The late Patric Standford may have written these short pieces deliberately to provoke our feedback. If so, his success is reflected in the rich range of readers' comments appearing at the foot of most of the pages.
CD Spotlight. Bright and Pleasing Music - Geoff Pearce listens to works by Eric Biddington. 'The orchestra is solid, the brass section is particularly impressive and the recording does full justice to this bright and pleasing music.'
Classical music news. Obituary - Karl Korte (1928-2022)
Classical music news. Obituary - Lyell Cresswell (1944-2022)
Classical music news - March 2022 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month
CD Spotlight. A Love Story in Two Quartets - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music by Janáček, played by the New Zealand String Quartet. '... an excellent reading ...'
CD Spotlight. Birdsong Fragments - 'Songs of Travel and Home' performed by Jullien van Mellaerts, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... a singer with a very expressive voice, a pleasing tone, a great insight into the music he sings ...'
Profile. Landmark Collaborations - A personal reminiscence of British conductor Lawrence Leonard, by Keith Bramich
CD Spotlight. A Strong Partnership - Riviera Lazeri and David Boldrini play Martinů Cello Sonatas, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... the performances on this disc are truly very admirable.'
CD Spotlight. Strauss from the Antipodes - Giuseppe Pennisi reviews rarely-heard François Couperin orchestral transcriptions by Richard Strauss. '... good rendering by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra under Jun Märkl ...'
Ensemble. Special Moments - Adam J Sacks provides a Hong Kong snapshot on the classical music world
Classical music news. 2023 World Symposium of Choral Music - Qatar wins the bid to host this prestigious musical event expected to attract between 2,000 and 4,000 delegates
CD Spotlight. Impressive and Delightful - Geoff Pearce listens to Martin Setchell playing the Christchurch Town Hall Rieger organ in New Zealand. '... a wide range of organ music that I am sure will delight lovers of fine organ playing.'
Classical music news. STEIM 50 Years - Amsterdam's STudio for Electro-Instrumental Music celebrates its fiftieth birthday
Vital Work - Margaret Fingerhut's UK piano recital tour raising awareness of the needs of refugees, recommended by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Appealing Work - Music for euphonium, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... it's the lyrical selections that reveal Frey at his finest.'
CD Spotlight. Coherent and Interesting - Music for string quartet by Lyell Cresswell interests Geoff Pearce. 'The Red Note Ensemble, a Scottish group specialising in new music, gives taut, precise performances, played with conviction.'
Profile. Held with Love - Halida Dinova remembers Howard Smith (1939-2015)
Memorable Distinction - Halida Dinova brings her Liszt to New Zealand, by Howard Smith
Very Unassuming - Geoff Pearce remembers the New Zealand composer John Ritchie (1921-2014)
Disarming Ease - The New Zealand String Quartet impresses Howard Smith
Ensemble. Held Spellbound - Haydn's 'Die Schöpfung' in Wellington, New Zealand, heard by Howard Smith
Profile. Uniquely Proactive - Howard Smith reviews the career of Alexander Ivashkin, who died in January 2014
Radojkovic in Lower Hutt - Howard Smith describes the Serbian pianist's return to New Zealand
Ensemble. Utterly Spellbinding - Jenny McLeod's new opera 'Hohepa', reviewed by Howard Smith
Fiery Drama - 'Cavalleria Rusticana' and 'I Pagliacci' at New Zealand Opera, enjoyed by Howard Smith
Ensemble. Songs of Exiles - The Canterbury Cellos, heard by Howard Smith
CD Spotlight. Witness to Atrocities - The poetry of Anna Akhmatova, heard by Howard Smith. '... a cause for unstinting applause and praise.'
Ensemble. An Irresistible First - Handel's 'Xerxes' in Wellington, New Zealand, enjoyed by Howard Smith
CD Spotlight. A Strange Choice - Violin concertos by Vivaldi, heard by Howard Smith. '... reliable and persuasive ...'
Ensemble. Gripping Intensity - Verdi's 'Macbeth' at New Zealand Opera impresses Howard Smith
Ensemble. Hugely Satisfying - As New Zealand arts funding strikes a sour note, Howard Smith listens to the Vector Wellington Orchestra
DVD Spotlight. Forthright Tempos - The Wihan Quartet plays Beethoven, heard by Howard Smith. '... little to truly set their work apart ...'
CD Spotlight. Spellbinding Artistry - Jonathan Plowright plays Chopin, recommended by Howard Smith. '... positively hair-raising.'
Ensemble. Sovereign Quality - Aidan Lang's 'The Marriage of Figaro', recommended by Howard Smith
CD Spotlight. Robust and Spirited - James Tibbles plays J S Bach, heard by Howard Smith. '... worthy of widespread international recognition.'
Ensemble. A Standout Production - New Zealand Opera's 'Eugene Onegin' impresses Howard Smith
CD Spotlight. Utterly Absorbing - A sampler from Cedille Records, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... top quality standards.'
