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Tuesday, June 7, 2011


(Thomas Sanderling, conductor)

Variations on a Classical Theme is the title of the fourth concert of the KZN Philharmonic’s Winter Season. This performance of classics will offer four great works conducted by Thomas Sanderling, who returns for a second week.

Beethoven’s Egmont Overture was written as the prelude to a set of incidental music to Goethe’s play. Approved by the great author himself, the music compellingly portrays the ultimate triumph in death of Count Egmont over the forces of oppression—topical material at a time when Europe was mired in the throes of the Napoleonic Wars.

Much-loved former Durbanite Jonathan Oshry returns as piano soloist for Mozart’s celebrated 21st piano concerto. Mozart wrote the work in 1785 in Vienna, alongside a string of 11 other major piano concerti in a remarkably short time span. Respected for its sophistication and balance, the central movement is a particular favourite among audiences.

The second half opens with the tantalizing torso of a symphony by Schubert. Written in 1822 but nearly lost forever, Schubert’s “Unfinished” symphony (actually one of several he did not complete) was not premiered until 1865. Since then the two movements have come to be treasured as one of Schubert’s most divine inspirations.

The final work on the programme is a piece that helped give Brahms the confidence to pursue his symphonic aspirations. The theme from his Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn may not actually be by Haydn, but it is easy to see what Brahms found interesting in its unusual five-measure phrases. A master of classical variation form, Brahms showed that he could transfer his accomplishments in piano music to the orchestral medium.

The concert takes place on June 9 at 19h30 in the Durban City Hall. Booking through Computicket. Click on the KZNPO advert at the top of this page and it will take you to the orchestra’s website which gives details of the full symphony season as well as other KZNPO activities.

Friends of Music hold pre-concert lectures in the Royal Hotel at 18h15. These enlightening talks are designed to enrich the experience of the concertgoer (R30 admission includes light refreshments)