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: AUGUST 14, 2008 (article first published : 2008-08-16)

This concert given by the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra in the Durban City Hall was a special occasion in various ways. It marked the orchestra’s 25th anniversary. The orchestra was enlarged by the addition of players from the orchestra of the Ekaterinburg opera in Russia. Tickets for subscribers were free, and for others there were reduced prices. And, as a result of this, the concert attracted a large audience of about 1,500.

The programme helped, too. It was all Tchaikovsky, a sure prescription for popular appeal. Aided by four singers from the Ekaterinburg State Opera, which has been performing in Durban, the orchestra of about 80 players gave a brilliant account of the music and generated great enthusiasm from the audience. All this under the experienced hand of a visiting Russian conductor, Sergey Ferulev.

The first half was devoted to mainly unfamiliar music from Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin, the second half to his very familiar Symphony No. 5 in E minor. From the opening fanfare of the well-known Polonaise from Eugene Onegin, it was clear that we were to have an evening of big sound. The massed ranks of the orchestra really did produce a splendidly powerful effect, with more than 50 string players offsetting the imposing volume from the brass instruments.

The music from Eugene Onegin was beautiful and the singers were outstanding. Elena Dementieva has an expressive unforced soprano voice plus the additional asset of being a very good-looking blonde. Like the other singers, she brought an operatic presence to the City Hall stage and was totally convincing in her role as the victim of a frustrated love affair. Her soft and gentle main theme was sung with exquisite purity.

Vladimir Cheberyak (tenor) and Yuri Devin (baritone) both showed that they are polished opera singers, the latter outstanding in his lengthy and dramatic duet with the soprano. And the bass Gennady Rodionov was excellent, with some really thrilling low notes. All four singers deserved the foot-stamping ovation they were given at the end.

The orchestra was in fine form in the fifth symphony. This work caused the composer moments of typical self-doubt but it exercises a compulsive grip on listeners, from its brooding start to its triumphant finish. The conductor took the opening at quite a brisk tempo, and it was all the better for that; Tchaikovsky’s music is introspective enough without being played at a dragging pace.

This was a memorable concert, and I hope that the occasional members of the audience are encouraged to become permanent patrons when the orchestra resumes its normal concerts in its spring season, beginning next month. - 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