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KZNPO REVIEW (article first published : 2006-03-9)

Michael Green’s very favourable review of the Gliére horn concerto with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra was puzzling. As someone who grew up with the incomparable Dennis Brain, Barry Tuckwell and Jim Brown (RPO Principal), I was embarrassed by the poor intonation, phrasing and lack of vitality of the soloist in the Gliére.

But what an immense pleasure to record an event, which I expected to be a minor one: a KZNPO celebration of Mozart’s birth 250 years ago on January 27, 1756.

Held at St Thomas’s church in Musgrave Road, it was the most exciting music-making I have encountered in nine years in South Africa. Geyser Kayser surpassed his own high standards to deliver a performance of outstanding quality: subtle, idiomatic, and impeccably pitched. Even the “Turkish” episode in the final movement (which the writer normally finds aggressive and crude) sounded musical and acceptable. Batonless, conductor Lyk Temmingh deserves much credit for a great experience.

The closing piece was Mozart’s 36th Symphony, which was given an appropriate performance. As Tovey said: “Mozart in his Halleluiah Period”. This performance reflected that, beautifully.

Kevin Holland, kevron@netactive.co.za




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