Review by Stavros Anthias
Last Tuesday’s friends of music concert, featuring Christopher Duigan, David
Salleras and Federico Freschi, drew one of the largest audiences I have ever seen
at The Jewish Centre, which was very pleasing, to say the least.
They performed an eclectic mix of varied works, and Durban was lucky to get a taste
of a recital which is going to be performed at The Grahamstown Festival.
Duigan and Salleras have enjoyed a long collaboration of making music together.
Duigan is one of our top pianists and is a celebrated Steinway Artist. Salleras has
been hailed as one of the top saxophonists in the world and enjoys an international
career. They were joined by baritone Federico Freschi in a programme of classical,
contemporary, and jazz music, and popular song.
Pizzella’s works never fail to impress, and Duigan and Salleras have developed a
sophisticated rapport and empathy as they perform, which was showcased in the
opening item, “Milonga and Re.”.
Two of the highlights of the evening were performances of their own compositions,
Duigan’s whimsical and impressive “Nocturne No.2” and Salleras’ “Rentandote” a
very rhythmic and tango inspired composition.
Salleras has amazing breath control, and produces a beautifully smooth sound,
which is perfectly accompanied by Duigan’s sensitive playing. Morricone’s “Nella
Fantasia” (Gabriel’s oboe) which translated beautifully as a solo sax work, and
Schubert’s ‘Arpeggione’ Sonata were two of my personal favourites. A composition
by Phil Woods titled “Sonata for Alto Sax” (we heard the 1 st movement) was also very
impressive with its jazz improvisation style, which allowed Salleras to show his
expertise on his instrument.
Freschi performed the popular “Largo al factotum” from Rossini’s Barber of Seville,
and popular songs from Carousel, My Fair Lady and some art songs. He has a rich,
strong baritone voice and he chose his repertoire wisely, ensuring it was well suited
to his voice. Each performer received warm applause in their own right, and their
strong performances, as soloists or in ensemble, made for a memorable evening.
The prelude performers, Ariana Carini and Alexander Comninos, both on classical
guitar, and students of master guitarist James Grace also impressed with their
performance, which showed nimble finger work and great musicality.
- Review by Stavros Anthias
[Courtesy of www.artsmart.co.za]