Friends of Music Recitals 2019
23 July 2019 - James Oesi
Oesi can be described as being a true artist in his evocation of mood.
The Friends of Music recital on 23 July, 2019, featured the internationally renowned double bassist James Oesi accompanied by highly accomplished pianist Andrea Vasi. Throughout the program, they revealed their considerable knowledge of the repertoire in the informative introductions which they gave to the pieces. Vasi managed some very challenging accompaniments. Together, they showed how such contrasting instruments can become one in an act of artistic collaboration.
Oesi performed Psy by Luciano Berio (1925-2003), Sonata in A major for violin and piano by César Franck (1822-1890), Violin sonata no. 4, HWV 371, by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), Kaddisch from the Deux Mélodies Hébraïques by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), Poucha Das by Francois Rabbath (1931-), Clair de Lune from Suite Bergamasque by Claude Debussy (1862-1918) and Czárdás by Vittorio Monti (1868-1922).
In the Berio, Oesi revealed his great passion as a performer. He had excellent intonation and produced a lovely vibrato. He can be described as being a true artist in his evocation of mood.
Franck’s Sonata in A major for violin and piano was composed in the summer of 1886 and was dedicated to Eugène Ysaÿe, a Belgian violinist, conductor and composer, as a wedding present.
In the Handel, Oesi pulled off a considerable feat performing a challenging violin work on the double bass. In the Larghetto, his expressive touch really came to the fore.
In the Debussy, Oesi’s brought out the melody on the double bass far more effectively than a solo pianist ever could.
The Rabbath, dedicated to the famous sitar player, Ravi Shankar, evokes the sound of this instrument. This Eastern sound was interwoven with a more Western melody. Oesi performed this challenging work with incredible virtuosity.
In the Ravel, Oesi displayed such a feel for the Jewish idiom and he really put his soul into it.
The Monti showcased the double bass at its best in the Latin genre and Oesi revealed his incredible agility in the higher register.
The Prelude Performer, Molly Dzangare (Soprano), accompanied by Bobby Mills, put on a breathtaking performance. She performed Handel’s Tornami a vagghegiar from Alcina, Puccini’s Quando men vo from La Bohème and Vissi dárte from Tosca. The Handel was never harried and showcased her incredible high notes and trills. She revealed a competent understanding of the Italian libretto. In the Quando men vo, she displayed considerable strength and richness. In the Vissi dárte, she revealed her ability to sing in a contrasting genre. Her performance throughout had remarkable strength and reserve. – Dr. Martin Goldstein
Dr. Martin Goldstein
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
|4 June 2019 - Phillip Richardsen (Piano)
Review by Martin Goldstein
Phillip Richardsen had great presence and excellent articulation. He displayed a
Possible criticisms include a lack of dynamic variation and also a lack of clarity in the pedalling. Nevertheless, in terms of his touch on the keyboard, he demonstrated the ability to adjust his sound from crisp to rounded. The Grainger was a courageous
With regards to the Lyapunov, the first movement, no.6 of the Transcendental
In the first movement of the Greig, Richardsen achieved a lovely, poignant singing
In the Tchaikovsky, Richardsen really captured the sound of the glass harmonica at
The Prelude Performer, Avuya Ngcaweni, can be commended on her vocal clarity
With the Offenbach, she seemed to be most at home with this genre and
– Martin Goldstein