2 Nov 2019

Why RNZ Concert listeners love NZ classical music - STS 2019

From Sound Lounge, 9:30 pm on 2 November 2019

Plenty of works by New Zealand composers counted among RNZ Concert listeners' favourite classical works during this year's Settling the Score, selected by classical music lovers across the country in our annual listener poll.

Here are six of the most-voted-for NZ works and why people love them.

LILBURN: Aotearoa Overture

Year after year Douglas Lilburn’s Aotearoa Overture is the most popular NZ work in Settling the Score. And this year was no exception. Composed almost 80 years ago, the music reflects something of our iconic landscape and national identity.

Listener Andrew says, “Douglas Lilburn makes me feel like I am in New Zealand.”


JANET JENNINGS: A Bird, a Fruit, and a Beast

Anne, who voted for this vocal piece, has fond memories of hearing Janet’s music performed at Hamilton Garden Arts Festival and simply says, "Janet Jennings is a great composer."


GARETH FARR: From the Depths Sound the Great Sea Gongs

Gareth Farr’s music is always a popular Settling the Score choice.

Barbara says, “I love music with lots of percussion. 'Sea Gongs' has glorious descriptive music and wonderful percussion.”

Gareth Farr

Gareth Farr Photo: supplied


DAVID HAMILTON: Elysian Fields

“David Hamilton’s music relates beautifully to our New Zealand identity.” – Ian

"Hamilton is an excellent composer..." - Rachel


DAVID FARQUHAR: Ring Round the Moon

"...music that lifts me up." - Margaret

"I love listening to Settling the Score because I hear much of the music I really enjoy. It was on this programme that I first heard 'Ring Around the Moon'." - Anne



"Fisher's Rainphase perfectly captures a rainy Wellington day which I’ve personally experienced many times. I swear this excellent and transporting composition of Salina Fisher’s was infused with the smell of rain-soaked asphalt and concrete." - Kay

Another listener says, "Fisher's 'Rainphase' is quite an inviting and texturally colourful piece, and it is very neat to see her (as well as many other young NZ composers) begin to communicate their ideas and make a mark for themselves."