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Saturday, May 18, 2013


(Conductor Daniel Boico)

One of the KZNPO’s best performances. (Review by Michael Green)

A programme of vivid and lively music, culminating in a great masterwork, opened the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra’s four-concert winter season in the Durban City Hall.

The conductor was the young Israel-born American Daniel Boico, who has become a favourite with Durban audiences, and the soloist was the 27-year-old Armenian violinist Hrachya Avanesyan.

Hrachya had given a sensational performance two days earlier for the Friends of Music, and this time he played the Violin Concerto in D minor by his fellow-Armenian Aram Khachaturian.

Dating from 1940, this is a brilliant, extroverted work well-suited to Hrachya’s technical prowess and demonstrative style. The fast outer movements were delivered with great panache and flourish, but the really beautiful playing came in the slow movement, in which the violin sings a long, solemn melody above a gently pulsing orchestral accompaniment.

This was a highly successful performance and it deserved the ovation given at the end.

The concert opened with a crisp and vigorous account of Die Fledermaus Overture by Johann Strauss Jr, and ended with Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 in C major, the “Jupiter”.

This majestic work was played with high skill and dedication. Boico, who has a vigorous podium manner, conducted without a score. He was obviously immersed in the music, and his intensity was communicated to the players, who responded splendidly, with the orchestra’s powerful and disciplined string tone heard to great effect.

This was one of the orchestra’s best performances. - Michael Green