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Posts tagged: piano

Stimulating, evocative recital from NZSM piano student Liam Furey at St Andrew’s

By , 05/08/2020
A month ago Liam Furey was one of several piano students representing Victoria University in St Andrew’s lunchtime concert; then, he played Beethoven’s Op 49 No 2. This time he moved some distance from the sort of music played and enjoyed around 1800: into what must still be regarded as music that after more than a century has still not found anything like comprehension, acceptance and enjoyment, among 90... read more

“Morgen” – pianist Rae de Lisle makes a welcome return to performing, with ‘cellist Andrew Joyce – and with help from Julia Joyce

By , 04/08/2020
This recording has gone to the top of my “play for friends” list!  The beauty and expressiveness of it all instantly captivates whomever I demonstrate the disc to, and never fails to re-ignite my own initial struck-dumb response  – beginning as a “double distillation” of beauty, with Andrew Joyce’s ‘cello and Rae de Lisle’s piano exquisitely duetting their way through vistas of the utmost enchantment, it transforms into a... read more

NZSM Concerto Competition – an evening of elegance, frisson and feeling

By , 30/07/2020
This year’s final of the NZSM Concerto Competition provided something of a musical feast, even if one of the concertos performed (Saint-Saens’ Second Piano Concerto) was presented with a somewhat truncated finale, for whatever reason. With three promising and extremely accomplished performers playing their respective hearts out (and admirably supported by the efforts of collaborative pianist David Barnard, whose playing of the orchestral part of the Samuel Barber Concerto... read more

Well contrived and performed recital of piano music from NZSM students at St Andrew’s

By , 11/07/2020
This was a thoughtfully contrived hour-long recital: and an interesting range of music, even if only one piece was composed after 1850. Haydn Sonata Shangrong Feng’s sonata by Haydn is one of the 50-odd that he composed, which have not till recently been universally considered worthy of performance by professional pianists even though they were generally written for eminent adults. No 48 in the exhaustive Hoboken catalogue (1789/90) was among the... read more

“Emperor of Composers” – an eponymous Piano Concerto and a lovely Symphony, “live” from the NZSO

By , 08/07/2020
Following its hugely successful inaugural post-lockdown concert Ngū Kīoro… Harikoa Ake (Celebrating Togetherness), the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra has refocused its concert activities on rather more conventional repertoire with this all-Beethoven presentation, a sure-fire audience drawcard which certainly worked its magic in that respect, the result being a sold-out Michael Fowler Centre for the concert. An additional attraction was the presence of Diedre Irons, one of the country’s finest... read more

Wanganui Music Society 75th Jubilee Concert includes Wellington guest musicians

By , 08/03/2020
Every now and then (and without warning) a “Middle C” reviewer will be overcome by a “questing s pirit” which will result in the same reviewer popping up somewhere unexpected and writing about an event whose location, on the face of things, seems somewhat outside the parameters of the usual prescription for “Middle C’”s coverage – vis-à-vis, “concerts in the Greater Wellington region”. In this case mitigating circumstances brought a... read more

Michael Houstoun bows out triumphantly at Waikanae in the company of the Amici Ensemble

By , 09/02/2020
The first concert in the Waikanae Music Society’s 2020 season welcomed the audience with a ‘Full House’ notice at the door: meaning that around 500 filled the hall. It was a celebration of Michael Houstoun’s long career: his last concert for the society which has hosted him regularly since 1986. He played in the company of Donald Armstrong’s Amici Ensemble which has also been a major and very popular... read more

Third volume of Richard Farrell piano recordings a fascinating collection of till-now unreleased treasures

By , 16/12/2019
The third volume of recordings of piano performances by Richard Farrell (1926 – 1958) has appeared, nine years after the first volume. Apart from a couple of small pieces, none have been commercially released though Peter Mechen (who was the assistant producer and undertook research) reminds me that the Tchaikovsky concerto was played by the then Concert Programme in the 1980s and the Liszt recital was broadcast as part... read more

Wellington Chamber Orchestra succeeds with Šinkovec Burstin in Grieg piano concerto, and other Nordic classics

By , 08/12/2019
In my review of Jian Liu’s performance two years ago of Grieg’s Piano Concerto I remarked that I was mystified that it continued to be considered a popular, even hackneyed work when, for many years, it’s been so little performed. That lovely performance with Jian Liu may have prompted the Wellington Chamber Orchestra to take a look at it. If so they served themselves and Edvard Grieg very well Helios  Nielsen’s... read more

Haydn, Brahms and Brigid Bisley in superb recital from Diedre Irons and the Aroha Quartet

By , 01/12/2019
Haydn’s The Bird The last 2019 concert from the Aroha Quartet opened with Haydn’s quartet, The Bird, creating sounds that were quite stunning: not in the normal sense of fortissimo, exciting or cacophonous, but with sounds that were hardly of a string quartet at all. They were of such refinement and purity that they really did evoke the subtlest of bird calls that were pure and secretive, unearthly. The marking... read more

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