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Posts tagged: orchestral

Splendid, richly satisfying NZSO concert of four strongly contrasted works played with mastery and conviction

By , 13/07/2019
Anniversary: Cook’s first voyage and Matauranga  The first piece in Saturday’s concert was entitled Matauranga, which means ‘knowledge, wisdom, understanding, skill’, according to the programme note. It was in part to mark the 250th anniversary of Cook’s first voyage one of whose purposes was to observe the transit of Venus in Tahiti in June 1769. His reaching New Zealand was timely to observe the transit of Mercury on the Coromandel... read more

Worlds within worlds brought to us by the Wellington Chamber Orchestra, with The Tasman Trio and Kenneth Young

By , 30/06/2019
On paper, a programme for the prospective listener to savour – and this was an expectation I would guess was largely fulfilled, judging from the reception accorded the musicians’ efforts by the audience, and the feelings of satisfaction gleaned from the performers’ general aspect at the end! There was certainly a variety of colour, texture, mood and emotion to be had, with the pieces offering sufficient challenges to ensure... read more

NZSO marks Blake’s retirement with his haunting ‘Angel at Ahipara’, plus splendid Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky

By , 20/06/2019
Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, and a piece by a significant contemporary composer, Christopher Blake, might seem like popular programming, but as was evident by the large number of empty seats, the programme lacked wide appeal. Tchaikovsky's First Symphony is seldom performed, Stravinsky's Violin Concerto is very different from other more popular twentieth century violin concertos and Christopher Blake's music is unknown territory. Yet it is important both for the orchestra and... read more

Orchestra Wellington – gone vinyl to splendid effect with live Beethoven

By , 06/06/2019
I was there at the 2018 concert when conductor Marc Taddei and Orchestra Wellington launched their ground-breaking classical recording release of two Beethoven Symphonies, recorded “live” at separate Michael Fowler Centre concerts the previous year – and what was more, caught on two splendidly appointed vinyl discs which were displayed most tellingly to a visibly gobsmacked and positively enthusiastic audience. Being an originally-pressed vinyl aficionado, I failed to take... read more

Stroma enhances Wellington with music inspired by where sea meets sky

By , 30/05/2019
Stroma is a mixed chamber music ensemble drawn from musicians of the NZSO. It performs contemporary experimental music. This programme included music by New Zealand, American, Irish, French, and Icelandic composers, but in particular, it honoured the 80th birthday of John Rimmer, one of New Zealand's most iconic composers. The programme started with fog horns, recorded in San Francisco Bay. A brass sextet of two horns, two trombones and two... read more

Orchestra Wellington’s triumphant concert of two last completed works by great composers

By , 25/05/2019
This promised to be a major concert, and as soon as the first arresting sounds of the Jupiter Symphony filled the MFC, I felt assured that it was probably the most important concert of Orchestra Wellington’s year. And so I scanned the spaces above the orchestra to assure myself that it was being recorded; and I was dismayed to see no sign of RNZ Concert’s microphones. In the light of... read more

NZSM Orchestra speaks its concert presentation’s name with skill and conviction at St.Andrew’s

By , 21/05/2019
Though having just tut-tutted elsewhere over the NZSO’s somewhat loose “title” attached to its most recent concert, I’m much less inclined towards adverse comment regarding the NZSM Orchestra’s publicity legend  for ITS latest presentation, “Darkness and Light”.  It’s a reasonably apposite description of the moods of what was being played at the evening’s concert, conveying something of the music’s range and impact as was performed, here brilliantly and most... read more

A beautiful concert of Romantic symphonic music from the NZSO under Thomas Søndergård

By , 18/05/2019
This concert had no challenging contemporary works, no surprises. It was romantic music, all within the bounds of the traditional, standard symphonic repertoire, but it was all beautiful music. The programme spanned 127 years of musical development from Beethoven's Coriolan Overture of 1807 to Sibelius's Seventh Symphony of 1924. Over that period the world changed and this was reflected in the music. The individual responsibility, accountability, sensibility and the... read more

Adventurous, surprising, unorthodox, informal concert by the NZSO in a waterfront shed

By , 10/05/2019
Good Music in Sheds The “Shed series” of concerts were a new enterprise for the NZSO last year, when there were three concerts of music that was a bit off the beaten track and in an atmosphere unfamiliar to traditional audiences, though essentially classical rather than popular or rock music; perhaps the word 'crossover' might here apply. Last year, it was suggested that they would appeal to audiences aged under... read more

Orchestra Wellington takes Vivaldi and Piazzolla to Upper Hutt with great success

By , 06/05/2019
This programme was presented in the Opera House, Wellington on Saturday 4 May. Even considering venues in the central city, there is probably no auditorium as well appointed as Expressions in Upper Hutt’s Arts and Entertainment Centre where I was very happy to catch them. There were 22 musicians on the stage, perfectly accommodated both visually and acoustically.  In the place of the usual concertmaster, Amalia Hall, was Martin Riseley... read more

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