Ensemble. Powerful Stuff - Howard Smith was at the last Vector Wellington Orchestra programme engineered by Christine Pearce
Effectively Projected - York Minster's Robert Sharpe plays the organ at Derby Cathedral, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. True Artistry - Howard Smith attends New Zealand's Music Fair of Japan 2009
Ensemble. Dramatic and Responsive - Verdi's 'Simon Boccanegra' from Chelsea Opera Group, reviewed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Wholly Captivating - Rossini's 'Italian Girl in Algiers' impresses Howard Smith
Truly Hilarious - Jenny Setchell's book 'Organ-isms', recommended by Kelly Ferjutz
Ensemble. Thoroughly Enjoyable - An Arizona winter treat of Verdi's 'Aida', enjoyed by Maria Nockin
Record Box. Magical and Sensitive - A recording by the National Youth Choir of Great Britain inspires Patric Standford
Ensemble. Rare Provenance - Kristallnacht remembered, by Howard Smith
Ensemble. Unsentimental Realism - Howard Smith was at Janácek's 'Jenufa' in Wellington
Ensemble. Sovereign Purity - Bach, Mozart and Beethoven from the Vector Wellington Orchestra, reported by Howard Smith
Ensemble. Indelible Magic - Hansel and Gretel in New Zealand, experienced by Howard Smith
Ensemble. Inner Strength - Puccini's 'La bohème' at New Zealand Opera, reviewed by Howard Smith
Ensemble. Heartfelt Stuff - A concert by the Amici Ensemble, renjoyed by Howard Smith
Chopin in the Boondocks - Stephen De Pledge returns to New Zealand, by Howard Smith
Timings - Both Sides of the Global Fence - James Gardner, by Jennifer Paull
Record Box. Bright Performances - Music for strings by Josef Myslivecek, reviewed by Patric Standford
Musical Adaptability - Down under with the Wellington Orchestra, by Howard Smith
CD Spotlight. Life-affirming Mozart - Recordings from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra's 2006 Festival, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... bold, arresting, re-creative performances ...'
Ensemble. Flair and Fidelity - A concert by the Aroha String Quartet, enjoyed by Howard Smith
Four Strings to his Violin - Many strings to his bow ... Howard Smith reports on Marat Bisengaliev's third tour of New Zealand
Ensemble. Sensationally STILL - Alexa Still and the NGC Wellington Sinfonia, reviewed by Howard Smith
CD Spotlight. Incontrovertible logic - Gillian Weir plays Bach at St Thomas's, Leipzig, appreciated by Robert Anderson. '... skilfully explored ...'
CD Spotlight. Richly romantic - Orchestral music by Frank Bridge, praised by Patric Standford. '... a fine recording of music that has an outstanding place in English musical heritage.'
Ensemble. Mesmerising - Further thoughts on Longborough's 'Ring' and Sir Donald McIntyre as Wotan, from Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. A real triumph - McIntyre sings Wotan at Longborough Festival Opera, reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
'Messiah' as never before - Howard Smith describes Lygia O'Riordan's quest to bring Handel's masterpiece to Eastern Russia
Ensemble. Jazz Yatra - The Indian Jazz Festival, reviewed by Colin D'Cruz
Caught unawares - Howard Smith listens to Serbian pianist Sonja Radojkovic in New Zealand
CD Spotlight. A palpable reality - Gillian Weir plays Messiaen, and Robert Anderson is thrilled. '... exciting fidelity ...'
Record box. Viola Concerto restored - David Thompson considers an important addition to Bartók's recorded legacy
Music's connective tissue - The story of STROMA, by Howard Smith
To Russia with Love - A bizarre story from Moscow, told by Howard Smith
Record box. Normal accessibilities - Symphonies from New Zealand, considered by Basil Ramsey
Profile - Being truthful to the music. Chenyin Li, the young Chinese winner of the 2001 Scottish International Piano Competition, talks to Keith Bramich about experiences, East and West
CD Spotlight - Voice of an angel. 'A wonderful collection ...' Gillian Weir's Organ Master Series on Priory, with David Thompson
Site seeing - cultural enlightenment, with Keith Bramich
Site seeing - It's all online ...
Larsen's Licence - Howard Smith writes about one of the most important and celebrated composers working today
Site seeing - More musical websites from classical cyberspace
Site seeing - Islamey and friends - discoveries and re-discoveries, with Keith Bramich
Record box - Give and Take. Basil Ramsey enjoys companion organ CDs
Site seeing - The cabbage patch - more readers' suggestions, with Keith Bramich
Trump card - Howard Smith tells the story of the New Zealand String Quartet's well-kept Hungarian secret
CD Spotlight - Renaissance. 'Jennifer Paull gives sparkling performances.' The oboe d'amore revitalised - with Basil Ramsey.