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Posts tagged: choral

Orpheus Choir’s first ‘on their own’ concert in 2020 a Gloria triumph

By , 14/11/2020
The introduction to the programme by the chairperson of the Choir, Frances Manwaring, remarks that this was the choir’s first ‘self-presented’ concert in 2020 – the only other public appearance was with Orchestra Wellington’s 3 October concert in Rachmaninov’s The Bells and Fauré’s Requiem. And I might as well use her background notes to refer to the task of preparing for the concert under review. “Thanks to the tech-savvyness and... read more

Riveting performances by the Orpheus Choir and Orchestra Wellington of works by Faure and Rachmaninoff

By , 03/10/2020
Under the circumstances of Covid-19 and its world-wide strictures, I’m truly grateful, along with so many others, to be living in a place where activities such as concerts of the quality of that which I attended in the Michael Fowler Centre on Saturday evening could even happen, let alone be enjoyed so freely and readily. Given in the same week as the NZSO’s inspiring “Eroica” concert conducted by Miguel... read more

Nota Bene Choir – an amalgam of mystery and illumination at St. Mary of the Angels

By , 20/09/2020
Surely the Church of St.Mary of the Angels in Wellington’s Boulcott St. is one of the city’s most spectacularly beautiful places in which one can make music, in addition to its acoustics being particularly suited to certain kinds of music for the human voice. In terms of sheer amplitude of sound the venue is surpassed by Wellington’s Cathedral of St.Paul, but in some music it’s at the expense of... read more

“May the earth not be made desolate …” – Invocations from The Tudor Consort

By , 04/09/2020
It is an eerie reminder of how little the human condition has changed over time when we consider that, in the 21st century, our approach to dealing with a global pandemic is essentially medieval: practices of social distancing and quarantine have their origins in the 14th century when European populations were trying to control outbreaks of the bubonic plague. While we now have an 0800 Healthline number that we... read more

Scrupulous and spirited choral concert from Netherlands Chamber Choir

By , 07/03/2020
The Netherlands Chamber Choir has a fine reputation in the more sophisticated realms of international choirs. Brahms motet I have to confess, as a lover of Brahms’s orchestral, piano and chamber music, that neither his Lieder nor his choral works have appealed to me greatly: especially the a cappella pieces.  Warum ist das Licht gegeben dem Mühseligen? (‘Why has light been given to the weary soul?’) is one of a pair... read more

Lightning, thunder and Orpheus Choir’s and the NZSO’s “Messiah” – never a dull moment!

By , 07/12/2019
There would probably have been a number of people at this “Messiah” performance, both performers and audience members, who had shared something of my own experience a couple of hours before the concert’s starting-time, of the onslaught of an unexpectedly vicious single lightning strike during a storm over the Mt.Victoria area of the city, one whose particular impact on the house I was inside could have been likened to... read more

Gustav Mahler’s heartfelt expression of existentialist optimism given resplendent treatment by the NZSO and departing Music Director Edo de Waart

By , 22/11/2019
“It opens as if on the brink of an abyss, and ends with an exhilarating rebirth”. With these words Edo de Waart, the conductor of this performance of Gustav Mahler’s monumental “Resurrection” Symphony, summed up in a programme foreword his reasoning for making the work his final assignment as the NZSO’s Music Director. According to the archive of that redoubtable critical periodical, “Middle C”, this was his seventh separate... read more

The Tudor Consort in remarkable performances of great poly-choral masterpieces from the 16th and 20th centuries

By , 16/11/2019
On successive Saturdays the Cathedral of St Paul has hosted quite major choral concerts, performing some of the greatest choral works. Much as it’s important to be exposed to compositions of our own time, I feel that there’s a tendency for musical bodies in all genres to be unduly burdened by an imagined obligation to perform contemporary music, most of which is listened to from a sense of obligation... read more

Cantoris steps up to two of the great choral masterpieces, successfully in the face of difficulties

By , 09/11/2019
Handel’s Dixit Dominus was written in 1707 for the church of Santa Maria in Montesanto in Rome. He was in Italy between 1706 and 1710 and composed operas for Florence and Venice, but because the Vatican in Rome forbade opera, Handel wrote dramatic works in concert form, the most famous of which is the Dixit Dominus which is drawn from Psalm 110, part of the Catholic Vespers service, and... read more

Percussion-driven “Carmina Burana” with the Orpheus Choir a triumph

By , 07/09/2019
Oddly enough, nowhere in the programme could I see mentioned that this was a version of Carl Orff’s most renowned work prepared by his “disciple” Wilhelm Killmayer in 1956, and authorized by Orff himself, 20 years after the original composition, one allowing smaller instrumental ensembles the opportunity to perform the piece. While relishing the prospect of hearing the Orpheus Choir’s “different” take on the composer’s evergreen “Carmina Burana”, I... read more

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