Max Rashbrooke - Latest News [Page 1]

Immortal (and inaudible) Bach

Thursday, 8 February 2018, 4:38 pm | Max Rashbrooke

At the risk of stating the obvious, the reviewer's task is normally to comment on the quality of a performance, in this case the playing of music. So much is straightforward, if subjective. The task is made rather harder, though, when it is not actually clear ... More >>

A Muted NZSO 'Messiah'

Monday, 11 December 2017, 10:38 am | Max Rashbrooke

After last year’s stripped-down – and very good – Messiah , I was expecting something completely different: an all-guns-blazing performance led by an Australian conductor, Brett Weymark, well known for renditions that feature as many as 400 singers. ... More >>

NZSO Review: Janine Jansen Just Perfect

Monday, 13 November 2017, 4:46 pm | Max Rashbrooke

There are times when, as a reviewer, you realise from the first notes of someone's playing that you're in for a spellbinding performance. So it was with Janine Jansen and the Sibelius violin concerto. Those opening notes were the subtlest, loneliest ... More >>

Does the New Government Mean Open Government?

Monday, 6 November 2017, 3:09 pm | Max Rashbrooke

In one of her first major interviews after becoming prime minister, Jacinda Ardern told Checkpoint that she wanted to not just do more with government but also change the way it operated. “I also want this government to feel different, I want people ... More >>

Revving up Rachmaninov - NZSO with Joyce Yang

Friday, 3 November 2017, 9:48 am | Max Rashbrooke

A whole evening of Rachmaninov is quite a treat, at least for Russophiles like myself. And it started beautifully, with the orchestral arrangement of the Vocalise (from 14 Songs) casting a gentle, wistful spell. A delicate piece, it was played with delicacy ... More >>

Italian Holiday - NZSO play Berlioz’ 'Travels in Italy'

Wednesday, 18 October 2017, 11:05 am | Max Rashbrooke

The NZSO welcomed back music director emeritus James Judd for a concert of Italian-themed music, and a real treat it was. Under his guidance the orchestra produced a strong, rich sound, especially in the opening movement of Berlioz’s Harold in Italy, the ... More >>

Katya’s Cabin Fever - Katya Kabanova & NZ Opera

Tuesday, 10 October 2017, 11:04 am | Max Rashbrooke

NZ Opera’s production of Katya Kabanova starts with the eponymous heroine standing as a tiny figure against a vast, dark backdrop which gradually reveals thousands of stars; reflected in the stage floor, they appear to surround and even flow through ... More >>

'Symptoms of Pianomania' - Freddy Kempf & The NZSO

Monday, 2 October 2017, 10:33 am | Max Rashbrooke

Saturday, September 23 - It was a curious concert, this, a real miscellany of great piano works, and at a curious time, on the night of the general election. Introducing the concert, NZSO cellist Andrew Joyce acknowledged the awkward timing and the fact ... More >>

NZSO & Karen Gomyo Double Bill

Tuesday, 15 August 2017, 9:31 am | Max Rashbrooke

Friday, 11 August and Saturday, 12 August - Two NZSO concerts in two nights this weekend was a real treat – although, like a box of chocolates, some parts were more of a treat than others. More >>

Bella Bela - Alexander Shelley Returns

Sunday, 30 July 2017, 2:23 pm | Max Rashbrooke

In classical music reviews, as in life, I’ve noticed that women’s fashion choices tend to get far more scrutiny than men’s. So to help redress this balance, I’d like to note that I thought conductor Alexander Shelley was wearing a particularly ... More >>

Max Rashbrooke Review: The Young Person's Future of Music

Tuesday, 18 July 2017, 10:36 am | Max Rashbrooke

The future of classical music is in safe hands, judging by Friday's night concert from the NZSO National Youth Orchestra, the country's most talented young players. They had the advantage in this concert, of course, of working with the highly talented ... More >>

The NZSO goes to the Proms

Saturday, 1 July 2017, 2:58 pm | Max Rashbrooke

It was a good idea, a concert bringing together music from New Zealand and the British Isles in honour of the Lions tour. Did it work? At times, absolutely. At other times it felt a bit like a panto grafted onto unwilling stock. More >>

Review: Carmen get it, by Max Rashbrooke

Friday, 2 June 2017, 12:44 pm | Max Rashbrooke

In the programme for this production, director Lindy Hume notes that her first, controversial version of this opera, some 25 years ago, was labelled "the feminist Carmen". And it's an apt label: this is a production that is as much about power as it is ... More >>

Review: Plenty Pathetique

Sunday, 21 May 2017, 8:31 pm | Max Rashbrooke

Saturday night's concert kicked off with Embiosis, a delightful short piece by a talented young New Zealand composer, David Grahame Taylor. Right from its shimmering opening it managed to be both edgy, hovering on the edge of different tonalities, ... More >>

Review: Max Rashbrooke - Farr's extraordinary path

Monday, 8 May 2017, 10:02 am | Max Rashbrooke

I’m not usually someone for whom classical music summons up specific images, even in overtly programmatic pieces, but last Friday night’s concert was awash with them. The concert kicked off with a short, delicate piece from Pierre Boulez, Memoriale ... More >>

Review: The NZSO and Nature - By Max Rashbrooke

Tuesday, 28 March 2017, 10:16 am | Max Rashbrooke

There was a great moment at the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra's concert on Saturday night when the announcer suggested to the audience that they might want to take photos and share them on social media, and there was an audible roll of laughter in response. ... More >>

The NZSO at 70: promise and puzzles

Friday, 10 March 2017, 9:47 am | Max Rashbrooke

It was the NZSO's birthday this week – it turned 70 – and so it threw a big party, in the form of a free concert featuring a kind of 'greatest hits' snippets of the last seven decades. So is our national orchestra in good shape, now that it's a septuagenarian? More >>

Max Rashbrooke Review: The Mikado, NZ Opera

Monday, 27 February 2017, 1:10 pm | Max Rashbrooke

Politics and art are a little bit like politics and rugby: as the Springbok tour showed, you can't entirely separate the two. And there are certainly plenty of politics around the Mikado, a show that is notionally set in a highly stereotyped, Orientalist ... More >>

Review: Messiah

Monday, 12 December 2016, 11:04 am | Max Rashbrooke

The Messiah is one of those pieces of music familiar even to people who don't like, or think they don't like, classical music; and the version that most people have in mind is the big, boom-crash, full-forces one, with a cast of hundreds shouting, ... More >>

Extraordinary Anywhere: Essays on Place from Aotearoa NZ

Friday, 2 December 2016, 12:20 pm | Max Rashbrooke

When I was coming to the end of my six-year stint in London, British people would often say to me, ‘I quite understand why you’d go back to New Zealand – I mean, the landscape, it’s so beautiful, why wouldn’t you?’ Because they were often ... More >>



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