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FRENCH MUSIC IN MIDLANDS (article first published : 2003-04-9)

KZN’s ever-enterprising Music Revival presents a bumper Easter Weekend of music at the historic Church of the Ascension in Hilton in the Midlands. The programme will feature French composers and those who lived or studied in France, particularly Paris.

Two programmes will be presented each day on April 20 and on April 21 at the Church of the Ascension in Hilton. Admission is R40 for each of the four concerts which each last about 70 minutes. Refreshments will be on sale. A portion of the funds go the Church Organ Fund.

April 20 (Sunday) at 11h00: ANGELUS! Christopher Duigan plays a classical programme that features Mozart’s Sonata in A minor, composed in Paris in 1778 shortly after his mother’s sudden death, and Angelus! a Prayer to the Angels from Liszt’s Years of Pilgrimage Vol III. A selection of atmospheric “night pieces”by Poulenc, Chopin, Debussy and Olivier Messiaen complete the programme.

April 20 (Sunday) at 15h00: Tea With Debussy. Music by Debussy and other composers for two duos - harp and oboe and four-hands at one piano - make up this programme for a Sunday afternoon. First presented at the Hilton Festival 2002, this selection includes transcriptions for harp and oboe of Debussy's Arabesque, Bach-Gounod’s Ave Maria and a harp solo titled La Source. The piano duet music is from Ravel’s Mother Goose, Debussy’s Petite Suite and suites by Faure and Bizet. Maggie Deppe and Linor Griffith play oboe and harp and Claire Wright and Christopher Duigan are the pianists.

April 21 (Monday) at 11h00: Kerimov Trio. The popular Kerimov Trio (violin, cello and piano) play the KZN premier of Debussy’s Piano Trio. Composed in 1890, the Trio was withheld and presumed lost until its publication in 1980. This is certainly the first performance in KZN and possibly the first in South Africa. The programme also includes the wondrous Meditation from Thaïs by Massenet, music for cello and piano by Fauré and Fratres for cello and piano by contemporary Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, whose music has marked religious and contemplative qualities.

April 21 (Monday) at 15h00: Saxophone & Organ. The saxophone, patented by Adolph Sax in 1846 in Paris, is featured in a improvisatory jazz session with Jeff Robinson and Melvin Peters. Both lecturers at the UND School of Jazz in Durban they are amongst South Africa's foremost jazz exponents. For this special event, the spacious acoustics of the church are exploited to the full with the melancholy sounds of the sax mingling with an unusual partner - the pipe organ. Jeff Robinson plays alto and tenor sax plus flute and Melvin Peters plays organ and piano in a programme that also includes selected classical items by Debussy and Bozza.

The Church of the Ascension is situated in Church Lane, off Hilton Ave, near the Quarry Centre. Parking in Brindy Rd, off Hilton Avenue.

Bookings through chris@musicrevival.co.za or phone 033 342-3051.




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