Concert review: concert 4 CPO Summer Cyber Summer Series, April 15-19, 2021

What: Concert 4- April 15-19,2021- last concert in the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra’s Summer Cyber Symphony series (March 25 to April 15, 2021) Programme Concert 4: Piano Concert No. 20, K466 (Mozart), features South African pianist, Esthea Kruger, who has an international reputation in Europe, particularly in Germany; Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony. Conductor is Bernhard Gueller Viewing platform: Quicket Tickets: R120 Direct booking link: Information: Info, programme notes. booking instructions are on the CPO web  

You must NOT miss concert 4 in the Cyber Symphony Series – Summer edition with Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Bernhard Gueller.Esthea Kruger is on piano. She is dynamic -bringing a sense of rock concert to classical- during Rona. Check out the pics- screenshots. She is lifting off from that piano, whole body in motion and mask somehow stays on. Wonderful camera work, showing her fingers across the keyboard, playing Mozart. In a pre-recorded intro, leading up to playing, Piano Concert No. 20, K466, she quips:  “Mozart is too easy for children and too difficult for artists.” She cites Austrian pianist Artur Schnabel for the quote but I see that variations “Mozart being easy” have been attributed to others like pianist Alfred Brendel. Anyway, the point is that there is the view that Mozart is “easy” and this probably has a lot to do with his popularity and the fact that his music has become pop-ified, if that is even a word. Kruger says that Mozart is “deceptively simple” and it is up to the soloists to make “Mozart’s music come alive” She adds: “That is a wonderful challenge”. She says that is the first time that she is playing as a professional, with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and how great it is during Rona to have the opportunity to play with a sizable orchestra. The pianist has a big career and following in Europe. We are lucky to see/hear her play. The energy of this artist is palpable and so is her emotion. This is very much an emotional thing for and one can see that in her face; hands and the way she takes direction from conductor, Bernhard Gueller- guest conductor for this concert. One can see the connection between them and the work that went into preparing, as the piece is played out.

After a resounding burst of applause for Kruger, from the orchestra and crew and small Rona audience of 30, Gueller says: “I am a Schubert fanatic…Schuberts’s Unfinished Symphony is an unbelievable piece; an  unbelievable phenomenon because it is a symphony by a 25 year old who hasn’t seen much of the world or had much life experiences, so one is asking, where is this coming from, because this piece is so tragic, dramatic; so many new elements which no one has done before. It is amazing…” Gueller creates a dashing figure on that podium. It is wonderful to see him conducting the Philly again. The Schubert IS unbelievable and the Philly delivers a phenomenal and stirring performance for the audience at home. This is the last concert in the summer online series. The Autumn Cyber series will be on soon. Watch this space.

❇Screenshots from concert 4, April 15, 2021. © TheCapeRobyn/Robyn Cohen.