Max Rashbrooke - Latest News [Page 1]

Things that fall: La Boheme

Friday, 5 October 2018, 3:26 pm | Max Rashbrooke

When faced with a classic like La Boheme, it's always hard to keep it fresh and avoid the legacies of past performances. Director Jacqueline Coats has taken the approach of setting it in no defined period. This doesn't quite work, for me, because rather ... More >>

Classics and not-so-classics Stravinsky and Rachmaninov

Monday, 24 September 2018, 11:12 am | Max Rashbrooke

This last few weeks have brought two contrasting concerts from the NZSO. The first, Stravinsky and Rachmaninov, was at the more demanding end of the standard repertoire, featuring two relatively little-played works by Stravinsky: the Symphonies of Wind ... More >>

Review: The Firebird - NZSO National Youth Orchestra

Monday, 30 July 2018, 12:44 pm | Max Rashbrooke

The annual NZSO National Youth Orchestra concert is a regular treat: it’s astounding how good these young musicians are. This clever, well-structured performance with a distinct French-Spanish theme was carried out under the watchful eye of guest conductor ... More >>

Review: Simon Trpceski Plays Grieg

Monday, 30 July 2018, 12:39 pm | Max Rashbrooke

The star of this show was Macedonian pianist Simon Trpceski, sandwiched in between two pieces of Shostakovich. The first, the Festive Overture, was a cheerfully exuberant bit of work (though still touched with irony), and played with a lovely sense of ... More >>

The Four Seasons

Sunday, 20 May 2018, 5:08 pm | Max Rashbrooke

One of the things I’m enjoying about the NZSO’s programming this year is the non-obvious obvious choices. By this I mean the playing of pieces that are well worn to the point being cliched but which many people have not actually heard in concert. ... More >>

Ravishing Berlioz and Ravel

Friday, 27 April 2018, 5:15 pm | Max Rashbrooke

In this engaging, French-inflected performance, full of strengths, perhaps the standout was the mezzo soprano Sasha Cooke. Wellington has been visited by a few high profile singers recently, notably Anne Sofie von Otter, but few have impressed me as much ... More >>

Elusive Otters - Anne Sofie von Otter with the NZSO

Tuesday, 20 March 2018, 1:25 pm | Max Rashbrooke

Among the many qualities one looks for in an artist is generosity: a sense that giving, and giving fully, is important to them, is part of their artistic make up. More >>

Fit for a King - The King's Singers and Voices New Zealand

Wednesday, 14 March 2018, 4:54 pm | Max Rashbrooke

To be good at one thing is impressive; to be so versatile across a range of genres is truly exceptional. That was my conclusion from an evening listening to the world-renowned King's Singers, performing at the New Zealand Festival with the Voices New Zealand ... More >>

Max Rashbrooke on Bach remastered

Friday, 2 March 2018, 1:28 pm | Max Rashbrooke

New Zealand Festival: A New Zealand Partita Stephen De Pledge Tuesday 27 February Reviewer: Max Rashbrooke More >>

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 >>

 

 

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