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Posts tagged: historically informed

At last! Chamber Music Hutt Valley’s 2020 Season!

By , 28/08/2020
If ever an organisation merited a special award for stickability in the face of troubles, it would, in my book, be Chamber Music Hutt Valley - after facing dissolution at the end of 2019 through difficulties in finding enough people “on the ground” to assist with running the concerts the Society overcame that problem only to find its well-crafted 2020 programme severely disrupted by Covid-19! The response was a... read more

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

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

The Night Watch’s “Every Breath you take” a great success at the NZSM

By , 14/07/2019
2019 is turning into a “bumper” year for me as regards richly-stimulating and keenly-recalled concert experiences! As befits a place that likes to style itself as something of a cultural centre, Wellington has certainly played host to the efforts of some remarkable musicians performing some fascinating assemblages of repertoire so far this year, and with more to come, as a glance at any collection of concert schedules to hand... read more

The NZSO “reclaims the night” for Baroque composers at St.Andrew’s on-The-Terrace, Wellington

By , 08/06/2019
To my great relief the NZSO abandoned the idea of presenting this, the second concert of their Baroque Series, in Wellington Cathedral, the first concert there having been a mixed blessing of an affair, with the building’s cavernous acoustic the main impediment to enjoyment of the music. The strictures of the Capital’s current “earthquake-risk” regulations regarding many of its buildings has made finding a venue for concerts involving either... read more

Restorative music from the Restoration, performed by “The Queen’s Closet”

By , 01/06/2019
A well-ordered programme, a cornucopia of colourful-sounding instruments, a group of skilled, expressive players and a relaxed, spontaneous-sounding presentation whose varied amalgam of fascinating and engaging sounds ensured a most attractive and resounding early evening’s music-making were the sure-fire ingredients of this concert from the early music group “The Queen’s Closet”. The ensemble’s name is derived from an eponymously-titled room found in a National Trust house located in Richmond... read more

“Under every grief & pine/runs a joy with silken twine” – Martin Riesley plays unaccompanied Bach at St.Andrew’s, Wellington

By , 24/05/2019
This was a benefit concert to help raise funds for refurbishing the Church’s pipe organ. Bach himself wasn’t known as a violinist to the same extent as he was a keyboard player, yet according to his son, Carl Philippe Emanuel, “he played the violin cleanly and powerfully”, and his familiarity with the instrument is evident in the way he wrote his six Violin Sonatas and Partitas (BWV 1001-1006), so they... read more

A dramatic and sharply-focused St.John Passion from Nota Bene and the Chiesa Ensemble at St Mary of the Angels

By , 14/04/2019

Of four Scriptural “Passion” settings associated in some way or another with Johann Sebastian Bach, two have been fully “authenticated”, the larger St.Matthew Passion, and the smaller, more intense and visceral St.John Passion – while two others, settings of the other evangelists’ accounts of Jesus’ death, are either spurious or recyclings of lost material. Bach undertook the St.John Passion during his first year as director of church... read more

From The Night Watch – “Love Me Tender” – a Baroque-style celebration of love’s intangibility

This is a new ensemble in town, 'The Night Watch' (after the Rembrandt painting, though both the Martinborough and Wellington concerts were held in daylight hours).  This group is a combo of New Zealand singers and instrumentalists with several Australian baroque instrumentalists from Sydney. Despite the geography, there was no time separation here; the playing was magnificently co-ordinated and presented, under the direction of Catherine Mackintosh, a veteran of English ensembles The Orchestra of the... read more

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