It was a great idea of our music society to open its 2010 season with an absolute winner – a joint recital by violinist Zanta Hofmeyr and pianist Charl du Plessis, two of the country´s most popular artists. A winner it was in every respect with great music, well played, amusingly introduced and fully appreciated by a capacity audience.
Our visitors opened their recital in strictly “classical” vain with Beethoven´s “Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Major, Op.47 (Kreutzer)”, undoubtedly one of the composer´s most difficult works. Needless to say, they successfully mastered both its technical and its musical demands and well portrayed the different moods between and within the individual movements. While remarkable dexterity showed in all virtuosic passages, musical sensitivity emerged in exquisitely phrased melodious lines that provided relaxing contrast. It was however the dense texture of all those quickly running figures that occasionally interfered with dynamic balance. The problem here is caused by the sound volume of the modern piano that by far exceeds that of the early “pianoforte” of Beethoven´s time.
It was only to be expected therefore that right from Piazzolla´s most beautifully played “Oblivion” onwards, musical balance was as perfect as all the other aspects of their playing. After all, the multitalented “Music Man” knows how best to arrange the various works for himself and his great partner. Here was every chance to fully enjoy both Hofmeyr´s brilliant fireworks and that lush and rich tone she achieves on her instrument. Here also was ample opportunity to admire the full range of du Plessis´ pianistic abilities, singing phrases, runs and/or arpeggios all over the keyboard. Together they took us from one pleasure to the next – first with those expressive and/or exciting tangos, then with the equally clever “Jazz Favourites”, great memories of famous tunes ending with the delightful and witty “Beethoven´s Blues”.
After prolonged applause and a well-deserved standing ovation the evening came to its crowning glory, the real “Beethoven Tango” that had us all in raptures of delight. I am confident, the old master listening from heaven must have smiled ! Congratulations and thanks to organisers and artists for an evening never to be forgotten - Rupert Mayr