Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Stilbaai Music Society’s piano initiated at spectacular concert

The performance by Tertia Visser-Downie (piano) and Philip de Vos (words and song) of their recital “Pictures of the Heart” and “Pictures at an Exhibition” on Sunday 24 May was a red-letter evening for Stilbaai Music Society. The long-desired piano was the third celebrity on the stage, and gave a creditable performance as Visser-Downie put it through very spirited paces.

“Pictures of the Heart,” de Vos’s funny, sad, clever, evocative poems and songs, set to music by Albie Louw and accompanied by Visser-Downie, constituted the first part of the programme. Both artists performed with charm and aplomb, and Albie Louw’s melodious score reflected the mood and theme of each verse.

Louise had compiled informative programme notes on Moussorgsky and the original piano composition of “Pictures at an Exhibition.” This mood-capturing version, surprisingly modern in sound, is very seldom performed and it was a treat to hear the technically and physically demanding work played by an accomplished, sensitive pianist. Much of it, said Visser-Downie, is scored fff, and fortunately the new piano stood up to the pounding. De Vos’s little verses, in English and Afrikaans, with which he introduced each picture, captured the atmosphere and even the rhythm of the pieces. While they may have disturbed purists, many of us found the interruptions and personal interpretation actually focused attention and enhanced appreciation. Altogether it was an exciting performance, and much appreciated.

J. & J. Stonier 25 May 2009

1 comment:

abby jenkins said...

Take a listen to this chorus out of Chicago. beautiful!