7 May 2013
The All Music Guide has called New Zealand born jazz musician Alan Broadbent:
An unsung hero of acoustic piano.
Broadbent has played with, and composed and arranged music for, some the greats of the jazz world – Woody Herman, Chet Baker, Natalie Cole and Scott Hamilton among them.
He has visited New Zealand a number of times and on one occasion I was privileged enough to hear him at the Christchurch Town Hall. Judging by this one performance I could only call him a virtuoso. The complexity and grace of his improvisations left me quite stunned. He does indeed deserve to be much better known.
Fortunately the library can provide you with a chance to get to know our hero’s work through both CDs and via our streamed music resource Music Online. On The Jazz Music Library (part of Music Online) his albums cover genres from Bop to Smooth Jazz, Fusion and Contemporary, while our CDs are mostly of his own trio or collaborations with artists like Mel Torme and Michael Feinstein.
Try Ballad Impromptu composed by Alan Broadbent and played by The Alan Broadbent Trio from the Album Personal Standards
5 October 2012
There were some crazy people out there that said the e-book would be the death knell of libraries – what they didn’t realise was that e-books would simply be another service we offer our customers. The best thing about our e-book and audiobook service OverDrive is that it is free and accessible off an easy to use platform. If you get stuck, there are screens of help. The quality content covers all fiction and non fiction areas. Like so much else in libraries, we are trying desperately to make you happy and give you what you want.
We started in October 2009 with a collection of only 360 downloadable audiobooks. In August of 2012 this year we have over 1,700 audiobooks and 2,730 e-books. You will be pleased to know we continue to add to this collection at around 100 titles per month to try and match growing demand.
If you haven’t used this service yet do have a look. There is something for everyone from picture books for the squealies to a bit of romance for the lovelorn to adventure for the armchair traveller!
Access to OverDrive is through the library website and at the Source but it can only be used at home with your library card number and PIN. Explore and enjoy!
27 September 2012
Despite my advanced age I can still remember my habits as a student. I believed steadfastly in pressure. Leave it to the last moment and I will achieve more in a few hours than I would if I had a couple of days up my sleeve! In my day we did not have electronic resources to look up at 2am in the morning so today’s students should count themselves lucky. In my day we only had the books we checked out, coffee and our prayers to any deity who would have us.
Christchurch City Libraries is here to help save you from yourselves with Student Research Center which allows you to simultaneously search all of EBSCO’s student databases. Every known subject is covered … and then some, at any time of the day or night!
We offer many resources for students aside from this glorious resource such as Student Resources in Context and Oxford Reference. Unlike Google or Wikipedia your teachers are not going to have a tantrum when you cite these resources either. Have a look at all things electronic at the Source or alternatively have a look at the Pulse where we gather all things of interest to those of you who still have sound minds. Now where are my teeth …
21 May 2012
The latest person to conduct the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is the Finnish conductor Pietari Inkinen. Inkinen has moulded the orchestra into world class performers. He has also introduced Finnish repertoire such as Rautavaara, and last year the orchestra recorded a critically acclaimed set of all of the Sibelius Symphonies for Naxos.
The Guardian has praised Pietari Inkinen as ‘a conductor of bold, sure-footed intelligence’ and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra as ‘a fine, responsive unit’.
This third volume in Naxos’s series presents the dramatic and highly popular Symphony No. 2, which emerges from the northern mists, cultivating a pastoral atmosphere along the way, to reach a grandiose, heroic finale. One of Sibelius’s best loved compositions, the Karelia Suite presents a series of musical tableaux based on stirring episodes from Finnish history.
20 April 2012
View the whole Illustrated London News, April 20, 1912; Issue 3809 (‘Titanic’ Disaster (Special Number). As well as breaking news and related photographs of the Titanic, the issue also provides a fascinating insight into the worldview of a certain Great Britain in 1912. Including advertisements.
14 March 2012
The Christchurch Symphony Orchestra is launching the Lamb & Hayward Masterworks Series on 17 March 2012 with a concert called Homecoming. It is a homecoming for two musical New Zealanders – violinist Martin Riseley and conductor Tecwyn Evans – both back from successful careers overseas.
Violinist Martin Riseley is a Canterbury graduate who studied at the Julliard and has a successful career performing with chamber groups, appearing with orchestras around the world and teaching. He is now Head of Strings at The New Zealand School of Music. Tecwyn Evans hales from Otago and initially specialised in composition. He began conducting in 1997 then moved on to became Chorus Master at Glyndebourne Festival Opera and then his current position of Concertmaster and Deputy Chief Conductor of Grazer Opera, Austria.
They are presenting a programme featuring Ritchie, Prokofiev and Brahms.
The season brochure tell us that the work by Ritchie was composed in 2009 at the request of Tecwyn Evans, so this is rather a unique chance to hear a piece written for the person who is conducting it.
