Every Thursday: Playhouse Opera: 22 Feb – 15 March
The third weekly concert in the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra’s four week 2018 Summer Season on Thursday evening, 1 March sees Dutch maestro Arjan Tien return to the KZN Phil’s podium with an all Beethoven programme.
Prolific German composer Ludwig van Beethoven is revered as one of the most famous and influential of all composers. What is equally significant is that much of his musical legacy was composed and performed while he was hard of hearing and then, by the last decade of his life, while he was almost completely deaf.
It is appropriate then, that the orchestra honours Beethoven’s work during Hearing Awareness Week – which started with World Hearing Day on 3 March and ending with Talk Sign on Fri 9 March
Arjan Tien conducts the final two concerts of our summer season. The first of these, on 8 March, features two much-loved Beethoven masterworks, his Violin Concerto in D Major, and the hugely popular Symphony No 3 ‘Eroica’. The great German composer’s only violin concerto is sometimes dubbed his ‘Everest’. Soloists hoping to wow audiences with this elusive work, have often failed to achieve their goal. Indeed, the work’s premier by Franz Clement in 1806 was unsuccessful and the piece languished in obscurity, until revived in 1844 by Joseph Joachim. Since then it has become one of the best-known of all violin concertos. The demands the work makes on a soloist require profound musical sensibility, rather than mere virtuosity. Violinist James Ehnes is quoted in a recent Gramophone magazine as follows: “With a piece like the Beethoven you want to make sure you’re giving yourselves the best chance of musical cohesion.”
The KZNPO’s soloist, Daniel Röhn, is no stranger to the work, having earned his laurels performing it to wide acclaim. Beethoven dedicated his Third Symphony to his friend and patron, Prince Lobkowitz. Originally conceived the composition in honour the French general, Napoleon Bonaparte, whose rise to fame the composer had followed with admiration and interest., Beethoven wrote to his publisher in August 1804 telling him he was naming the work, ‘Bonaparte’, He was subsequently enraged when Napoleon betrayed his revolutionary ideals by having himself declared Emperor of France. He tore the original title page from his score, renaming it Sinfonia eroica, thus rendering the hero he had depicted in his powerful new work anonymous. It was nonetheless performed to overwhelming acclaim at its premiere, going to achieve the phenomenal fame which deservedly abides to this day.
Join us each Symphony Season Thursday at 10am in the Playhouse Opera. Entrance for adults is R35 / R15 for scholars, which includes a cup of tea or coffee during the interval. The final rehearsal is the perfect opportunity to introduce scholars to symphony concerts and also provides great outings for community groups and retirement homes. Please contact the KZN Philharmonic to enquire about special rates and to make arrangements for groups. Contact bookings@kznphil.org.za or call the bookings office on 031 369 9438.
Season tickets for the KZN Philharmonic’s World Symphony Series 2018 Summer Season through Computicket. Call 0861 915 8000 or book online at www.computicket.com. For more information call 031-369 9438, email bookings@kznphil.org.za or visit www.kznphil.org.za.
Concert THREE
Date: Thurs 8 March at 7.30pm
Conductor: Arjan Tien
Soloist: Daniel Röhn
Featured instrument: Violin
Programme: All Beethoven programme: Beethoven Violin Concerto in D Major; Beethoven Symphony No 3 ‘Eroica’
Preconcert lecture: Dr Teddy Pillay