Cello and piano reunited in Penryn for Song of Norway

Opera song

Residents had the opportunity to attend a chamber music recital on Saturday at Penryn Chapel, offered by the Lowveld Chamber Music Association.

Cellist Gerrit Koorsen, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Johannesburg, and pianist Eugene Joubert, Head of Piano Studies at St Mary’s School, Waverley, have collaborated to present a recital titled Song of Norway.

Inspired by the expressive qualities of the cello, they selected a program that showcased both the lyrical and virtuoso traits of both players on their respective instruments.

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In the Singing Variations on an Ancient Air, Reynaldo Hahn draws his inspiration from a 17th century opera aria, transforming his theme into a set of variations imbued with the lyricism of the end of the 19th century.

Gabriel Fauré’s Élegie and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Andante from Sonata for Cello and Piano were played with an expressive quality well suited to French and Russian Romantic idioms. In Robert Schumann’s Fantasiestücke, the performers showed the intimate nature of their collaboration, traversing a wide range of emotions and characters before bringing the work to a virtuosic conclusion.

Edvard Grieg’s Sonata for Cello and Piano was the main work of the evening program. Lasting almost 30 minutes, it remains one of the most popular romantic works of this genre.

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The musicians brought the work’s Norwegian folk character to life and clearly enjoyed the musical and technical challenges it presented. As an encore, they performed the enchanting baritone aria Pierrot’s Tanzlied from Erich Korngold’s opera Die tote Stadt.

Thanks were extended to Walter Fourie of the Lowveld Chamber Music Association for being active and dedicated in bringing classical music to the city.

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