Michael Traub
1 minute read
24 Oct 2013
6:00 am

Focused tone

Michael Traub

This intelligently planned violin recital offered three masterworks by three of the greatest composers of previous centuries.

Piet Koornhof (left) began with Mozart’s Sonata in B-flat major, K. 454, playing stylishly and always well in tune. His tone is not always wholly ingratiating (but I presume he is not playing a Stradivarius or an Amati!).

It tends towards a well-focused thinness. His accompanist, Nicol Viljoen, played without music in front of him. I have only once seen this done in a duo recital, and that was at the Unisa International String Competition, by a Russian brother and sister pair. Viljoen managed extremely well, seeing that he is also visually impaired, I learned.

Excellent ensemble was the order of the day. I have heard the Finale taken slightly more lightly and quickly, but theirs was a valid interpretation of Allegretto.

The Mozart was followed by Beethoven’s last violin sonata, No. 10 in G major.

The beatific mood of the opening movement was well conveyed. Virtuosity prevailed in the Scherzo and the variation Finale.

The recital closed with the Sonata No. 2 in A major by Brahms, opus 100.

The work was given a large-scale reading which brought out the nobility and serenity of the music, culminating in the more ebullient Finale.