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.

ASHKENAZY WITH THE KZNPO (article first published : 2001-02-4)

When last can one recall a capacity City Hall audience rising to its feet as one in a burst of sustained applause? The almost 2000 strong crowd that packed Durban’s main concert venue on Monday evening accorded the accolade of a unanimous standing ovation to a great musician, Vladimir Ashkenazy, whose singular support for classical music around the world brought him on a flying visit to Durban this week to perform free of charge with the KZN Philharmonic as a token of solidarity with so-called “serious music” here and elsewhere in this culturally beleaguered country of ours.

The first half of this historic evening saw the maestro at the service of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 20 in D minor, pacing himself and the KZNPO players through a finely integrated ensemble account of this magnificent work that left little room for ego-driven flamboyance. The seething drama of Mozart’s D minor world (manifest famously in his operatic magnum opus Don Giovanni) was kept close to the boil throughout the turbulent outer movements.

The tension was sublimely offset in the central Romance with playing of pearl-like finish from the soloist, superbly offset by the panache of his orchestral partners, the movement’s central virtuoso passages finely held within the bounds of restraint.

In Ashkenazy’s hands, Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, beloved of concert audiences around the world, brought the message home with overwhelming conviction: music of this ilk is a priceless part of humanity’s heritage, in Ashkenazy’s own words, “on this tiny planet of ours, for us all to cherish”.

With a minimal, infinitely precise podium technique that eschews flamboyance as much as his playing does, he elicited a performance of this late 19th century masterpiece which will live in the memories of Monday’s audience for many years, a performance of splendour and grace which banished the faintest vestiges of tawdry emoting - so readily prevalent in lesser hands.

The great melody in the second movement, first uttered, sent shivers of affectionate recognition around the house that grew with each reprise to a monumental thrill of elation as the work was brought to a close of the utmost grandeur.

A truly humbling experience. May the ripple effects be felt far and wide.




 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