazarus String Quartet, with one New Zealander remaining, at end of adventurous tour with highly interesting programme

By , 01/09/2019
Here was an interesting ensemble that formed in 2007 when four University of Canterbury students got together, winning a ROSL Arts/Pettman Scholarship in 2010 which took them to study at the Hochschule für Musik in Hanover. That led to concerts that have included St Martin-in-the-Fields in London, the Salle Gaveau in Paris, Poland and elsewhere, and at music festivals (the Edinburgh Fringe and Heidelberg Spring festivals). The original members, all... read more

Camerata continues exploring Haydn with an aside to Mozart: charm and surprises

By , 08/08/2019
Looking back on Middle C’s reviews of Camerata, I see they have been a peripatetic ensemble, having been in St Mary of the Angels, the Wesley Church, Taranaki Street and the Adam Concert Room in the university school of music, but most often at St Peter’s. St Peter’s may not be such a prolific provider of concerts as St Andrew’s, but it always shows its virtues when musicians choose to... read more

Jennifer Stumm and Te Koki Trio share honours at Wellington’s MFC

By , 08/08/2019
What an excellent idea it was of Chamber Music New Zealand’s to invite viola virtuoso Jennifer Stumm here to perform with Wellington’s Te Koki Trio! – her presence enabled a richly varied programme to be performed with a unique distinction in Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre, a programme that’s currently on tour throughout the country. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Stumm currently holds Professorships of viola studies in institutions both in Vienna... read more

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