Yevgeny Kutik Violina Anguelov Daniel Boico CTPO Haydn Wieniawski Prokofiev #ConcertReview

Yevgeny Kutik Violina Anguelov Daniel Boico CTPO Haydn Wieniawski Prokofiev #ConcertReview

Reviewed by Andy Wilding

Conductor: Daniel Boico
Soloists: Yevgeny Kutik (violin) Violina Anguelov (mezzo-soprano)
Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Choir of Cape Town, City Hall Thursday 24 November 2016

Program: Haydn Symphony no.104 in D “London” – Wieniawski Violin Concerto no.2 in D minor – Prokofiev Alexander Nevsky op. 78

Boico’s signature exciting tempi and dynamic surprises at phrase endings were a perfect fit for the festive business of Haydn’s London. His clear time keeping ensured synchronous entries from the orchestra that gave the evening a brilliant showcase as an introduction.

The great performers that we have recently hosted at City Hall, amongst whom are Joshua Bell, Maria Kliegel and Howard Shelly, all share something in common. The moment they begin to play there is a discernible shift in the audience, as if every breath is held in fascination. We may or may not admit it, or acknowledge the ability in others, but I believe that we can recognise mastery even in the first phrase, from the way the line is expressed, just as we immediately recognise a pleasantly captivating voice from the first sentence uttered. Yevgeny Kutic’s first words were a mesmerising blend of passion, intensity, accuracy, and sweetness of tone. Continuing, it became apparent that his sound is gorgeous and his virtuoso passages are outstanding. He definitely plays “with the blood”. Seemingly without effort he manages to produce snare drum staccato without moving his right hand. Could be bouncing, could be magic.. Perlman might know: He tells a story about how Joseph Gingold (Joshua Bell’s teacher) learned staccato. Gingold was playing a piece that involved a lot of staccato but he wasn’t playing it so well. His teacher Eugène Ysaÿe (quite big and frightening) was in the audience and afterwards came backstage and asked Gingold “Where was the staccato?” Gingold replied “I’m sorry Mr Ysaÿe, I dont have a staccato.” So Ysaÿe said “Ok I’ll give you a staccato, dont worry just put the violin under the chin, ok now put the bow in the string, ok… GO!!

…But it seemed to be Kutic’s encore that won the heart of the audience: the Adagio from Bach Sonata no. 3 in C – a perfect balance to Wieniawski, gentle calm after the exhilarating roller-coaster.

Yevgeny Kutik Daniel Boico, Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra

Yevgeny Kutik Daniel Boico CTPO Wieniawski #ConcertReview

Itzhak Perlman Virtuoso Violinist, I know I played every note – Documentary of 1978 youtube

Opening on beautiful winds, Alexander Nevsky brought smiles of recognition, with interval leaps that only Prokofiev could write. A complex work, this Cantata for Mezzo-Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra adapted from the original film score, seems on the surface to be a celebration of a Russian hero, 13th century Prince of Novgorod and Grand Prince of Kiev, Alexander Nevsky. But as the supposed triumph unfolds, the undertones reveal a highly sarcastic and horrific portrayal of Stalin, who felt that he should be seen by his people as a modern Alexander Nevsky. Stalin directly supported the propaganda film, for which Prokofiev wrote the score, released in 1938.

Boico brought a necessary sense of ruthlessness to the work, fearlessly unleashing the full power of Prokofiev’s unflinching criticism of propaganda that justifies horror as honour. The nightmarish Crusaders in Pskov and hellish Battle On The Ice are both extremely rhythmically complex and technically challenging works, but equally important is the sentiment that there is no honour in war, only horror. No winners, no victory, no heroes, no reason, only trauma – an unmitigated mistake. I had the strong feeling that Prokofiev wanted us to pay particular attention to this message, no doubt intended for those who still believe the propaganda that makes it ok to use military force to control people.

In sublime contrast were with the sweetest moments of humanity, family, love, safety, and reason, voiced by the Philharmonia Choir of Cape Town, and Mezzo-Soprano Violina Anguelov. I didnt understand the Russian, but her emotional communication and body language conveyed the sadness and disgust of an angel walking through a battle field after it’s over. She entered during the opening of the Field of the Dead, as if picking her way between fallen bodies who died in “honour” (horror). Giving a deeply moving performance of serenity and excellent control, she exited during the close of the movement, as if refusing to take any further part in the atrocity.

Richard Haigh, Violina Anguelov, Daniel Boico, Philharmonia Choir of Cape Town, Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra

Choirmaster Richard Haigh, mezzo-soprano Violina Anguelov, conductor Daniel Boico, Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonia Choir of Cape Town

Easy music is easy listening, but great music reminds us to make great decisions about who we choose to be. Perhaps because of the music of Prokofiev and Shostakovich, we will recognise the propaganda of the next Stalin or Bush.

