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Posts tagged: percussion

Ravel and Bartók make companionable and stimulating piano-and-percussion bedfellows in stunning NZSM Adam Concert Room performances

By , 23/07/2021
While waiting in the foyer for the Adam Concert Room to be opened for the NZSM concert, and pricking up my ears to flute snippets from Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra and trumpet phrases from Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade being practised by students in an adjoining studio, I couldn’t help but reflect on the charm and delight of experiencing such a “music-in-the-air” ambience about where I was and what was about to... read more

Adventurous, quirky, energetic – a musical-life experience for the 2017 NZSONYO

By , 14/07/2017
Thank goodness for Benjamin Britten's variously-named The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra / Variations and Fugue on a theme of Purcell Op.34! At the recent pair of NZNYO concerts in Wellington and Auckland it was music which, unlike the works making up the rest of the programme, was reasonably familiar to the audience. As such, the piece provided a benchmark of sorts with which the youthful orchestra's playing... read more

Magnificent NZSO concert, with percussionist Colin Currie, under James MacMillan

By , 08/07/2017
I had rather expected that, even if the pieces by Adès and MacMillan had not exactly created a stampede for tickets, that the remarkable, let’s even say ‘great’ symphony by Vaughan Williams would have done the trick. But no, it didn't. However, if it was something of a statement about the timidity of Wellington audiences, it was not a disgrace. Thomas Adès For another thing, I’d have thought the name Adès might... read more

Chamber Music New Zealand hosts exciting concert by pianos and percussion

By , 26/08/2014
This step outside the usual range of string-dominant chamber music attracted a big house in the Michael Fowler Centre; the welcome by CEO Euan Murdoch also suggested that a larger number of younger people had been drawn by this programme, with its less familiar instrumental context, yet of major works. And he drew attention to the use of an overhead camera that projected a bird’s eye view of the array... read more

Distinguish Strike and Psathas from the hoi poloi of noise makers of the gig world

Strike is regarded as the country’s premier percussion ensemble and the performance was promoted in the Festival programme as “Inspired by ancient and modern rhythms – from tribal beats to dubstep – Between Zero and One was written for Strike by internationally renowned New Zealand composer John Psathas…….. Intimate moments will draw you in – the epic finale will blow your mind.” The programme comprised a series of items for... read more

Stroma, with percussionist Claire Edwardes

By , 01/08/2013
Stroma’s recent concert featured works by two expatriate New Zealand composers, Jeroen Speak and Alison Isadora, both past graduates of Victoria University. Speak, based in England, is currently in the country with his partner, Dorothy Ker, who holds the 2013-14 Lilburn House residency (Ker’s own [...and…11] is scheduled for performance by Stroma at its next concert on 1 September). This August concert, Event Horizon, was named after Speak’s mini-concerto for... read more

Magnificent Nordic programme from NZSO, Vänskä and Currie

By , 05/07/2013
Osmo Vänskä’s name first came to my notice as conductor of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra in a series of Sibelius symphonies that returned to the composer’s original versions. Even though the consensus was generally that Sibelius’s further thoughts were best, there were interesting revelations; in any case, the performances were acknowledged as powerful and highly motivated. Though in his conversation with Eva Radich on Radio New Zealand Concert's Upbeat, Vänskä hinted... read more

Percussionist Currie dazzles in brilliant NZSO concert

By , 03/09/2010
Are Wellington audiences losing their taste for adventure? What was it that led to so many empty seats at Friday’s concert, which turned out to be one of the (if not THE) most exciting concerts of the year so far. I too had wondered about the programme, but that would certainly not have stopped me going. My main thoughts were, how would the Copland ballet score (well, most of... read more

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