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Posts tagged: New Zealand music

NZSO’s “Eroica” programme title lives up to its name at Wellington’s MFC

By , 27/09/2020
CEO of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Peter Biggs, summed it up in his foreword in the printed programme for the orchestra’s most recent presentation initiative – named after one of the three works presented, Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony – when he referred to 2020 as “what continues to be a challenging year for us all.” Biggs and his staff rose to that challenge admirably in enabling  Peruvian-born conductor Miguel... read more

Orchestra Wellington delivers spectacular concert of two great classics and a major New Zealand work

By , 26/09/2020
This was not the first concert by Orchestra Wellington: that was on 27 July and featured Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony and Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto, played by Michael Houstoun. This also featured Houstoun, playing what would be called a concerto in some contexts, but here, it was a three movement work by John Psathas called Three Psalms, with an important piano part, but also drawing on various musical and other artistic... read more

NZSM Orchestra with conductor Hamish McKeich showcases achievements by 2020 award-winning composer and instrumentalist at St.Andrew’s-on-The-Terrace, Wellington

By , 26/09/2020
Pandemic restrictions having been relaxed of late (though judiciously more “on hold” than entirely done away with), we were allowed more-or-less regularly-spaced seating at St. Andrew’s to hear the most recent of the NZSM Orchestra’s public concerts, one featuring the recent winner of the School’s Concerto Competition, flutist Isabella Gregory (see the review at https://middle-c.org/2020/07/nzsm-concerto-competition-an-evening-of-elegance-frisson-and-feeling/), playing the Reinecke concerto with which she won the prize, though on this... read more

Voices of Women – A New Zealand sufferage celebration by Janet Jennings

By , 19/09/2020
Inspired by the 125th anniversary of the 1893 Electoral Act in New Zealand which gave women the right to vote in New Zealand, the first self-governing country in the world to enact such legislation, this CD collection of works by Janet Jennings was first performed as a single concert in Hamilton, at the Dr. John Gallagher Concert Chamber, University of Waikato, presumably by the same performers. The opening work, Magnificat... read more

Four-handed piano delights from Sunny Cheng and Kris Zuelicke at the NZSM’s Adam Concert Room in Wellington

By , 11/09/2020
I didn’t leave home early enough to find a park, or be able to walk to the concert venue in time for the first item’s beginning – so I came in with the first item still in midstream, actually waiting outside the door, so as not to disturb the music’s flow or the listeners’ concentration. I could hear it all reasonably clearly, and was soon caught up in the... read more

Intensity, conflict, and resolve from the Aroha Quartet and oboist Robert Orr at Lower Hutt

By , 08/09/2020
I thought this concert featured a most enterprising programme, a combination of familiar and relatively unfamiliar music, with works for oboe and strings framing two strings-only pieces, providing continual interest and variety for listeners. With each of the concert’s “halves” featuring a shorter, followed by a longer piece, the presentation had an unforced ease of both delivery and reception, the ensemble’s efforts warmly acclaimed at the concert’s end. Beginning the... 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

Ghost Trio haunts sensibilities long after final notes in concert sounded

By , 17/07/2020
I had heard the Ghost Trio perform the same Beethoven work more than a fortnight previously (a concert reviewed below by my colleague, Steven Sedley), though this time round it was coupled to a different programme. Instead of the remarkable Piano Trio Op.1 by Polish composer Andrzej Panufnik (which I would have liked to hear again), the musicians chose to branch out in a different direction,  with each of... read more

First in the world with a normal public concert : NZSO’s record, celebrating the emergence from Covid 19 lock-down

By , 26/06/2020
The orchestra announced that this was the first post-pandemic concert by a professional symphony orchestra anywhere in the World in front of a full audience: the extraordinary achievement of intelligent and clear-sighted management of our response by government and people. The programme’s content and balance was carefully thought out, with a couple of pieces by established New Zealand composers, opera arias, Māori songs and one extended orchestral work. And there... read more

Musical voyages to distant places – Jenny Wollerman with the New Zealand String Quartet

By , 10/03/2020
On Tuesday evening a very large congregation of music-followers assembled in the church of Saint Mary of the Angels to ascend into the stars and probe the depths of the sea. Saint Mary herself – in her capacity as Stella Maris (star of the sea) – seemed a well-suited hostess and patron for such an endeavour. Many young people were also present (noted here for the benefit of Radio... read more

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