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Posts tagged: orchestral

Monumental NZSO concert of Russian masterpieces with cellist Johannes Moser

By , 13/10/2018
This Russian programme might have been expected to be a winner, but it wasn’t, in terms of audience size. However, in terms of musical quality and sheer excitement, it was a tremendous success. It’s a surprise to me that Shostakovich’s 1st cello concerto didn’t fill every seat; does that suggest that our musical horizons are getting narrower every year? For it’s a truly stupendous work, and we heard one of... read more

300 years of riches from the NZSM Orchestra – What is it about Bartok’s Second Violin Concerto this year?

By , 02/10/2018
Though primarily a vehicle for displaying the stellar talents of violinist Claudia Tarrant-Matthews, winner of the NZSM Concerto Competition for 2018, this concert gave considerable added value in terms of the wide range of repertoire, not to mention the quality of the NZSM Orchestra’s committed, focused and excitingly-played performances of the same. Following Tarrant-Matthews’ astonishing traversal of one of the twentieth century’s truly great concertos, we heard an evocative... read more

Exotic, rhapsodic, gruesome and tragic – Wellington Chamber Orchestra with conductor Andrew Atkins and Thomas Nikora (piano)

By , 23/09/2018
I thought the programme’s given, somewhat “Readers’ Digest”, title “Great Romantic Symphonic Poems” simply didn’t convey the essence of this concert, so I have invented my own, above, thinking that it ought to “grab” people’s attention more readily, even if for the wrong reasons. The adjectives refer, of course, to the concert’s contents, and by no means to the performances, which were simply riveting throughout – and what reservations... read more

Strong, exemplary student performances of string orchestra masterpieces

By , 19/09/2018
I confess I was unprepared for the actual nature of this concert, entitled string students of the NZSM. Naively I’d thought of a string(?) of solos, duets and threesomes, perhaps a string quartet. I was a bit late, arriving as Martin Riseley finished his introduction to the recital, and launched into Handel’s Concerto Grosso in D, Op 6 No 5, inspiring playing that sounded as if it was a... read more

Some great hits from NZSO’s popular classics concert; a win by a big margin

By , 15/09/2018
I don’t know what sort of audiences have been showing up at the other ten performances of this concert between Invercargill and Kerikeri, but the thin population in the MFC was a bit of a surprise. There was certainly competition from the rugby on Saturday evening; but there was probably also a more insidious factor: no glamorous overseas soloist; no internationally recognised conductor. Other inhibitors: a deterrent for the serious... read more

Rachmaninov and Stravinsky – not such strange bedfellows, courtesy of de Waart and the NZSO

By , 24/08/2018
What a pleasure it was to be able to read in the programme NZSO Music Director Edo de Waart’s comments about each of the pieces due to be conducted by him in this evening’s concert with the orchestra. His words resonated on a number of fronts, one of them historical as he touched on the NZSO’s special relationship with Igor Stravinsky, who, in 1961 visited New Zealand at the... read more

East and West mingle at Wellington Youth Orchestra Concert

By , 19/08/2018
A most striking frontispiece on the programme cover (uncredited) for this enterprising concert seemed to alert us to the presence of something out-of-the-ordinary - an illustration something along the lines of those disconcerting front-and-profile images of one and the same person. It wasn’t exactly that, in this case, but the effect certainly caused a double-take on my part, which I presume was the idea! – here, a youthful portrait... read more

NZSO triumphs with brilliant Beethoven and Brahms masterpieces

By , 18/08/2018
Though this was a very traditional, heart-of-the-classical-world concert which one might have thought would excite neither the aficionados nor the young and innocent in terms of classical music awareness, it was a very near full house – not an every-day experience for the NZSO. But the fact is that I cannot remember a live performance in Wellington of the Beethoven violin concerto: certainly, a search of Middle C’s archive brings... read more

Third fine Orchestra Wellington concert, unthemed but with Dvořák 7, a great success

By , 11/08/2018
The third of Orchestra Wellington's 2018 subscription concerts offered an unusual mix of music: nothing unusual about the theme symphony-Composer, Dvořák, and an unfamiliar Mozart piano concerto, but the premiere of a commissioned piece by a Chinese composer with New Zealand associations, no doubt raised a certain curiosity ... or misgivings: that may have explained the slightly less-than-sold-out audience – a rarity for this orchestra these days. Mozart K 449 The... read more

Trpčeski’s emphatic restoration of Grieg concerto and a blazing Shostakovich Tenth from Martín and NZSO

By , 13/07/2018
Last Friday Jaime Martín conducted the National Youth Orchestra in a stunning concert, drawing from young players performances that were both accurate and full of energy. He has shown the same gifts with the parent orchestra. Shostakovich’s Festive Overture was written just shortly after the death of Stalin and the composition of the 10th symphony; it can more easily be read as music that complies superficially with the expectations of... read more

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