GEORGE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS - Friday evening saw the George Music Society back in the Arts Theatre to listen to Violin Dialogue with Zanta Hofmeyr and Miro Chakaryan accompanied by the very popular local pianist, Olive Sandilands. From the very first mellow note from Hofmeyr's violin we knew we were in for a special evening of music.
The concert opened with Jean Marie Leclair's Sonata no. 5 for two violins. This work is a happy and spirited piece where the two instruments play follow-my-lead throughout the first movement. The short Gavotta gracioso was just that and was followed by a Presto movement requiring nimble fingers. Both the musicians get a warm tone from their instruments and their togetherness was very clear in this movement.
Johan Halvorsen (1864-1935) was a Norwegian composer, conductor and violinist. His Konsertcaprice is a work based on Nordic folk melodies. In this piece there are many changes of tempo and mood as well as passages of deliberate rhythm depicting stamping dance steps.
Maurice Moszkowski (1854-1925) was a German composer and pianist considered to be a successful composer of salon music that was both tuneful and graceful. In his Suite Op.71, the motifs are tossed between all three instruments equally. The second movement had a gentle flowing tune followed by a peaceful Lento. Here the empathy between all the performers was very noticeable.
After the interval Miro Chakaryan reminded us of the very chequered life Dimitri Shostakovich had, being in and out of favour with the ruling party in Russia. However, his five short pieces don't reflect this turmoil. These compositions were beautifully structured, elegant and very Russian, and the performers clearly enjoyed playing them.
Henryk Wieniawski (1835-1880) was a Polish teacher and composer and a violinist of great ability. He wrote two technically demanding concertos and two sets of Etudes-Caprices which are considered to be essential works for all aspiring violinists. The second set of eight etudes is for two violins. Each is technically demanding and makes use of the full range of the violin. The instruments toss the melodic fragments and variations between them and, along with some very tricky fingering, require full concentration. This, Hofmeyr and Chakaryan did with great aplomb and fully deserved the hearty round of applause they were given.
The concert ended with two totally different works, namely Jose Whites's very popular La Bella Cubana and Pablo de Sarasate's Navarra. Both these works are rhythmical and full of national colour and use the full range of the instrument. At times the tune rose to heights almost beyond our range of hearing.
This was a different type of concert involving 19th century music from seldom-heard composers. All the performers played with dedication and the enjoyment of not only playing together, but also playing for our entertainment, and we look forward to a return visit.
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