The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Photo credit: Patryeja Szwarezynska.

This review will cover a concert review written by John Button on a concert by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jaime Martin on the 20 November 2015. The NZSO played Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending, William Walton’s 3rd Cello Concerto and Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.

The opening line of the review points to Martin and his musicality, who was chief Flautist for the London Symphony before coming into conducting (Catherall, 2016).

Button seems to be a reviewer who has done a fair few reviews for The Dominion Post on the stuff.co.nz website such as this review of Orchestra Wellington in 2016 (Button, 2016) and this review of Orchestra Wellington again performing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Button, 2016), which leads to the impression that he is on top of the classical music scene in New Zealand. Although there was not much to find in the review about Button’s career or any link to a biography or information page about him.

The overall tone of the review seemed to me a bit reserved. Especially in the light of such a dazzling piece of music such as The Rite. This interview on the same website a day before the concert sheds some light on Martin himself and his thoughts before the concert the next day (Catherall, 2016).

The review in my opinion is rather impartial, Button describes flourishes and other elements of the performance that were notable, such as a reference to the pianissimo’s in the string section, but beyond that it’s just a description. The review leans towards the fact that the concert was enjoyable, without too much enthusiasm.

The elements I got out of this review would be the fact that I need to listen to the other two pieces that were performed alongside The Rite, as I am not too familiar with the Williams and the Walton. Button mentions that the Third cello concerto is the least interesting of Walton’s cello concertos. I would be eager to find out why that would be the case?

All in all, this review did well to capture the essence of the concert.


Button, John. “Concert Review: NZSO, Rite of Spring.” Stuff, November 23, 2015. Accessed March 2, 2017. http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/culture/74289719/concert-review-nzso-rite-of-spring.

Button, John. “Concert Review: Odes to Joy, Orchestra Wellington.” Stuff, June 12, 2016. Accessed March 2, 2017. http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/culture/80928357/concert-review-odes-to-joy-orchestra-wellington.

Catherall, Sarah. “NZSO guest conductor Jaime Martin on rites and rituals.” Stuff, November 19, 2015. Accessed March 2, 2017. http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/music/74121292/nzso-guest-conductor-jaime-martin-on-rites-and-rituals.