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Friday, September 12, 2014


(Saxophone virtuoso David Salleras with pianist Christopher Duigan)

William Charlton-Perkins’ Classical Notes (courtesy of The Mercury)

Music lovers are spoilt for choice this month with a whirl of concerts and recitals. Arjan Tien takes the Durban City Hall podium this evening for the KZN Philharmonic’s third spring season concert. Following a performance of Ravel’s Alborado del Gracioso (Morning Song of the Jester) the spotlight falls on Spanish saxophone virtuoso David Salleras as soloist in Astor Piazzolla’s colourful three-movement Tango Suite. Salleras has toured extensively with pianist Christopher Duigan and has partnered with the Durban Music School in presenting master classes. Duigan will also be part of this evening’s orchestral accompaniment. The concert closes with Dukas’s Symphony in C major.

The Societa Dante Alighieri promises a feast of Italian opera tomorrow (Friday, September 12) at 19h00 at the Italian Club, 82 Northway in Durban North. Andrew Warburton accompanies sopranos Loveline Madumo and Bongiwe Madlala, and mezzo soprano Violina Anguelov, in highlights from Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri, Bellini’s Norma, Catalani’s La Wally, Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana, Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, Madama Butterfly and Le Villi, Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Verdi’s Otello.

Bookings at R100 a head can be made on 031-360 7013. Tickets at the door are R120 per person. Tickets include snacks. This programme will be reprised on Saturday September 13 in Pietermaritzburg at the Dante Hall, 21 Alice Grange Road, Scottsville at 19h00. Tickets are priced as above, but pre- bookings should be made on 072 499 3084.

Duigan and Salleras, along with guitarist James Grace and baritone Federico Freschi, join forces on Friday September 19, for a mixed recital titled Amigos Para Siempre to be presented by Music Revival at St Agnes Church, Kloof at 19h30. Tickets at R100 include refreshments. Booking through or call 031 764 2037. This Spanish, Latin and Italian mix of popular music brings together these longstanding friends who will also take part in the Witness Hilton Arts Festival which starts the same day. This performance offers Kloof audiences a sneak preview.

Sponsored by Parklane Superspar, the Music Revival Concert Series at the Hilton Arts Festival is in the Chapel at Hilton College between September 19 and 21. Free Concerts on Saturday at 10h00 and Sunday at 16h00 are sponsored by Marriott, The Income Specialists. Tickets to all other concerts in the series are R100. To book for all events in the series visit

Latinfluence, the first festival concert on Friday September 19 at 20h00 features well known flamenco guitarist Demi Fernandez and jazz pianist Neil Gonsalves playing a widely appealing Latin/jazz cross-over programme of standard and original compositions .

Saturday September 20 at 10h00 sees Christopher Duigan performing a bold selection of dramatic music. Included is Harmonies du Soir by Liszt, the Scherzo No 2 op 31 by Chopin, and music by Russian composers Sergei Rachmaninoff and Alexander Scriabin. Central in the programme is Beethoven's Sonata Opus 57 'Appasionata'. This free concert is sponsored by Marriott, The Income Specialists. Normal booking procedures are to be followed.

The 12h00 concert on Saturday September 20 showcases sax player Salleras in a programme titled Sonidos Por El Alma (Sounds for the soul). Playing solo classic repertoire by Jules Demersseman and Pedro Itturalde, Salleras is also joined by young Durban-based saxophonist Maxine Matthews in music for two saxophones by Jean-Baptiste Singelée and Astor Piazzola. Salleras's own original compositions are included alongside music for saxophone and piano by Christopher Duigan, who joins them at the piano.

Two Guitars at 14h00 features James Grace, Head of Guitar Studies at the University of Cape Town's College of Music, appearing alongside young guitarist Chloe Murphy, who is currently completing her B.Mus in Performance at UCT before continuing studies overseas next year. Grace and Murphy perform music arranged for two guitars by John Dowland and Isaac Albéniz, with original duo works by Fernando Sor and Maximo Diego Pujol. Also featured in the programme is the exciting and virtuosic Suite Retratos by Brazilian composer Radamés Gnatelli.

The 16h00 slot on Saturday features the London based Irish violinist Darragh Morgan in recital. Morgan has a particularly broad and eclectic taste, which spans many genres, in particular authentic Baroque sounds and contemporary music. He is joined by James Grace in excerpts from Piazzola's Histoire du Tango, and Christopher Duigan in music by contemporary Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt. Morgan also performs music by de Falla and Kreisler along with music by Telemann, giving rare insight into the breadth of the violin's beautiful repertoire. Morgan’s visit to South Africa is supported by Culture Ireland.

Saturday September 20 at 20h00 offers a repeat of Amigos Para Siempre as performed in Kloof the previous evening.

At 10h00 on Sunday September 21, a programme for children titled Sparky's Magic Piano will be presented. Here Duigan teams with actor Anthony Stonier to bring the well-loved tale of Sparky to life. This event recreates the 1947 entertainment devised for little people listening to the wireless or a gramophone. In an attempt to re-create the atmosphere of a bygone age, the presenters blindfold their young audience while telling the tale of a little boy reluctant to practise the piano. The story offers a splendid introduction to classical piano music. Learn to listen.

At 12h00 on Sunday the KZN Philharmonic Principals Quartet appear in recital. Joanna Frankel (violin), Violeta Oserhean (violin), David Snaith (viola) and Boris Kerimov (cello) play Mozart’s String Quartet K 457 'The Hunt' and Mendelssohn's String Quartet No 2.

The Music Revival Concert Series at the Hilton Arts Festival winds up at 16h00 on Sunday with the second free concert sponsored by Marriott. In this programme titled Songs We Love, Federico Freschi and pianist Chris Duigan offer a mixed bag of favourite items ranging from the vocal gymnastics of Rossini to nostalgic, old-world operetta, to popular songs and hits from Broadway musicals. – William Charlton-Perkins (courtesy of The Mercury)