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17 February 2011
The official launch of the Love's Nature CD (see blurb below for details) is in Christchurch this Sunday! Come and help us celebrate this release with a short concert (and a complimentary glass of wine) on Sunday 20 February 2011, 2pm, St Stephen's Church, Ilam Rd, Christchurch.
For more information, visit: www.harp.co.nz
14 December 2010
Behold the cover (artwork and design by Andrew Caldwell) of my latest CD, recorded with Helen Webby in the Chapel of St John of God, Halswell, Christchurch on 10th September 2006 and 31st August 2008. I've recently been to Christchurch to perform as a guest artist in Helen Webby's harp students' concert, in which Helen and I played/sang a couple of works from the disc.
So, thusly 'pre-released', the CD is now available through the following music stores nationwide: Parsons, Marbecks and Radar.
OR, you can download the CD order form here, to purchase the CD at the special price of $25.00 directly from the singer.
Featuring a variety of beautifully-written works for voice and harp (on themes of love, life, birth, death, marriage, Nature, relationships and human relationship to Nature) by Lambert, Ravel, Caplet, Faur�, Cannon, Schumann, Britten and NZ composers Helen Bowater and Gareth Farr, this CD could make an attractive Yuletide gift alongside (or as an alternative to) the usual Christmas music fare...
Keep an eye out for more information on our promotional concert to officially launch the CD in Christchurch in the New Year!
13 April 2009
Three pieces of news to report of late:
Firstly, my chamber choir composition Hoquetus Sanctus, composed for Baroque Voices with funding from Creative NZ in 2008, has been selected (along with one other NZ work, also composed for BV, by Carol Shortis) to be performed at the ISCM World Music Days contemporary music festival in Sweden in September 2009! This is a great honour for me, and also a great opportunity for Carol and myself to promote our music and NZ music in general, as we will both be attending the festival. As it happens, the dates for this festival coincide with my son's Wellington High School trip to Italy, so I will take the opportunity to visit some famous Early Music venues there and in surrounding European countries, attending as many other concerts as I can whilst in Europe.
Secondly, Creative NZ has again funded a commissioned work which I have written for Baroque Voices, O ignis spiritus, to be performed by BV in our Alleluia: a new� work! concerts in May this year.
Thirdly, there's a new Renaissance group in town, Chanterelle, consisting of myself as soprano, lutenists Don King and Stephen Pickett, with viol player Robert Oliver. We have had our first airing at the Elizabethan Dance Party, "The Queen's Revels" last month, and will be performing our first official concert, entitled The Food of Love at St Andrew's on the Terrace on 22 April 2009. Watch this space for more news about this exciting new group: it is a rare treat in NZ to hear not only one, but two, lutes - and, combined with the viol and voice, it is a beautiful sound not to be missed!
12 February 2007
I spent the month of January (28th Dec 2006 until 25th Jan 2007) overseas, in the UK and Europe. During that time I performed twice: at a solemn mass service at Westminster Cathedral on 31st December; and in a Realm of Music Baroque concert (called "Bach at the Manor") at Rothamsted Manor house in Harpenden, north of London, on 24th January.
In between, I had a singing lesson with Emma Kirkby; visited my old singing teacher Jessica Cash; visited musician friends in London, Oxford, Ilkley, Den Haag and K�ln; travelled also to Scotland and France; attended concerts in Europe; visited various ancient buildings, including Cathedrales de N�tre Dame in Paris and Reims, and le Ch�teau de Versailles; and made several new musical acquaintances with whom there may be opportunities to collaborate in the future.
The trip was thoroughly worthwhile, both professionally and personally, and I have returned to New Zealand refreshed and full of new ideas for future performance projects, involving Early Music and/or Contemporary Music, both here and abroad.
Pepe Becker at Bolton Abbey Priory, Yorkshire, 9 January 2007
25 November 2006
On 18th November, David Morriss and I launched our Baroque duet CD "Rustic Revelry" at a private function at the Adam Concert Room at the NZ School of Music. The music for the CD (JS Bach Peasant Cantata BWV 212 and duets by Henry Purcell) was recorded live in concert on 16th February this year, with subsequent recording the day after, in Wellington's Sacred Heart Cathedral. Joining us, on Baroque period instruments, were some of New Zealand's finest exponents of early music: harpsichordist Douglas Mews, 'cellist Euan Murdoch and The Baroque Players led by violinist Peter Walls.
Ours is the first performance and recording in New Zealand using period instruments of Bach's Peasant Cantata (in its original German setting) and the Purcell duets are also rarely heard anywhere in the world.
"Rustic Revelry" has been released on the Atoll label, and is available through Baroque Voices at the discount price of $25.00, or at a CD shop near you for $34.90. Please contact Pepe Becker for more information and/or to order your own copy of this unique recording.
David Morriss and Pepe Becker at the Rustic Revelry CD launch, 18 November 2006
1 Sept 2006
June, July and August have been rather busy performance months: I sang (solo and/or choral work) in concerts with The Tudor Consort, Baroque Voices, Cantoris, Tower Voices NZ and Musica Sacra (Auckland); and September looks equally busy, with more Tower Voices NZ work (in Christchurch), a recording of part of the �Births, Deaths & Marriages� programme with harpist Helen Webby, the first of the 2006 Musica Sacra concert series concerts (directed by Robert Oliver, with BV) and a solo slot (singing Britten) with Wellington�s Nota Bene choir.
In October, BV sings in the second 2006 MSCS concert; in November the �Rustic Revelry� CD will be launched and I have a recital (with Douglas Mews, fortepiano) of songs by Mozart & contemporaries; in December I perform in Handel�s �Messiah� in Palmerston North and BV and TTC join forces (with ASM) again for the final MSCS concert for this year.
From late December 2006 until late January 2007 I will be in the UK / Europe on a �professional development� trip, attending concerts, visiting colleagues and friends and seeking potential performance opportunities for myself and Baroque Voices.
Andrea Cochrane, Lisette Wesseling, Pepe Becker, Indra Hughes & Iain Tetley, 26 August 2006, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland
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photo � Justine Lord, Wellington
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last updated: 20 July, 2011