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KZNPO CONCERT Ė OCTOBER 16 (article first published : 2003-10-17)

Every year David Tidboald, conductor laureate of the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra, searches the country for youthful musical talent to be displayed in the National Youth Concerto Festival. The entire process takes about six months, but the results are well worth the effort, as was shown in the Durban City Hall last night when the pick of the bunch provided a varied and mainly virtuoso programme.

Nine soloists ranging in age from 13 to the early twenties showed a remarkably high standard of execution and interpretation. This is not a competition, and it would be invidious to single out any one performer. Suffice it to say that in a programme of difficult and taxing works the level was consistently high and in only one case did it seem that the performer might have bitten off more than could comfortably be chewed.

Marina Solomon (harp) and Merryl Neille (flute) gave a movement from Mozartís concerto for these two instruments, with David Tidboald conducting the orchestra, as he did throughout the concert. The music is a delight --- Mozart scored the orchestra very lightly, to give the two slender-bodied solo instruments space and air --- and the performance was also delightful.

Thirteen-year-old Megan-Geoffrey Prins made light of the difficulties of two movements from Mendelssohnís Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor. Fifteen-year-old Avigail Bushakovitz, who was born in Jerusalem and now lives in George, faced an even more daunting physical and emotional challenge in the first movement of Sibeliusís Violin Concerto, and acquitted herself very well, to prolonged applause from the audience.

Michael Magner, trumpet, gave a confident account of a work in the modern idiom, Andre Jolivetís Concertino, with an expert contribution from Andrew Warburton at the piano. An interesting composition, all spiky dissonances and catchy rhythms.

I was much impressed by Bongikosi Cinganiís accurate and full-bodied baritone voice in an aria from Verdiís Macbeth and in the well-known La ci darem la mano from Mozartís Don Giovanni, in which he teamed up with soprano Lauren Dasappa.

Two more pianists, Jose Dias and Pieter-Prins Botes, both from Stellenbosch, tackled big virtuoso works with assurance and skill, Rachmaninovís Piano Concerto No. 4 (first movement) and Lisztís Piano Concerto No l.

I am not crazy about pot-pourri programmes of this type, but this was a most enjoyable evening. This thought occurred to me. It is a long time since we heard these Mozart, Mendelssohn and Liszt concertos, and the trumpet piece by Jolivet is unknown here. Why not put them on the programme for the next symphony season? - Michael Green

Click on the KZNPO advert which appears on artSMart pages and this will take you to the orchestraís website which gives details of the full symphony season as well as other KZNPO activities. If the advert isnít at the top of this page, select other pages until it appears.




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