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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

KZNPO CONCERT: MAY 20 (article first published : 2004-05-22)

The Brahms Double Concerto for Violin and Cello is something of a rarity in the concert hall. It is even more of a rarity when played by soloists who are husband and wife and, moreover, who are members of the orchestra playing with them in the concerto.

These were the piquant circumstances of this concert given by the KZN Philharmonic last night (May 20), and the performance matched the occasion. Boris Kerimov (cello) and Elena Kerimova (violin) are well known to Durban City Hall audiences, being both highly visible (and audible) front row players in the orchestra.

The Brahms Double Concerto, written in 1887 when the composer was 54 years old, poses unusual challenges for the soloists. The technical difficulties are formidable but it is not a virtuoso work in the sense of a display of brilliance. And the soloists, playing two widely spaced instruments, need a truly sympathetic conductor to achieve a sound balance between them and the orchestra.

The visiting American conductor Leslie B. Dunner provided just that, and the result was a splendid performance that reached its highest point in the lyrical slow movement, the heart of this concerto. The players were rewarded with prolonged applause and almost too many bouquets - literally - for them to carry off the stage.

The concert opened with a rousing account of Wagner’s Prelude to Die Meistersinger - but the brass players were too loud at times --- and ended with Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 3 in A major, written in 1936 and not often played, even today. - Michael Green

Click on the KZNPO advert which appears on artSMart pages and this will take you to the orchestra’s website which gives details of the full symphony season as well as other KZNPO activities.




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