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Monday, June 3, 2019


(Left: Yasuo Shinozaki)

Conductor Yasuo Shinozaki makes a welcome return to the KZN Philharmonic podium for the second and third concert programmes of the orchestra’s 2019 Winter Season.

The first of these – on June 6, 2019 – concert opens with Weber’s atmospherically charged overture to his iconic ‘singspiel’, Der Freischütz. A work of enormous importance in the annals of early German romanticism, following its 1821 première in Berlin, it swiftly impacted on audiences across Europe, who thrilled to its compelling mix of folk material, foreboding sense of mysticism and danger, and its strong dose of the supernatural. The work left an indelible imprint on the creative imagination of Richard Wagner, and a century later, on composers as diverse as Debussy, Stravinsky and Hindemith.

(Right: Alexander Ramm)

Soloist Alexander Ramm will perform Elgar’s Cello Concerto in e minor, Op. 85. Elgar wrote his Cello Concerto in the aftermath of the First World War. For the most part contemplative and elegiac, the work stands in stark contrast with English composer’s earlier Violin Concerto, which is lyrical and passionate. The Cello Concerto’s first performance failed to please, as Elgar had inadequate rehearsal time. Major artists like Beatrice Harrison and Pablo Casals espoused it, but the work only achieved popularity in the 1960s, when a recording by Jacqueline du Pré became a classical hit. In recent seasons the gifted young cellist Alexander Ramm has earned his stripes performing it.

The Finnish composer Jean Sibelius started his First Symphony in 1898, completing it early the following year at the age of 33. Following its première by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra under the composer’s baton, Sibelius made revisions to his score, resulting in the version performed to this day which was first given in Berlin in July 1900. Gratefully offering opportunities for orchestral players to shine, the Symphony is characterized by its distinctive use of string and woodwind solos, such as the long clarinet solo, heard over a timpani roll in its opening movement, an idea that returns memorably at the start of the fourth movement, while other movements include violin, viola, and cello solos.

Booking is through Computicket or 0861 915 8000.

The remaining two concerts of the Winter Season take place at 19h30 at the Durban City Hall:

June 13, 2019:
Conductor: Yasuo Shinozaki
Soloist:  Sodi Braide, piano
Mozart: Overture to Idomeneo
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1 in g minor, Op. 13, “Winter Daydreams”

June 20, 2019:
Conductor: Robert Moody
Soloist: Ye-Eun Choi, violin
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, Op. 8
Mendelssohn: The Hebrides, Op. 26, “Fingal’s Cave”
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 5 in D Major, Op. 107, “Reformation”

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