The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra’s second season started on 7 May 2014 with a fabulous concert, beautifully played.
Conducted by Conrad van Alphen, the pieces were all well known, being the Rossini Overture to The Thieving Magpie, Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto, Op 18, C Minor with Nina Schumann on piano and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
The orchestra started the season playing well and the show solo bits were all beautifully played without any hint of boredom and complacency with what might otherwise have been a hackneyed programme.
A little piece of trivia from the programme that I didn’t know: The Rossini opera was based on a true incident, well to to Rossini’s audiences, where a French servant girl was executed as a thief, only to be exonerated after her death when it turned out that a magpie had actually stolen the items for which she was convicted and executed. It was this event which eventually led to the denouncement of the death penalty for property crimes.
Next week Antonio Pompa-Baldi plays Schumann’s Piano Concerto, Op 54, A Minor for the JPO on 14 and 15 May 2014, and on the 17th he plays a solo recital for the Johannesburg Musical Society. Both concerts are at the Linder Auditorium.