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Saturday, December 7, 2019


(Marianthe Panas)

(Panas displayed a considerable maturity of understanding and one sensed that she meant every word. Review by Dr Martin Goldstein)

The South African Society of Music Teachers (SASMT) concert, Rising Stars, which took place on December 3, 2019, in association with Friends of Music, showcased the incredible talent of the up-and-coming musical stars in our province.

The Prelude performance consisted of a piano and cello duo with siblings Sverre and Trygve Nissen. They certainly set the tone for an inspiring concert performing O Come, O come Emmanuel, a fifteenth-century French Tune arranged by the Piano Guys. The cello produced a lovely sonorous warm tone. The piano was not overbearing and had a gentle touch, producing a good ensemble with the cello.

Savannah Scoular, on the recorder, accompanied by Heidi Paul, performed Canzonna detta La Bernardinia by Girolamo Frescobaldi; Burlesca alla Rumba by Gordon Jacob and Hornpipe by Enfield. In the Frescobaldi, she displayed a keen sense of the Baroque idiom, producing a pure and graceful sound. In the Jacob, she displayed her ability to adapt to the stark change in the idiom. In the Enfield, she displayed agility which was delicate but wonderful. She produced a sharp, pure sound and played with a nice lilt which was unforced.

Niwedita Bhatta, on the piano, played “Allegro” from Sonate Op. 6 by Anton Eberl; Remote Xianggelila by Ma Jinfeng and Zhang Nan and “Fiesta” from Miniatures by Joaquin Turina. In the Eberl, her playing had a mature resonance and a nice reverb. In Remote Xianggelila, she was more at home with this idiom, displaying a sympathetic touch. Her balance between melody and accompaniment was excellent. The “Fiesta” was well-controlled with good strength. Her general demeanour was completely unassuming.

Bradley Bester (voice) accompanied by Bobby Mills performed Nel cor non piu mi sento by Giovanni Paisiello; “Bring Him Home” from Les Misérables by Claude-Michel Schönberg and “On the Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. In the Paisiello, his love for the music came through. In “Bring him Home”, he conveyed a sense of  longing and there was a good impulse. In “On the Street Where You Live”, there was a pleasing palette of sounds.

Tasmin Hastings, on the piano, performed “Prelude and Fugue in D minor” from The Well-Tempered Clavier Book 2, by J S Bach; “Finale” from Sonata in E Op. 14 no. 1 by Beethoven and Doctor Gradus ad Parnassus by Debussy. In the Bach, the was good strength and agility. Her playing was unflustered and mature. In the fugue, she displayed clarity of touch and good, even control. In the Beethoven, she conveyed the harmonic surprises convincingly. In the Debussy, her playing was characterized by a luxuriant sense of having all the time in the world. Overall, her playing was endowed with strength and maturity beyond her years.

Chanel Bates (voice) accompanied by Ros Conrad performed “Pie Jesu” from Requiem by Fauré; “Vedrai, carino” from Don Giovanni by Mozart and “The Ships of Arcady” from Over the Rim of the Moon by Head. In the Fauré, she invested the words with great feeling. There was lovely huskiness in the soft passages. Overall, her performance was characterized by a pleasing innocence. In the Mozart, the emphatic nature of her singing was healthy. In the Head, she displayed an autonomy over the underlying meter. Overall, she sang with a sweet, clear beauty.

Alida Esterhuizen, on the piano, performed Danza de la moza donosa, Op. 2 no. 2 by Alberto Ginestera and Gnomenreigen Etude, S. 145 by Franz Liszt. In the Alberto, she displayed skilled control and a good use of arm-weight. In the Liszt, she coped well with the challenging hand-crossing and the difficult nature of this work as a whole.

Marianthe Panas (voice) accompanied by Nick Wium performed Caruso by Lucio Dalla; “Habanera” from Carmen by George Bizet and “Pulled” from The Addams Family. In the Dalla, one could sense her genuineness. She displayed a considerable maturity of understanding and one sensed that she meant every word. In the Bizet, she sang with great pizzazz, attiring herself suitably for the performance. In “Pulled”, one sensed her ability to act convincingly. Overall, the earnestness of her performance was eye-opening and one senses that she is going to make waves in the world of music. – Dr Martin Goldstein