Louis Heyneman, Daniel Boico, Violina Anguelov, Yevgeny Kutik

Orchestra CEO Louis Heyneman with Daniel Boico, Violina Anguelov, Yevgeny Kutik

Rachel Lee Priday, CTPO & Daniel Boico – Ravel Prokofiev Rachmaninov #ConcertReview

Rachel Lee Priday, CTPO & Daniel Boico – Ravel Prokofiev Rachmaninov #ConcertReview

Reviewed by Andy Wilding

Conductor: Daniel Boico
Soloist: Rachel Lee Priday
Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, City Hall Thursday 30 June 2016

Thousands of years from now, archaeologists will say that the internet is one of the most important and transformative tools in the history of human development. Cape Town is a small city, but it is still relatively easy to be disconnected and believe that there is no money here, and that all the great events in classical music happen overseas. Just the other day I sat next to someone at a concert who had not heard of Fine Music Radio! But that is all changing at fibre-optic speed. Frequent events like the 35th Belvedere Singing Competition are constant reminders to Capetonians that our orchestra and facilities are a beacon on the map of Africa, a stunning destination for classical musicians and competitions. The internet is our ticket to being included in the rich explosion of classical events that seems to be growing in our Mother City. And what would happen if our City Hall and Baxter concerts were video broadcast onto a website for all the world to see, like the Berlin Philharmonic’s Digital Concert Hall?

Are we ready to go global?

Ravel – Alborada del Gracioso
We have a world-class orchestra, I hear it all the time from people who travel. Last Thursday the CTPO was on top form and impeccably synchronised with their percussion section. We have world-class conductors, Daniel Boico has worked closely with Barenboim, Boulez, and Mehta. His Ravel was scintillating, conveying the timeless allure of a Mediterranean village. Approximately translating as “Morning song of the Jester”, it is an orchestral show-piece with plenty of mystery and passion befitting the genre. The bassoon of Simon Ball serenaded over the atmospheric pianissimo orchestra that occasionally exploded in surprising and spectacular colour.


Rachel Lee Priday, Daniel Boico, Simon Ball, Sergie Burdukov, Gabriele von Dürckheim, Daniel Prozesky, Brandon Phillips, Hamman Schoonwinkel, Patrick Goodwin, Olga Burdukova, Andy Wilding, Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, #CapeTownPhilharmonicOrchestra, #CTPO, #ConcertReview, #ClassicalConcertReview

Rachel Lee Priday with the CTPO for Prokofiev Violin Concerto No.1 conducted by Daniel Boico

Prokofiev – Violin Concerto No.1
Priday is an alluring, enigmatic performer, delighting in the contrasts of ethereal serenity and electrifying volcanism. Her interpretation of the concerto was an exploration of these ideas, opening on a single glistening gossamer thread that became darker, thicker, and more menacing. Accentuating the harmonic angst of the second subject and its edgy awkwardness, she revealed the volcano – a lava-flow of shredding scales and explosive pizzicato. She’s a live wire! … And only too easily, it’s all dreamy back-lit misty dew drops again. There’s a kind of amnesia following the storm, an almost post-apocalyptic surrealism that quite aptly describes human nature. We want to forget – we want to go back to the blissful dream again.


Daniel Boico, Simon Ball, Sergie Burdukov, Gabriele von Dürckheim, Daniel Prozesky, Brandon Phillips, Hamman Schoonwinkel, Patrick Goodwin, Olga Burdukova, Andy Wilding, Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, #CapeTownPhilharmonicOrchestra, #CTPO, #ConcertReview, #ClassicalConcertReview

The CTPO with Daniel Boico after Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances

Rachmaninov – Symphonic Dances
We really do have a phenomenal orchestra. I know they’re just doing their jobs, but performing as a job means doing the job perfectly. Double-basses took their tricky fast wide reaches in their stride, the wind solos were breathtaking by Sergie Burdukov, Gabriele von Dürckheim, Daniel Prozesky and Brandon Phillips. And the award for #ShowStealer goes to: Hamman Schoonwinkel for his melancholy, lyrical, totally Rachmaninovian saxophone solo!

The Scherzo was bliss and rapture. This macabre, deeply beautiful waltz has three of my favourite things: 1) Ominously muted brass; 2) a concertmaster solo; (sublime, Patrick Goodwin) and 3) Olga Burdukova’s cor anglais.

Boico’s conducting is bold and sumptuously romantic. Never afraid to pause slightly or take his time describing a particularly beautiful phrase, his tempi are organic and expressive. His communication with the CTPO is excellent: they understand each other well. This could only be true because in many parts of the symphonic work, the timing is off beat and complex, and last Thursday the CTPO handled the corners like a Ferrari – mastering a finicky timing chicane into the final accelerando and coda – what an amazing ride!


