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THE CLASSIC EXPERIENCE (article first published : 2001-09-20)

KZN-based concert entrepreneurs Music Revival have compiled a series of seven exceptional concerts for the quintessential Classic Experience staged as part of the Hilton Festival taking place from September 21 to 23 at Hilton College outside Pietermaritzburg.

This concert series, unprecedented in variety and quantity, offers audiences a rare opportunity to experience a feast of music in one weekend in programmes featuring popular and rarely-performed classical works. All concerts take place in the newly-renovated Hilton College Chapel, adapting from intimate performance space to concert-hall proportions.

September 21 at 20h00 - Piano Duo. Lara Jones and Phillip Maier, two of Durban's most well-known and celebrated pianists, team-up for a programme of music featuring four hands at one piano. Lara Jones is currently studying in Germany while German-born Phillip Maier presently holds the position of conductor of the Durban City Orchestra. The centrepiece of their programme is Schubert's sublime Fantasy in F minor - a work of exceptional beauty and depth.

September 22 at 12h00: Concert Harp. Welsh harpist Linor Griffith presents a rare opportunity for audiences to experience a concert of solo harp music. The origins of the harp date back to ancient times while the modern image of the instrument is often associated with luxury and heavenly tranquillity. In the skilled hands of this superb musician the modern concert harp produces a world of sound beyond expectation.

September 22 at 14h00: Trumpet and Organ. Paul van Zuilenberg (trumpet) and Kobus du Plooy (organ) present another of their celebratory programmes adding a regal note to this festival. In this combination, the fanfare of the trumpet is perfectly contrasted by the robust tones of the organ. These seasoned musicians have performed throughout South Africa and internationally and their CD Soli Deo Gloria is available commercially. Music from Baroque composers Henry Purcell, JS Bach and Georg Phillip Telemann.

September 22 at 20h00: Kerimov Trio. Russian musicians Elena Kerimova (violin) and Boris Kerimov (cello) together with Christopher Duigan (piano) - have excited audiences over the past year in KZN with their stylish and impassioned performances. Equally at home as soloists and as a “threesome”, these virtuoso musicians explore the repertoire in solo, duo and trio combinations. For this double concert (80 minutes) the programme includes Bach's Unaccompanied Cello Suite No.4, the Trio in G K.564 by Mozart, music by Rachmaninoff, Arvo Pärt and the fiery Polonaise for cello and piano by Chopin.

September 23 at 12h00: Baroque 2000. Brilliant Baroque abounds with the innovative Baroque 2000 whose popular Sunday morning concerts in Durban over the past three years have included many familiar and seldom performed works. This is an ensemble of 15 players who specialise in music of the Baroque period (1600 -1750) and in this mid-day concert they play music by Georges Mussat, Jean-Baptiste Lully and the popular Italian Antonio Vivaldi. (Tickets R40)

September 23 at 14h00: Clarinet Centre Stage with Diana Bures. Together with the Renaissance String Quartet, Diana Bures will perform one of the finest showpieces written for the instrument; the radiant and effervescent Clarinet Quintet (1815) by Carl Maria von Weber. This mood of exuberance is extended when she is joined by Todor Balkandjiev (bassoon) and Christopher Duigan (piano) to perform music by Felix Mendelssohn and CPE Bach, son of the famous JS Bach.

September 23 at 16h00: Trout Quintet by Kerimov Trio and Friends. Schubert's Trout Quintet for piano, violin, viola, cello and double bass closes the concert series on a generous and vivacious note. The title of the work stems from the opening melody of the third movement which Schubert later used in the art-song Die Forelle -The Trout, hence the title. This is only one of the memorable melodies which springs forth from this luminous work.

All booking through Hilton Festival on (033) 343-0126.

Those wishing to enjoy a picnic at the festival should contact Kari at Picnic Fanatics on (031) 701-0036 or e-mail picnicfanatics@iafrica.com to order a well-stocked picnic basket.




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