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Posts tagged: New Zealand music

Holly Mathieson’s “Dream” debut concert with the NZSO….

By , 14/05/2021
If this were Australia, the use of the word “Dreamtime “ would perhaps more readily come to mind as an idea which loosely connects the three pieces played in this evening’s concert – as it is, in the case of the opening work, Toru Takemitsu’s 1981 work Dreamtime (Yume no Toki), the composer proclaimed his interest in the idea as a kind of starting-point, inspired by an invitation to... read more

Music of magical flight – Palmer, Mozart and Stravinsky from the NZSO

By , 08/04/2021
Throughout the first half of Canadian-based New Zealand-born composer Juliet Palmer’s work Buzzard, I was enraptured,  totally enthralled by Palmer’s self-proclaimed “digestion” of Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird. I was bowled over as much by the former’s mastery of orchestral techniques we all readily ascribe to the latter’s music, the brilliance of the orchestrations, the motoric rhythms, and, by turns, the fluency and the angularity of the changing time-signatures, as by... read more

Vibrant Concerti Grossi old and new light up a refurbished Old St.Paul’s in Thorndon

By , 16/02/2021
I was thrilled beyond words when told that this concert would take place in the breathtakingly beautiful Old St/ Paul’s Church in Thorndon, a building which extensive earthquake-strengthening renovations had closed to the public for so long! So for me it was like greeting an old friend when walking through the church’s entranceway for the New Baroque Generation’s Wellington concert, one which concluded the ensemble’s enterprising “11 concerts in... read more

Now on CD! – Claire Cowan’s incandescent score for the RNZB’s recent “Hansel and Gretel”, played by the NZSO with Hamish McKeich

By , 22/12/2020
After reading various reviews of the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s production of Auckland composer Claire Cowan’s Hansel and Gretel, toured by the company during 2019, I’m left feeling like one of the “gentlemen of England now abed” from Shakespeare’s Henry V play, those whom the monarch prophesised would “think themselves accurs’d” for not being at Agincourt to share in the splendour of the occasion’s success. And now, having listened... read more

At last! – the 2020 NZSO National Youth Orchestra gets to show what it can do

By , 18/12/2020
NZSO Chief Executive Peter Biggs called this evening’s concert “a belated wish come true”, after the NZSO NYO’s plans for mid-year Wellington and Auckland performances together with the NZSO of Shostakovich’s epic “Leningrad” Symphony were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. After such a disappointment, the young players were “overjoyed” that the lifting of restrictions nation-wide enabled a new concert to be announced for the year’s end, with the... read more

Orchestra Wellington: huge percussion resources exploited in Psathas masterpiece from Olympus complemented by huge Rachmaninov symphony

By , 05/12/2020
The large line-up of percussion instruments at the front of the orchestra would have given an inkling to the audience that they would be in for a challenging, interesting evening of music. Although the John Psathas' View from Olympus has had many performances, premiered by the Halle Orchestra in Manchester in 2002, it is still music off the beaten track for an audience of predominantly older concert goers. The... read more

“The Older the Better” – a triumph of age and experience at Circa Theatre

By , 03/12/2020
A footnote to the show’s title above the cast list in the programme reads: “The performers you may or may not see, tonight....”. When putting the show together around the talents of three ninety-plus performers, Dame Kate Harcourt, Coral Trimmer and Sunny Amey, the producer of “The Older, the Better” Kate JasonSmith found so many willing participants among what she called “a fabulous collection of Gold Card performers” that... read more

Gareth Farr’s “Chemin des Dames” Concerto and Elgar’s ‘Cello Concerto together a powerful “concerted” statement on disc

By , 02/12/2020
I tried, I REALLY DID try to NOT look at my previous review for “Middle C” of the concert featuring the Gareth Farr 'Cello concerto played by the same ‘cellist, Sébastien Hurtaud (also with the NZSO, though with a different conductor, Hamish McKeich) before writing this present review of the piece’s CD recording – of course, it was a different performance which needed to be “responded to” on its... read more

NZSO with three widely varied works: two masterpieces and a charming, approachable New Zealand concerto

By , 20/11/2020
The audience at this concert would have been intrigued, as they took their seats, to see some orchestra members finding their way to a row of music stands in the gallery above and behind the orchestra: two players each of first and second violins, violas, cellos and one double bass.  The rest – strings only of course – were in their normal places Vaughan Williams with Tallis The position of players... read more

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

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