25 June 2019 - KZNPO Ensemble
In general, the ensemble displayed a pleasing understatedness.
The Friends of Music recital on 25 June, 2019, featured the much acclaimed KZNPO ensemble, which includes the renowned Kerimov trio consisting of Elena Kerimova on the violin, Boris Kerimov on the cello and highly acclaimed local pianist Christopher Duigan along with other respected instrumentalists, namely David Snaith on the viola, Yura Litvinenko on the double bass, Kirsten Sayers on the clarinet, Sorin Mircea Osorhean on the horn and Charl van der Merwe on the bassoon. They performed the Piano Quintet in A Major, D 667 “The Trout” by Franz Schubert (1797-1828) and the Septet for Strings and Woodwinds in E-flat, Op. 20 by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827).
Schubert’s “The Trout” was composed in 1819, during or soon after his visit to the small town of Steyr in
Upper Austria. In the KZNPO Ensemble’s performance of this work, the pianist’s touch was highly
cultivated and he is to be commended on his excellent octave work at speed in the right hand, which
must certainly have been a challenge throughout much of the work. While it can be said that each
instrumentalist was truly independent and had an autonomous “voice”, as an ensemble, they merged
Beethoven’s Septet was finished in the spring of 1800 and was received with great enthusiasm. Indeed,
the audience’s reception of the KZNPO Ensemble’s performance was no different two hundred years
later. The clarinetist can be described as playing in a jovial, clear and confident fashion. The interplay
between the clarinet and the bassoon was most pleasing and the ensemble as a whole held together
nicely. In the final movement, Andante con molto alla Marcia - Presto, the horn displayed henomenal
The Prelude Performer, Menzi Mngoma (Tenor), performed an interesting range of works consisting of La donna E Mobile, from Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi, You Raise me up by Rolf Løvland (Secret Garden) and You’ll Never Walk Alone from Carousel by Rogers and Hammerstein. It was clear from the outset that he was well trained and at the same time thoroughly unpretentious. He had a pleasing rich tone and resonance. In La Donna e Mobile, he displayed a lovely light intonation and his body language suggested a good understanding of the Italian dialogue. You’ll Never Walk Alone was his best number and he displayed wonderful poise and diction along with an impressive dynamic range and palette of tone colours. He had great reserve on the long notes and it is clear that he is fully capable of filling an opera house with his excellent voice. He should be given this opportunity in the near future.
Dr. Martin Goldstein