About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

08 August 2011

Enescu, Liszt and Dvořák - JPO's 3rd Season, 3rd Week

Gerard Korsten's last week at the helm of the JPO featured an interesting mix of musical styles. It was an almost full house yesterday afternoon at the ZK Matthews Hall at the UNISA campus, as two of Pretoria's best known classical music practitioners shared the stage.

The concert started with Enescu's Romanian Rhapsody No 1, is based on Romanian folk songs, and a drinking song in particular, as well as some folk dances. The origins are clearly reflected in the various changes in tempo throughout the piece (sort of mirroring a dance that goes faster and faster).

The 2011 Standard Bank Young Artist (for music) of the year, Ben Schoeman, was the soloist performing Liszt's Piano Concerto No 1. It was a stunning performance, that brought the home crowd to its feet.

Some season's back, the JPO played Dvořák famous "New World Symphony", and while the 7th Symphony is not as grand, it is probably a lot more traditional. It is fairly somber, and reminded me a lot of movie scores.

Half the JPO season is over, let's see if I can go to an entire season for a change.


DX said...

HAHAHA, you know one of the biggest problems whenever I see Ben Schoeman on stage is that I keep remembering that Shih-Ya's brother Chi-Chun used to kick his ass at competitions before he decided to become a doctor instead.

But I'm going to miss Gerard Korsten's, really enjoy his style of music.

alapan said...


Also enjoy Gerard Korsten's style - he is very enegetic on the podium (after the symphony he was drenched in sweat!)

Anonymous said...

Chi-Chun certainly did not deserve to win that little high school competition in the remote town of PE...(strange that DX refers to "competitions" in the plural, especially when one takes into account that Schoeman won every important music competition in South Africa and is now regarded as one of the best pianists this country has ever produced). I thought that the Liszt was riveting.