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Thursday, March 7, 2019


(Daniel Boico)

Tonight sees the fourth – and final – concert of the KZN Philharmonic’s Summer Season.

The Kwazulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Associate Guest Conductor, Daniel Boico, will feature one of this generation’s greatest pianists, Olga Kern, who is from a family of musicians with direct links to Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. She will be performing Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor.

The following is from the KZNPO’s programme:

“Grieg’s Peer Gynt music was originally composed to accompany a performance of Ibsen’s 1867 drama of the same name. It was completed in 1875 and the play’s lavishly staged premiere took place the following year in Christiania (now Oslo) with the orchestra conducted by the Grieg himself. Dissatisfied with the fragmentary nature of his music, Grieg subsequently devised his two suites in 188 and 1893 respectively.

Secondly only to his A Minor Piano Concerto the Peer Gynt Suite No 1 is the composer’s most popular work, its Morning and In the Hall of the Mountain King movements ranking among the most loved of all short orchestral compositions.

(Olga Kern)

The ubiquitous Piano Concerto in A Minor, written in 1868, was the only concerto Grieg completed. It has since been championed by generations of virtuosi, not least the illustrious Russian pianist Olga Kern. The Concerto is often compared (and recorded as a companion) to the Piano Concerto of Robert Schumann. It shares the same key and its character is palpably closer to Schumann than any other single composer. Grieg heard Schumann’s work performed by the latter’s wife, Clara Wieck, in Leipzig in 1858 and was greatly influenced by Schumann’s style, having been taught the piano by Schumann’s friend, Ernst Ferdinand Wenzel.

Dvořák’s Symphony No.1 in C Minor composed in 1865, was written in the early romantic style, patently inspired by Beethoven and Mendelssohn. Ironically, given its early position in his symphonic oeuvre, it was the only one of his symphonies that Dvorak never heard performed or had a chance to revise, as it was lost shortly after its composition and did not come to light until 1923, some 20 years after the composer’s death. It received its first performance in 1936. A rarity to this day, its performance here (in Durban) is sure to prove of great interest.”

The sound of bells is a motif to be explored in this concert as Dvořák’s Symphony No 1 references the bells in Zlonice, a market town in the Czech Republic where he lived as a student. The bells rang on and every hour keeping the young composer awake at night.

The concert takes place tonight (March 7, 2019) at 19h30 in the Durban City Hall. Booking is through Computicket or tickets available at the door.