national Arts Festival Banner

Monday, September 21, 2009


French flautist, Denis Kirch, displays exceptional skills at KZNPO concert. (Review by Michael Green)

A visiting French flautist, Denis Kirch, displayed exceptional skills when he played Carl Reinecke’s Flute Concerto in D major at this concert in the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic’s Spring Symphony Season in the Durban City Hall.

During his long life (1824-1910) Reinecke was a prolific composer. This work is his Op. 283. It was written in 1908, when the composer was 84 years old, so technically it belongs to the twentieth century, but in every other respect it is romantic nineteenth century music, melodious, skilfully crafted, easy on the ear.

Denis Kirch, a dignified, grey-haired man, in his fifties I would guess, has played his flute in many parts of the world, lived in Israel for ten years, and is now a professor of music in Paris. He extracted full value from Reinecke’s long, leisurely melodies and showed himself to be a highly accomplished technician in the concerto’s sprightly third movement. He deserved the prolonged applause he received at the end.

If this music seemed familiar to any members of the audience it was probably because the orchestra played the same work less than two years ago, with a South African flautist named Dawid Venter. Reinecke obviously has a great admirer somewhere.

The main item on the programme was Dvorak’s splendid Symphony No. 6 in D major. The conductor for the evening, Lykele Temmingh, took the orchestra through a rousing and convincing performance of this long and beautiful work.

The concert opened with Mozart’s brief and concentrated overture to one of his lesser-known operas, La clemenza di Tito.

Once again the audience was disappointingly small. More Beethoven and less Reinecke might help. - Michael Green