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KZNPO CONCERT: JUNE 12 2008 (article first published : 2008-06-14)

In a programme ranging from Mozart to Benjamin Britten, the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra gave its usual competent performance under the direction of resident conductor Lykele Temmingh. The orchestral items in this Durban City Hall concert were Mozartís Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail (Elopement from the Harem) overture, Brahmsís well-known Haydn Variations and Brittenís Four Sea Interludes, extracted from his opera Peter Grimes.

The star of the evening, however, was without question the young Russian-born pianist Boris Giltburg, who now lives in Israel. He has visited Durban before, a couple of years ago, and is in the process of building himself an international reputation. He is short, good-looking, with a fine head of dark hair, and he plays with a formidable technique and an admirably composed demeanour at the keyboard.

His performance of Mozartís Piano Concerto No 15 in B flat major was wholly admirable. This is one of the most delectable and difficult works in Mozartís entire oeuvre. Mozart wrote it in 1784 for his own use and, as he observed in a letter to his father, ďit makes one sweatĒ. It is replete with good tunes and felicitous touches, from the opening theme, given in thirds by the oboes and bassoons, to the jaunty rhythms of the final movement.

Boris Giltburg handled the technical difficulties with aplomb, with due attention to the fine detail in Mozartís score. And, interpretatively he gave a splendid overview of the work as a whole.

The audience appreciated the quality of the music and gave the soloist prolonged applause. In response he played Chopinís Etude in E minor, Op.25, No.5. I have heard this piece played many times over many decades, and I donít think I have ever heard it played better. - Michael Green.




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