Wednesday (27 Jan) was Mozart's birthday, and the Mozart Anniversary Concert was held at Linder Auditorium as part of the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival, the second such festival held in Jo'burg. While the program did feature Mozart's Piano Concerto in D minor K 466 (featuring Florian Uhlig, who is also the festival's artistic director), the majority of the program featured South African based/influenced composers.
The first piece "Fatse la Heso" (My Country), by Michael Moerane,started of slowly before finishing with a very impressive flourish. It is supposedly based on African traditional music - but without the drums that would accompany such music - I am not sure where the relation lies.
The final piece, which was also the longest, was "Song of Four Winds" featuring an orchestra, a soprano and a baritone. The background to the piece is quite interesting; and overall, the music itself was also quite impressive - using a variety of musical instruments to great effect. However, the singers and the song itself was rather ordinary - and in my opinion rather detracted from the music.
The festival carries on until the 9th of Feb, with a concert almost every night. However, the Linder Auditorium was hardly half full - and while there are some very interesting pieces to llok forward to (I am quite keen for at least 3 more concerts), I am not sure if the festival will be a commercial success of anysorts.