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KZN Philharmonic Orchestra 2024 SUMMER Symphony Season Concert 1

Thu Feb 29, 19:00 - Thu Feb 29, 21:00

Playhouse Opera Theatre


KZN Philharmonic World Symphony Series


Thursdays at 19h00, Playhouse Opera Theatre

Concert 1: 29 February 2024

Conductor: Talia Ilan

Soloist: Benedict Kloeckner (Cello)

Mendelssohn: Fair Melusina Op 32

Dvorák: Cello Concerto Op 104 in B minor

Schumann Symphony No 4 in Op 120 in D minor

Mendelssohn wrote his concert overture Fair Melusina in 1834 as a birthday gift for his sister.  The composer dismissed the suggestion he’d been inspired by an ancient myth well-known in 19th century Germany in which a water nymph sometimes assumed the identity of a mermaid. Nevertheless, some aspects of the music have clear pictorial implications. Its opening passage, for instance, anticipates the river music of the opening of Richard Wagner's opera, Das Rheingold. A German contemporary reviewer commented that the Overture ‘does not try to translate the whole tale into musical language ... but only to conjure up for us, from the dreamworld of harmonic power, the happiness and unhappiness of two beings’.

The work first performed in London by the Philharmonic Society orchestra, conducted by Ignaz Moscheles. Dvorák’s Cello Concerto, the last solo concerto,  was written in 1894 for his friend, the cellist Hanuš Wihan, while in New York City for his third term as the Director of the National Conservatory, but was premiered in London in March of 1896, by the English cellist Leo Stern. After the London performance, Stern again played the solo part in what may have been the second public performance, in Prague on 11 April 1896, and later again in London. It went on to become a hugely popular concert work with the successive ‘greats’ among cellists through the ages, as can be heard in the opening concert of our season, played by Benedict Kloeckner, one of today’s new generation superstars of the instrument.

Schumann completed his fourth Symphony in 1841 , but revised it extensively in 1851, and it was this version that it reached publication. The symphony is highly integrated with thematic material recurring between movements. The imminent music critic Tovey described the overall structure as ‘possibly Schumann's greatest and most masterly conception’.


KZN Philharmonic Orchestra 2024 SUMMER Symphony Season Concert 1
Playhouse Opera Theatre
Smith St, Durban Central, Durban, 4001
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