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Posts tagged: vocal

Extraordinary SMP Ensemble Commemorative Concert missing a part but nevertheless packing a punch

By , 17/11/2019
Woe betide the hapless reviewer who, amidst his domestic rough-and-tumble, glances distractedly and approximately at a schedule before hotfooting it along the roads and down the pavements to a concert, thinking he’s in plenty of time, only to find that he‘s misread the actual starting-time of the event, and has arrived half-an-hour late! The above explanation, I trust, entirely incriminates the said reviewer, who needs must take his punishment... read more

Martinborough Music Festival – an overview of a delightful feast of chamber music

By , 29/09/2019
Martinborough is a charming, tastefully preserved and restored little country town 65 km from Wellington. Running a Music Festival there, featuring some of  New Zealand's finest musicians is an incredibly ambitious project. The festival, held this year over three days, 27-29 September, was their third. It featured Michael Houstoun, piano, Jenny Wollerman, soprano, Wilma Smith, violin and viola, Vesa-Matti Leppanen, Yuka Egochi, Amy Bookman and Alan Molina, violins, Christopher... read more

Korngold: exploration of beguiling Lieder one didn’t know, from Georgia Jamieson Emms

By , 04/09/2019
Middle C has been neglecting its responsibilities with respect to the wonderful lunchtime concerts at St Andrew’s on The Terrace. Partly the result of our diminished ‘human resources’ and partly … well, other things. There are notes for two or three of them that seem to have failed to find a first sentence, but given time, some the right words and thoughts might emerge on the RNZAF woodwind quintet, six... read more

Warming our hearts in mid-winter – Cantoris directed by Thomas Nikora

By , 27/07/2019
This was the kind of programme whose content and presentation couldn’t have done a better job of warming the cockles of both audience hearts and sensibilities, having already drawn our attention via the concert’s title to the evening’s delightful and characteristic seasonal ambiences. Choral items naturally enough made up the lion’s share of the presentations, but by way of contrast and variety we heard two songs for baritone with... read more

Medlyn and Greager give rewarding and intelligent recital of early 20th century songs, plus four by Vincent O’Sullivan/Ross Harris

By , 10/07/2019
A song recital by two internationally renowned singers based in Wellington is a significant musical event. The programme was like a snapshot of the music of the first half of the twentieth century across a wide range of countries, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, with a more recent item from New Zealand. The concert began with Margaret Medlyn singing Alban Berg's Seven Early Songs (1907). These songs were written under... read more

Inspirare as singular performers of Brahms choral pieces and part songs

By , 15/06/2019
This was a concert of music by one composer only, Brahms, and does not stray from traditional classical repertoire. Yet, apart from the piano solo, Rhapsody in G minor, Op 79, No 2, and the first movement of the Violin Sonata No 3 in D minor, Op. 108, the vocal works in the programme are seldom heard. The concert opened with Vier Quartette, Op.92, sung by Alex Gandionco, soprano, Eleanor... read more

Wide-ranging and imaginative song recital at Waikanae: Mellaerts and Baillieu

By , 14/04/2019
The Waikanae Music society had taken this recital from Chamber Music New Zealand’s associate society series. It was about the last of a ten-concert tour around the country. It was a courageous step since, for many years – decades? – there has been a belief that audiences avoid song recitals; the same belief has been cultivated about piano recitals. There is not a huge amount of evidence for either display... read more

Art-to-music realisations, a royal farewelling, and interplanetary evocations – all in an evening’s work for the NZSO

By , 30/03/2019
Tonight’s concert began with a sobering reminder of the tragedy that had shaken the whole of the country just over a fortnight previously, audience and musicians alike standing for a minute’s silence in remembrance of the incident’s victims, conductor Edo de Waart eschewing his “maestro’s entrance” on this occasion, and accompanying his concertmaster, Vesa-Matti Leppänen onto the concert platform, to stand with the other performers. As this was the... read more

From The Night Watch – “Love Me Tender” – a Baroque-style celebration of love’s intangibility

This is a new ensemble in town, 'The Night Watch' (after the Rembrandt painting, though both the Martinborough and Wellington concerts were held in daylight hours).  This group is a combo of New Zealand singers and instrumentalists with several Australian baroque instrumentalists from Sydney. Despite the geography, there was no time separation here; the playing was magnificently co-ordinated and presented, under the direction of Catherine Mackintosh, a veteran of English ensembles The Orchestra of the... read more

Adam Chamber Music Festival in Nelson; the second installment, of Monday and Tuesday reviews

By , 05/02/2019
Perhaps the decision to celebrate the restoration of the organ in the Nelson School of Music took a slightly eccentric course, by programming some pieces by Mozart. For while Mozart is known to have enjoyed playing, especially improvising on, organs wherever he encountered them, he wrote scarcely anything specifically for the organ. The Andante in F, K 616, written a short time before he died, is the only music that... read more

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