30 May 2024

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Bach Musica NZ - Gig Review: Bach Musica NZ @ Auckland Town Hall - 14/04/2024

15 Apr 2024 // A review by Lou Clement
The historic setting of Auckland Town Hall, with its long and celebrated history of live music, was the ideal location for Bach Musica NZ. This was the first of a program of performances taking place throughout the year and bringing to the stage some favourite classical music pieces. Three hundred years after it was composed, Bach’s appeal is broad and devoted.

His musical brilliance retains its emotional appeal and for me, it evokes sheer joy. I can remove the religious connotations from its intention, and I'm left with powerful, moving and transcendent music. I arrived in a bustling and frenetic scene as patrons busied themselves for the 5’o’clock show. I was sat a few feet away from the stage. I could almost feel the breeze from the instruments. There was nothing like coming face to face with an orchestra and the unfolding layers of the sound of the choir.

All clad in black Bach Musica NZ’s, violins, cellos and double bass players were close to the front of the stage. The orchestra sat poised while a few latecomers took their places. The lights stayed up. There was a moment of complete silence before the emergence and a round of applause for the dynamic entrance of the conductor, Rita Paczian. Vibrantly dressed in a silver sparkling jacket, there was a little magic to her enthusiastic performance. The opening notes to Brandenburg Concerto No 3 began. It brought the audience together into a concentration and composure demanded by the pace and thrill of this fabulous work. We can watch films at home, we can listen to music on speakers, but this sort of music's complexities, elegance and effect are a million times intensified live, in a venue built for music.

Bach Musica NZ perform a variety of music, spanning the Baroque to contemporary classical music. They have an international repertoire. Tonight, it was all about Baroque – Bach is the classic of the classical, but if you think you’ve heard it before and not seen it live, then there’s every chance you are missing out on the genius of the music. Throughout the night characterful solo parts for singers and instrumentalists combined with blazing ensemble climaxes and caused raucous sustained applause. We all just really enjoyed it. Catch Bach Musica with the next instalment, Dvorak, and the idyll-evoking Vaughan Williams’, The Lark Ascending. As the dark evenings of Winter arrive this is sure to offer an opportunity for energy-lifting entertainment.

Photo Credit: Joe Photography
Bach Musica NZ Gallery


About Bach Musica NZ

Bach Musica NZ is one of New Zealand’s most highly acclaimed musical organisations. Their goal is to touch lives through music, and to keep classical music relevant, exciting and accessible for everyone. They are made up of a professional orchestra and a semi-professional choir performing at the highest level, led by internationally acclaimed conductor Rita Paczian. They perform four concerts annually in the Auckland Town Hall, each of which encompasses a thoughtfully curated mix of orchestral and choral works to ensure that there is something for everyone. Additionally, their engaging and popular musical education workshops on sight-reading, singing and conducting are open to all ages and levels.

Bach Musica NZ is an established and vital part of New Zealand's social and cultural fabric. Their Vision, “music that touches the soul”, is at the core of their work and informs all that they do. Music, and access to music, can be powerful and life changing – it provides opportunities and inspiration for emerging and established performers, brings people together, and creates a strong sense of community pride to be part of something beautiful. Their performances illustrate the cultural vibrancy of New Zealand, showcasing music from New Zealand and all over the world, presenting world premieres and well-loved favourites, contemporary and past works, complex arrangements and simple melodies. Bach Musica NZ musicians come from a range of backgrounds, reflecting the diversity and strength of New Zealand society, and how music can bring together people from many different heritages in the creation of something powerful and new.

In touching the souls of many, Bach Musica NZ hopes to shape a better future through the universal language of music.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Bach Musica NZ


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