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Saturday, September 27, 2014


(Review from the artSMart team covering the 2014 Witness Hilton Arts Festival which ran at Hilton College from September 19 to 21)

A musical dream team. (Review by Keith Millar)

This is a musical dream team. Four of the most senior and experienced members of the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra together in an exciting string quartet. The members are concertmaster Joanna Frankel (violin), associate concertmaster Violette Osorhean (violin), principal violist David Snaith and principal cellist Boris Kerimov.

They appeared at the Witness Hilton Arts Festival as part of the Music Revival Concert Series.

In only their second concert together, the quartet reprised the works which they had performed at a recent Friends of Music recital in Durban. These were Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s String Quartet in B flat, K.458, nicknamed The Hunt and Felix Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No 2.

Mozart composed this quartet in 1784 and is the fourth of a set of six that he dedicated to his mentor Joseph Haydn. It was nicknamed The Hunt (not by the composer) after the hunting horn like call in the opening theme, as well as the mood of pursuit and adventure present in the music. It is a light, easy and very entertaining work.

Mendelssohn was 18 years old when he wrote his String Quartet No 2 in 1827. He was strongly influenced by the last quartets Beethoven wrote before his death. He also used a love song he had written earlier for an unknown girl as a theme. The result is a stormy, intensely passionate and lyrical work.

As could be expected from such talented musicians, the KZNPO String Quartet gave a superb performance. With the excellent acoustic of The Chapel at Hilton College providing the warmth and depth to the sound it was a classy event.

Let’s hope we hear more from this ensemble in the future. – Keith Millar