Festive Fare concert on Sunday

Erika Bothma
Piano soloist Erika Bothma will be performing at the concert

The second concert in the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra’s Symphony programme will be performed in the Feather Market Centre on Sunday at 3pm.

Entitled Festive Fare, it once again features local talent in the form of piano soloist Erika Bothma, senior lecturer in piano at NMMU, and conductor Alexander Fokkens, who spent his early years in the city, starting school at Herbert Hurd.

Although a good way to herald in the festive season, the “festive” in the title actually refers to one of the works on the programme – Shostakovich’s Festive Overture. said orchestra manager Gill Barnett.

“It contains all the bells and whistles one would expect from a celebratory piece – fanfares, big brass, drums, cymbals – a real orchestral showpiece; and guaranteed to lift the spirits,” she said.

The Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra gave the composer Shostakovich only three days to produce a new work celebrating the 37th anniversary of the October Revolution, and this was the result, described by one of his friends as “a brilliant effervescent work, its energy spilling over like uncorked champagne”.

The opening bars of Edvard Grieg’s Piano concerto have much the same effect, compelling the listener to sit up and take notice of one of most loved and performed concertos in the piano repertoire.

Bothma, the first recipient of a Doctor Musicae from NMMU in 2012, has performed as a soloist with orchestras around the country, and also numbers amongst the most respected and successful piano teachers.

As a long standing member of the ECPO in the violin section, this special connection between orchestra and soloist promises to be a memorable performance.

The final work on the programme, Schumann’s Symphony No 4, had a very cool reception when it premiered in Leipzig in 1841. This disastrous performance forced Schumann to withdraw it and it was 10 years before he rearranged it and it was performed again – fortunately very successfully this time.

Sir George Grove, editor of the famous Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians, described the new version as “a landmark in the history of the symphony.”

Tickets for Festive Fare are R85 and R100, with a limited number of pensioners’ and scholars’ tickets at R65. Booking is through Computicket: 081-040-1073.

Further information from the ECPO office (041) 581-7747.

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