national Arts Festival Banner

Sunday, June 19, 2022


(Above: Brian Wallick & Robert Moody)

Yet another outstanding concert on Thursday evening by the KZNPO, the last in their 2022 Winter Season! (Review by Barbara Trofimczyk)

The opening item, Mozart's Overture to Cosi fan Tutti, seemed somewhat insignificant in relation to the other major items on the programme, Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No 3, and Beethoven's monumental 7th symphony.

Contemporary piano concertos are a far cry from the original Baroque and Classical concept of solo verses tutti within the formal constraints of the time. The growing culture of solo virtuosity was a natural development in the 19th century of the modern grand piano and popular concert hall performances. Composers like Chopin, Liszt, and many others were leading players in this development, mostly writing concertos for their own performance.

Prokofiev took that one step further, with adventurous harmonic and melodic textures, quirky rhythms, time changes, and huge technical demands made on the soloist who plays almost consistently throughout proved to be well-equipped for his role as soloist, while conductor that piano and orchestra were well-tuned into each other to give us a fine performance of this popular concerto.

Brian Wallick's encore demonstrated the ultimate "wow" factor of piano pyrotechnics! The audience loved it!!

After the interval, the audience was treated to a splendid rendition of Beethoven's 7th symphony. Robert Moody's direction of the orchestra revealed his intimate knowledge and passion for this music. In this performance he chose the ideal tempi for its dominating rhythmic character (even the beautiful theme of the slow movement possesses a gentle rhythmic pulse!), and highlighted some of Beethoven's innovative orchestration, the horns wonderfully poised in moments of high excitement, and the tympani consistently and effectively playing a major role in the rhythmic thrust of the music.

Occasionally, in passages of powerful 'tutti forte', the violins, all playing their hearts out and hard-pressed to match the more penetrating sound of the winds and brass, would have greatly benefitted from a few extra players!

Yet another outstanding concert by the KZNPO, the last in their 2022 Winter Season!

Finally, mention should be made of Paul Boekooi's excellent and informative programme notes! – Barbara Trofimczyk


(To link direct to the KZN Philharmonic’s website click on the orchestra’s banner advert on the top of the page or visit