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Posts tagged: vocal

Henry Purcell’s “Food of Love” at Wellington’s Cathedral of St.Paul

There is a particular pleasure in hearing a duet sung by two voices that are well-matched in timbre, especially when the singers obviously share not only a vocal quality but a musical sensibility and a personal rapport.  Such were the harmonies on offer at this presentation of Purcell songs, performed by old friends Anna Sedcole and Helene Page, and accompanied fluently and unobtrusively on harpsichord by Michael Stewart, the... read more

Fever’s Candlelight Jazz Standards with Retro Pack at Wellington’s Public Trust Hall

By , 21/07/2021
Jazz is a polarizing genre. For aficionados, it’s all about innovation, pushing the boundaries, expanding the genre whilst respecting its traditions. Technical skill is prized, but always in the service of new ideas. For your average classical concert-goer, it’s pretty much a mystery, and sometimes incomprehensible. But everyone loves a jazz standard. Jazz musicians know them inside out and sometimes reference them on their way to something else. Every Wellington... read more

Spacious, enraptured, beautiful – Wellington Chamber Orchestra with Baroque Voices and Nota Bene

By , 04/07/2021
For as long as I can remember, Wellington Chamber Orchestra has been a player-run orchestra which engages conductors by the concert.  This, I suppose, has some advantages. It gives the orchestra maximum freedom and minimum financial commitments. But it also tries to provide solo opportunities for young musicians, and given the inevitable coming and going of people from one concert to the next, the result must be a certain... read more

Schubert’s “Winterreise” a truly unforgettable journey at St.Mark’s, Woburn for HVCM

By , 02/07/2021
I was brought up to believe that Franz Schubert was one of music’s most tragic figures, one whose circumstances were marked by privation, neglect and suffering – his was the archetypal Romantic scenario, fuelled by conjecture and fantasy, and bolstered up with a certain emphasis on the “tragic” aspects of his numerous works. Consequently, his song-cycle “Winterreise” came to be regarded as the ultimate nihilistic will and testament of... read more

Octogenarians make a splendid 17th-century pair

By , 20/06/2021
This concert gave cause for joy on a number of counts, not the least in providing a dry and relatively comfortable place in which to spend a couple of hours on a more-than-usually inclement Sunday evening – though not particularly warm temperature-wise, the interior of St.Mary’s Church worked its usual visual and atmospheric magic over the duration, adding to the beauty and variety of the sounds recreated for our... read more

“Gloria” from Nota Bene and The Queen’s Closet gladdens hearts and minds at St Mary of the Angels

By , 28/03/2021
As it has happened the three concerts I have reviewed so far this year have taken place in various splendid Wellington churches, each contributing to the atmosphere, ambience and impact of the music and its making, spectacularly so in the case of the third occasion at St Mary of the Angels Church in Boulcott St., where a programme entitled “Gloria” was given by the Nota Bene Choir with the... read more

Acclaim at Wellington’s MFC for Handel, the “Messiah”, the NZSO, the Tudor Consort, the soloists, and conductor extraordinaire, Gemma New

By , 12/12/2020
I can’t remember a Wellington audience leaping to its collective feet at the conclusion of a recent “Messiah” with quite such unbridled enthusiasm as we all found ourselves doing this evening, caught up in what suddenly felt like, from where I had been sitting, a near-tsunami of acclamation for the musicians and the music at the end of the performance’s final “Amen” chorus.  Certainly, our sensibilities had been “stoked”... read more

Orpheus Choir’s first ‘on their own’ concert in 2020 a Gloria triumph

By , 14/11/2020
The introduction to the programme by the chairperson of the Choir, Frances Manwaring, remarks that this was the choir’s first ‘self-presented’ concert in 2020 – the only other public appearance was with Orchestra Wellington’s 3 October concert in Rachmaninov’s The Bells and Fauré’s Requiem. And I might as well use her background notes to refer to the task of preparing for the concert under review. “Thanks to the tech-savvyness and... read more

Warm response for an innovative “Seen-and-Heard” Kristallnacht Concert at Wellington’s Public Trust Hall

By , 09/11/2020
I was surprised to find, upon arriving at the Public Trust Hall a good quarter-of-an-hour before the concert’s scheduled starting time, at least three-quarters of the seats already filled, and the queues still bringing people in – by the time I got my ticket sorted I found myself almost at the back of the hall, and was left wondering how I could possibly get from such a position a... read more

THe NZSO’s “Monumental” concert…..counting the ways

By , 09/10/2020
As much as I’m not a great fan of the use of “catchwords” to describe the content of concerts, such as both the NZSO and the NZSQ have been using to characterise specific events over the past year, I must admit that occasionally the description “hits the spot”, as with the use of the word “Monumental” to describe the orchestra’s most recent concert in Wellington. Though a somewhat “loose”... read more

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