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FRIENDS OF MUSIC: VLADIMIR MILOSEVIC (article first published : 2007-02-16)

Vladimir Milosevic - this young man from Serbia, just north of Greece - turned out to be a virtuoso of the first order when he gave an exacting and exciting recital for the Friends of Music at the Durban Jewish Centre.

The opening chords of Bach's Partita No 2 in C minor made it clear that we were hearing a pianist of unusual power and authority, and this standard was sustained throughout a programme that wandered a little way, and enjoyably, off the beaten track.

Schubert's Wanderer Fantasy was, for me anyway, the high point of the evening. This is a long and diffuse work, difficult to play and even more difficult to interpret and bring off successfully. Vladimir Milosevic's massive technical skill and fine sense of form and structure produced a triumphant performance.

He has an unusually high finger action at the keyboard, a high risk technique, I would have thought, but his playing was note perfect, with a crystal-clear articulation in the rapid passages.

Beethoven's two Rondos, Op. 51 took us into a more reflective and delicate world, Beethoven in a tender mood but with plenty of scope for prestidigitation, and here the pianist handled the florid ornamentation gracefully and effortlessly.

Schumann's Toccata in C major, Op. 7 is a formidable study in double notes. No problem for our man from Serbia. Finally, Chopin's Andante Spianato et Grande Polonaise Brillante, Op. 22 was played, well, brilliantly. This work is some times played with Chopin's rather thin orchestral accompaniment (we heard it with the KZNPO not long ago) but I think it is better as a piano solo. Musically the Andante is far superior to the show-piece Polonaise which follows, and the pianist displayed a lovely cantabile tone in this serene Pastorale. As for the Polonaise, this was played with an Úlan which at the end produced a standing ovation from the audience.

The evening's prelude performer, funded by the National Lottery Distribution Fund, was Carmen Kinsey, a promising 17-year-old soprano from Northlands Girls' High School. - Michael Green




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