Last year a triumphant one in musician´s life
2009 WAS a triumphant year in violinist Zanta Hofmeyr’s career: Inspiring performances of Britten’s Violin Concerto, with both the JPO and KZNPO, strong participation in Shostakovich’s chamber music with members of the Musaion Trio (cellist Heleen du Plessis and pianist Malcolm Nay), as well as her and pianist Charl du Plessis’s stimulating cross-over presentation of Beethoven Tango.
She also sometimes presents lower profile concerts in churches with master organist Wim Viljoen.
They captured a niche market with Arioso, recorded about a decade ago, a best-seller among locally produced classical CDs.
They´ve just released Cantilena, their second CD together, with inspiring works, easy on the ear, but far from being only smooth. As was the case with Arioso, the recordings were again made in the Universiteitsoord Dutch Reformed Church in Hatfield.
The repertory, this time, is quite different: fewer arrangements and more original music for this unusual combination. “The main reason for us recording this second CD was the richness we found in the works of the German composer Joseph Rheinberger (1839-1901), a versatile, original and productive figure,” says Zanta.
The fact that she and Prof Wim Viljoen were artistically thinking on the same level, is confirmed by Wim´s remark: “When visiting New York some time ago, I bought the sheet music of Rheinberger´s Theme and Variations, Opus 150 no 1 written specifically for the violin/organ combination.” The album´s title refers to another work of the composer, perhaps his most well-known melody, while his Intermezzo is as attractive. In what way did they encounter a growth process in their own playing over the past 10 years?
Zanta: “I´ve concentrated a lot on colouring of sound, to make my vibrato less broad and to contrast it with the type of nuances each work requires.”
Wim feels they´ve chosen more substantial works, with more contrasts in tempo, like in the Baroque composer Michael Festing´s Largo, Allegro, Aria and two variations. “For me the new CD is not only about ‘art music’ per se, but it shifts the niche we´ve created with Arioso into a kind of broader spectrum we trust the public will accept and enjoy.”
Zanta and Wim plan to give more duo concerts when time, within their very busy schedules, permits. Apart from being one of South Afric´s most travelled violinists, Zanta is still fully committed to her teaching career, while Wim, who has been heading the Music Department of the University of Pretoria for the past 18 months, is continuously streamlining the department. It boasts 111 full-time B Mus students and for 2010 they’ve received 50 new applications. - PRETORIA NEWS , THURSDAY FEBRUARY 11 2010