Treat yourself at Music Revival Concert Series

2009-08-17 00:00

THIS year’s Music Revival Concert Series, at The Witness Hilton Arts Festival, is jampacked with great musical treats.

Opening proceedings on Friday, September 18, at 8 pm in the Hilton College Chapel is Two Pianos, featuring pianists Nina Schumann and Luis Magalhães performing a programme which includes the grand Chaconne in D minor by J. S.  Bach and Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Overture transcribed for two pianos, and two suites for two pianos by Russian composer Anton Arensky.

The following day — Saturday, September 18 — the musical programme starts with Baroque Violin Music from Italy, featuring Violetta Osorhean, associate concert master of the KZNPO, and David Smith (harpsichord and organ) at 10 am. Their programme of music from the Italian baroque for violin features works by Antonio Vivaldi, Pietro Locatelli, Tomaso Albinoni, Francesco Veracini and Francesco Geminiani.

Next up is a classical chamber music performance for clarinet, viola, flute and piano, featuring British clarinettist Joanne Rozario, David Smith (principal viola of the KZNPO), Sabine Baird (principal flute of the KZNPO) and Christopher Duigan (piano) at noon. On the programme are trios for clarinet, viola and piano by Mozart and Bruch, including Mozart’s popular Kegelstatt Trio, supposedly composed while he was occupied with a game of skittles.

Duigan returns to the Chapel at 4 pm on Saturday to perform a programme that includes Beethoven’s magnificent Sonata op 57 Appassionata, Chopin’s Ballade No 4, Liszt’s dazzling Mephisto Waltz, and a selection of piano études and preludes by Rachmaninoff.

Then at 6 pm, opera fans can enjoy a performance by Lithuanian mezzo-soprano Aukse Trinkunaite and baritone, Federico Freschi, in the Opera Gala. The programme includes duets by Rossini and Mozart, solo arias from Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri, the celebrated Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen, Mon coeur s’ouvre a ta voix from Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Delilah, and a selection of Russian songs by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff.

Saturday’s final concert, at 8 pm, is Sevilla: Music of Spain, which played to sell-out houses at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. Performed by guitarist James Grace, the programme includes music by Albeniz, Rodrigo and de Falla, and the haunting Adagio from Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez.

Music Revival’s concerts on Sunday, September 20 kick off at 10 am in the Chapel with Rossini and Faure Choral Music, featuring the Durban Chamber Choir under the baton of Carol Stranax, Christopher Cockburn on the organ and Duigan on piano. Music lovers can savour the lofty vocal lines of Giacchino Rossini’s Petit Messe Sollenelle, as well as selections from Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem.

At noon, Duigan presents, I Got Rhythm!, an innovative exploration of music with repetitive rhythms. The programme includes Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No 2, Flight of the Bumble Bee and Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm.

At 1.30 pm the Pietermaritzburg Midlands Youth Choir will perform songs from their varied repertoire in the chapel. You will be delighted by the infectiously engaging style of these children as they do what they love best — entertaining through song.

The enigmatic, sultry, sensuous and raunchy timbres of the alto saxophone are explored in Joanne Rozario’s Sax-Delight at 3 pm. She will be joined on stage by Grace, Freschi and Duigan to perform a programme which includes The Pink Panther, Milhaud’s catchy Brasilierra, Piazzolla’s Libertango, and selection by film music composer Richard Guinness are included.

The series concludes with Last Night of the Hilton Proms at 4.30 pm in the Chapel. The Pietermaritzburg Midlands Youth Choir, other local choristers, and festival soloists will perform songs like Land of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia and Jerusalem. And in a world music frenzy, Trinkunaite sings traditional Russian folk songs, Grace and Duigan perform in dazzling flamenco style, Freschi leads an Italian sing-a-long and the youth choir entertains with traditional African music. Audience participation is encouraged!

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