Blondes 2Elna van der Merwe & Zorada Temmingh (pianos)
Neville Arnolds (drums)

The Blondes’ second CD, Blondes 2, with medleys of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Queen, has just been released.

The Blondes have had enormous success at all the main arts festivals in the country, and are fast becoming an extremely popular choice as live entertainment for sophisticated occasions. Their innovative rendering of well-known classical melodies in the first half of their programme, with upbeat medleys on rock tunes in the second, has become their trademark.
In 2008 they released their first CD/DVD combo Blondes, with music by Bach, Mozart, ABBA and the Beatles.

Blondes 2 comprises three separate medleys. The Beethoven medley is a virtuoso display of all his greatest melodies, woven into each other in a fresh manner, with lots of musical irony and pathos true to the Beethovenian style. You will hear excerpts from the Waldstein-, Pathetique and Moonlight sonatas, Für Elize, the 5th symphony, the violin concerto as well as the Emperor concerto – romantic, dramatic, heroic. The Tchaikovsky medley consists of his unforgettably lyrical and passionate melodies strung together in a touching tribute with virtuoso flourishes. Excerpts from the Nutcracker, Swanlake, the 1st piano concerto and the violin concerto are included.
Queen’s singular style lends itself surprisingly well to “classical” arrangement for piano. Their beautiful melodies underscored by quirky harmonic shifts and driving rhythms make this medley something to marvel at. Bohemian Rhapsody, We are the Champions, A Kind of Magic, and Friends will be Friends are four of the ten songs included.

The Blondes do their own arrangements, as they used to do when they were students together at the Stellenbosch University Conservatoire. A few years ago they revived the duo to great acclaim. They have completed four different productions: Bach, Mozart & Beatles.., Beethoven & ABBA.., Tchaikovsky & Queen.., and Verdi & Lloyd Webber. Boland Blues is a medley of Afrikaans folksongs referring to the Boland which they often include in programmes. Their latest production Grieg, Gershwin & Grease.. is scheduled to premiere in September 2010.

Elna is best known as one of South Africa’s leading collaborative pianists of the classical repertoire. She regularly performs with musicians from abroad, and is a resident accompanist for all the main music competitions in the country. In 2009 SAMRO honoured her with a special award for her contribution as accompanist in the SAMRO-competition.
Zorada is well-known as one of South Africa’s foremost organ improvisers. She was the first South African to improvise live sound tracks for silent films (The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and Phantom of the Opera), for which she received a special Kanna award for groundbreaking work in the classical arena.

“These two ladies are passionate about their music and the role music can play in buidling a better future for all in South Africa. Very PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN!  They serve as an example to other musicians in SA that there is a future in SA for our own!

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