The concerto is Prokofiev’s lovely second violin concerto which he wrote whilst living in the West, but not long before he returned to Russia (initially to acclaim, but later to endure the stranglehold of Stalinism). It’s considered one of his more conventional works and has a romantic pastoral feeling, featuring Russian folk and Spanish influences. Its early champions included Jascha Heifetz who recorded it twice and Berman. Later David Oistrakh and Perlman are also known for their interpretations.You can test out all these versions, and many others on Naxos before going to the concert.
Brahms’ Symphony is one of his best loved works. He wrote his four great symphonies later in life when he was at the height of his powers and the third symphony is the most optimistic of them. Rich, melodic and lyrical, it reflects his interest in both Beethoven and Schumann. Hans Richter, who conducted the premiere of the symphony, proclaimed it to be Brahms’ Eroica. Listen to performances by well known interpreters such as Bruno Walter, Klemperer, Weingartner and Rattle on Naxos and get the feel of them before the concert.
29 February 2012
Posted by berniceccl under Electronic Resources
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Gareth Farr was born on this day in 1968. Back in the 70s we would have called him cool. The New Zealand composer who is a world class drummer and used to have a drag act. He already stands out from the crowd before you hear his music.
I’m no judge of drag acts, but I was once privileged to hear his Lilith LaCroix drum drag act and I can tell you that the drumming was fantastic – a once in a lifetime experience. As for his music, it is always compelling. His work is heavily influenced by his interest in percussion, especially of the Indonesian Gamelan, but also other Pacific and Maori drumming traditions, making him a New Zealand and Pacific composer.
Educated here and at New York’s Eastman School of Music, he launched his career with a number of works played at the 1996 New Zealand International Festival of the Arts. Since then he has been commissioned to create music for many high profile occasions including the 50th anniversary of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the opening of the Museum of New Zealand and the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney (a concerto for percussionist Evelyn Glennie ).
One of his most popular works is Kembang Suling, although the dramatic Te Papa has wider appeal. Try this version if you’re looking for something new and exciting. You might also recognise his theme to the TV programme Duggan.
He has also created some haunting works with Richard Nunn on Taonga Puoro, such as this farewell He Poroporoaki
Most recently at the NZSO Odes to Joy concert in 2011 he debuted Kaitiaki, a stunning new work which reflected the spirit of Beethoven’s Ninth. It was commissioned by the NZSO, with words by Witi Ihimaera and sung by an all New Zealand cast of Simon O’Neill, Jonathan Lemalu, Madeleine Pierard and Sarah Castle.
Explore more of Gareth Farr’s music on Naxos which contains many of his recordings from throughout his career.
27 February 2012
New Zealand Business Who’s Who specialises in providing information about New Zealand industries and corporations. It contains over 100,000 key business contacts from over 17,000 key businesses. Information on these businesses include:
- Full contact details;
- Staff numbers;
- Names of company executives and corporate advisors;
- Company products, services and brands;
- Company websites;
- Regular updates.
Who wouldn’t want a way to conduct business online? You can sit outside in the sun with a glass of wine and a bar of chocolate and let your fingers network. Access this resource at the Source from home with your library card number and PIN, or at our community libraries.
PS: This is a lovely photo from our heritage image collection displaying a business from days gone by. Uncle Tom’s Cabin & Tearooms, North New Brighton, Christchurch : pictured on the step are two of the five proprietor/postmaster’s family who ran the store around 1911.
17 February 2012
Bruno Walter died on this day in 1962.
The life of this great conductor Bruno Walter centred around music from a young age. His musical mother taught him piano and by age nine he was ready to attend the Stern Conservatory of Music in Berlin. At thirteen his piano playing was such that he was ready to launch a career as a pianist, but attendance at a concert conducted by Hans von Bülow changed his mind. He decided to be a conductor instead.
It wasn’t long before he found himself at the Hamburg Opera assisting Gustav Mahler, considered at the time as one of Europe’s leading interpreters of opera. After moving on to Breslau, Riga and Berlin, he rejoined Mahler in 1901 as assistant conductor of the Vienna Imperial Opera. They worked closely together for the next 6 years. Consequently he became a leading interpreter of Mahler’s work (whose 7th Symphony is to be played in Christchurch later this year by the NZSO).
His successful career continued until 1933 when Liepzig’s anti-Semitic municipal authorities forbade him to conduct and the Nazis declared him “politically suspicious”. He then moved to Austria where he became principal conductor and artistic adviser of the Vienna State Opera until the annexation, at which point he emigrated to America. The Americans welcomed him with open arms and he lead a distinguished career there.
He recorded extensively right from the 1930s until the days of stereo, so many recordings are still available and you can listen to his characteristically mellow and lyrical style – something more typical of pre-war Vienna than todays more standardised international style. A comparison of his interpretation of the Bartered Bride by Smetana with a more modern one makes the brilliant tone our modern version sound almost shockingly clinical.
Naxos and Music Online contain many of his recordings from throughout his career.