Louis Heyneman, Rachel Lee Priday, Daniel Boico

Louis Heyneman, Rachel Lee Priday, Daniel Boico



Where ever you are in the world, you can watch the
35th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition FINALS



François du Toit, Daniel Boico – Jankowitz, Schumann, Saint-Saëns #ConcertReview

François du Toit, Daniel Boico – Jankowitz, Schumann, Saint-Saëns #ConcertReview

Reviewed by Andy Wilding

Conductor: Daniel Boico
Soloist: François du Toit
Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, City Hall Thursday 23 June 2016

Jankowitz – Revelation
From the misty Mahleresque cor anglais opening and throughout the work, it was clear that Christo Jankowitz has the stuff of a serious symphonic composer. “Revelation” reveals a talent for communicating sophisticated musical ideas that develop along a sensible line of progression. Certainly a composer requires an ability for melody-writing, but the skill of developing musical material is a step closer to genius. Many of the greatest musical works are based on a simple melodic idea, but achieve their greatness in how those ideas are ramified and explored. After hearing this work for the first time I was tantalised – I would like to hear a whole symphony by this composer. I enjoyed the orchestration, particularly the use of piano to compliment percussion. “Revelation” moves through extremely dramatic chaos to find peace, the basis of a true existentially questioning Romantic.

Christo Jankowitz has a SoundCloud:

After writing these notes I was pleased to see that Maestro Peter Klatzow had a similar ear for the work: “Hints of Mahler – nothing wrong with that!”


Christo Jankowitz Revelation, Daniel Boico, CTPO, #ConcertReview

Christo Jankowitz after the performance of “Revelation” by Daniel Boico and the CTPO

Schumann – Piano Concerto
I suppose one of the perks of being a world-class pianist must be the ability to reach inside the pocket of ones jacket and pull out the Schumann concerto! Maestro du Toit stepped up at short notice and gave one of the most profound performances I have ever heard or played on FMR. There is a perfectly good reason why he is everyone’s favourite: he plays beautifully. Taking his time, and with humility, he shows us the lyrical narrative of every line. He recreates the excitement and drama of the concerto with dynamic contrasts in his phrases, and avoids the ego trap of blinding speed and technical display.

To use baroque terminology, du Toit’s lyrical style is French, where he conveys compassion and empathy with the tasteful application of uneven, or inégalité phrasing. Equally comfortable conveying the dogma or forcefulness of fate, he turns to the German style of strict unyielding timing. And there is no load shedding when he needs power! His cadenza picked up an electrifying pace, flying clearly above the full orchestra. I did not need air or food during this cadenza. I needed nothing more than the continuation of the story.

Being a world-class conductor must be similar to being a world-class pianist – Maestro Boico pulled an equally polished performance from his pocket, giving the impression of weeks of rehearsals with the CTPO (a world-class orchestra). He followed du Toit’s tempo and nuance in the piano sections, accelerating slightly for the orchestra’s responses. This gave the concerto an enthusiasm and movement to the orchestra that offset the philosophical piano. The balance and accuracy were exquisite – in the exposition the double basses and du Toit’s left hand were one instrument. The timing in the third movement is extremely advanced. There are passages where “1” seems to disappear and appear again randomly for a few pages: the CTPO maintained astonishing balance and landed perfectly every time. Exemplary solos by Daniel Prozesky clarinet and Sergei Burdukov oboe.


François du Toit, Daniel Boico, CTPO #ConcertReview

François du Toit after the Schumann piano concerto with Daniel Boico and the CTPO

Saint-Saëns – symphony no. 3 “Organ”
What an extraordinary work! Boico’s first movement bristled with restless anticipation. There is an unmistakable presence that one feels in the City Hall when the organ’s lights are on – ITS ALIVE! Continuing the profundity of the Schumann concerto, it was as if we waited for an inevitable Close Encounter of the Third Kind. Eventually and benignly, the organ spoke its message to us in gorgeous bassey rumbles that no doubt surprised one or two passing whales in Table Bay. Although rather desperately in need of servicing and tuning, it is never the less the most spectacular instrument that many of us have ever seen or heard. The sound, physical vibration, and transcendental genius of the composer, synergise and create an experience that is quite out of this world. The concert hall became a space ship exploring the outer reaches of the galaxy, with conductor Boico captaining from the bridge, and organist Erik Dippenaar piloting from the helm.

In a demonstration of organic dexterity, Dippenaar played the Bach A-major mass the previous evening, on perhaps the smallest organ in Cape Town, and this Saint-Saëns symphony the following evening, on the Leviathan. He seemed equally comfortable on either one: with clean runs and intelligent phrases. Boico’s conducting style is precise and clear, articulately communicating the levels for sections to create the balance he wants. The CTPO delivered this monumental work with its virtuosic tutti sections amazingly, mastering the often syncopated and tricky timing as well as they did in the Schumann concerto. Boico’s accelerando into the close had hearts racing, sternums vibrating, and minds boggling – This was one to remember!


Daniel Boico, CTPO, Erik Dippenaar

Daniel Boico and the CTPO after the Saint-Saëns Symphony no.3 with Erik Dippenaar Organ


Christo Jankowitz, Louis Heyneman, Erik Dippenaar, François du Toit, Daniel Boico

After party, from left: Christo Jankowitz, Louis Heyneman, Erik Dippenaar, François du Toit, Daniel Boico

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Next week the CTPO returns to the City Hall with Daniel Boico and SENSATIONAL soloist Rachel Lee Priday – booking now open!

Ravel – Alborade del gracioso
Prokofiev – Violin Concerto no 1
Rachmaninov – Symphonic Dances


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