A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

music
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

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

KZNPO CONCERT: OCTOBER 5 (article first published : 2006-10-7)

The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra is nothing if not versatile. A week before this concert, an ultra-modern electronic composition on the programme caused puzzlement and even resentment among the audience. This time, in extreme contrast, the orchestra presented that well-known raconteur Evita Bezuidenhout, otherwise known as Pieter-Dirk Uys.

He/she was the narrator in a sparkling performance of Saint-Saensís well-loved Carnival of the Animals. The composer did not include a spoken commentary; that was supplied many years later by the American humorist Ogden Nash. Now Evita Bezuidenhout, appearing on stage in a remarkable pink full-length gown, has supplied a completely up-to-date South African narrative, complete with references to our Minister of Health, Dr Beetroot (this brought the house down).

It was all great fun, though Iím not sure that any commentary could be as witty as Saint-Saensís music: the elephant depicted by a solo double bass; fossils by the xylophone; references to Offenbach and Rossini; and the swan portrayed in a really beautiful cello melody, beautifully played by Boris Kerimov.

The visiting conductor Victor Yampolsky (born and educated in Russia but living in the United States for the past 30 years) presided over all this with great skill and good humour. All concerned were rewarded with a prolonged ovation from a delighted audience.

It was a night for novelty, with three grand pianos on the Durban City hall stage for a performance of Mozartís Concerto for Three Pianos, K.242, the pianists being Andrew Warburton, Gerhard Geist and Liezl-Maret Jacobs. This concerto was written for one of Mozartís noble acquaintances, the Countess Lodron, and her two daughters. It is lively, attractive and quite lightweight, except for the first movement cadenza (brilliant interplay here between the three pianists) and the eloquent and lyrical slow movement.

The performance had an uneasy beginning when a wayward breeze from an air conditioner started blowing over a page of the score of one of the pianists, Liezl-Maret Jacobs. She battled for a minute or two, trying to hold down the page and play at the same time. Then a member of the audience, presumably a friend or colleague, quietly came on stage and knelt at the side of the player, holding down the page. She stayed on her knees for 25 minutes, like some dutiful penitent, and she must have been aching afterwards. She deserves a word of commendation.

From a purely musical point of view the high point of the concert was undoubtedly Mozartís Posthorn Serenade in D major, K.320, so called because one of its seven movements includes a part for the posthorn, a simple instrument that once announced the arrival of the postal coach (not so simple to play in Mozartís score, and the job was done expertly by the orchestraís principal trumpeter Michel Schneuwly).

This Serenade is a splendid work, written by Mozart when he was 23 years old for the benefit of graduating students at Salzburg. Conducting with obvious dedication and love for the music, Victor Yampolsky drew an outstanding performance from the orchestra, with notable contributions from the flutes, oboes and bassoons. It is a long work, 45 minutes, but the audience listened with rapt attention, sensing that this was a special kind of performance, and there was much appreciative applause at the end. - Michael Green




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart