Christopher Menz

Christopher Menz

Christopher Menz is a former Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia. He has published on the design work of William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, and is a regular contributor to ABR.

Christopher Menz reviews 'The Edible Monument: The Art of Food for Festivals' edited by Marcia Reed and 'Food in Art: From Prehistory to the Renaissance' by Gillian Riley

April 2016, no. 380 30 March 2016
Christopher Menz reviews 'The Edible Monument: The Art of Food for Festivals' edited by Marcia Reed and 'Food in Art: From Prehistory to the Renaissance' by Gillian Riley
Food in history is a tantalising thing. Although we may have recipes, firsthand descriptions, and images, we can never be sure how things really looked or tasted. Much of the work of food historians has been focused on creative use of available sources, not to provide facsimile meals, but to gain insight into the cultural role of food of the past. Two recent books explore different aspects of food ... (read more)

Vingts Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus (Melbourne Recital Centre) and Sir Andrew Davis Conducts Mahler 5 (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra)

ABR Arts 21 March 2016
Vingts Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus (Melbourne Recital Centre) and Sir Andrew Davis Conducts Mahler 5 (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra)
Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus (Twenty Contemplations on the Christ Child) was written in 1944 by Olivier Messiaen (1908–92) for his muse, subsequent wife, and dedicatee of the cycle, the pianist Yvonne Loriod. The cycle consists of twenty works of varying length for solo piano, each illustrating different mysteries of the Christ child. A complete performance takes about two hours. Vingt Rega ... (read more)

The Greats (Art Gallery of New South Wales)

ABR Arts 21 December 2015
The Greats (Art Gallery of New South Wales)
In an age of blockbusters and ever bigger and grander exhibitions, The Greats: Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland puts a compelling case for 'less is more'. This model exhibition demonstrates how satisfying a relatively small exhibition can be when the right works are chosen and installed handsomely. The Greats – comprising forty-one paintings and fewer drawings – feels much ... (read more)

Maxim Vengerov (Musica Viva)

ABR Arts 09 December 2015
Maxim Vengerov (Musica Viva)
In a program spanning two hundred years of violin playing – from Bach to Ravel via Beethoven, Ernst, Paganini, and Ysaÿe, with encores by Brahms and Massenet – Maxim Vengerov enthralled his Melbourne audience with incomparable musicianship and an often dazzling technique. Demonstrating his command of the repertoire with an engaging program, he played with stylistic appropriateness that showed ... (read more)

Tom Roberts (National Gallery of Australia)

ABR Arts 08 December 2015
Tom Roberts (National Gallery of Australia)
The National Gallery of Australia's summer exhibition, opened by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on 2 December, is devoted to one of Australia's finest and most popular artists, Tom Roberts. This major retrospective, under the curatorship of the NGA's Anne Gray, brings together all the major paintings, many of them extracted from the permanent displays of our state and regional art galleries, as w ... (read more)

Thus Spake Zarathustra (Sydney Symphony Orchestra)

ABR Arts 01 December 2015
Thus Spake Zarathustra (Sydney Symphony Orchestra)
As if to make the point that Richard Wagner's shadow looms over all the classical music that followed him, this Sydney Symphony Orchestra concert entitled Thus Spake Zarathustra began and ended with him. Preludes to Acts I and III of Lohengrin bookended more substantial offerings by Joseph Jongen – Symphonie concertante for organ and orchestra – and Richard Strauss, the latter with his famous ... (read more)

Tchaikovsky and Grieg (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra)

ABR Arts 16 November 2015
After his Adelaide concert, Grosvenor concluded his Australian tour with a stellar performance of the Grieg piano concerto with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Asher Fisch, first in Geelong then in Melbourne. The concerto was flanked by Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture and his Fourth Symphony. Even such an exuberant program, with the full forces of the orchestra ... (read more)

Christopher Menz reviews 'Philanthropy and the Arts' by Jennifer Radbourne and Kenneth Watkins

November 2015, no. 376 30 October 2015
Christopher Menz reviews 'Philanthropy and the Arts' by Jennifer Radbourne and Kenneth Watkins
The Australian Ballet's role as a leader in philanthropy and fundraising has long been recognised in the arts community. Anyone who has followed the company will be aware of the sophistication of its fundraising activities and its phenomenal success. Much of this has been directed by Kenneth Watkins, who since 1993 has worked in various fundraising roles at The Australian Ballet. Philanthropy and ... (read more)

Christopher Menz reviews 'The Essence of French Cooking' by Michel Roux and 'The Best of Gretta Anna with Martin Teplitzky' by Gretta Anna Teplitzky and Martin Teplitzky

November 2015, no. 376 29 October 2015
Christopher Menz reviews 'The Essence of French Cooking' by Michel Roux and 'The Best of Gretta Anna with Martin Teplitzky' by Gretta Anna Teplitzky and Martin Teplitzky
Why is it that some recipe books fill you with enthusiasm to fire up the stove the instant you open them while others remain on the shelf, consulted rather than cooked from? Is it the text, the photographs, the design, or because they come from the pen of a trusted cook? In the case of The Essence of French Cooking and The Best of Gretta Anna with Martin Teplitzky, it is a combination of all these ... (read more)

Simone Young and Brahms (ANAM/MRC)

ABR Arts 21 September 2015
Simone Young’s return to Melbourne saw her presenting a mostly Romantic program with soprano Emma Matthews and the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) Orchestra. The first half, heralded by Paul Stanhope’s Fantasia on a Theme of Vaughan Williams (2003), was devoted to Duparc songs and an orchestral nocturne. After interval, the slightly reduced orchestra performed Brahms’s Second Sym ... (read more)