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Thursday, November 29, 2012


(Refiloe Olifant)

Fitting farewell to violinist Refiloe Olifant. (Review by Keith Millar)

The Baroque 2000 Ensemble’s superb rendition of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 at their concert at the Church of the Monastery at Mariannhill on Sunday was a fitting farewell to violinist Refiloe Olifant.

Refiloe has been plying her trade with both KZNPO and the Baroque 2000 ensemble for the past few years. She recently had the opportunity to perform alongside renowned violinist Joshua Bell in a performance of Bach’s Concerto For Two Violins.

But now the time has come for Refiloe to move on. She will be leaving at the end of the year to go and further her studies at Stellenbosch University. As a suitable send-off, she was asked compile the programme, and also to direct Sunday’s concert.

The main work on the programme was Bach’s magnificent Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major BWV 1048. The concerto was scored for three violins, three violas, three celli, bass and continuo. The group tackled this work with energy and jubilance. It was an inspired and joyful performance and the result was music so exquisite that it brought a tear to eye.

Olifant’s other selections were  Sonata Al Santo Sepulcro by Vivaldi, Concerto Grosso XII by Albicastro, Sonata 11 a 5 OP. 2 No.3 by Albinoni and Geminiani’s Concerto Grosso No. 1.
All in all, a programme which met with the approval of the large, enthusiastic audience.

Olifant handled her duties as director with aplomb. Watched over like a proud older sister by usual Concert Master Ralitza Chernova, she led the ensemble in a cheerful and skilled performance. It was smiles all round rather than the sometimes too sombre faces of classical musicians. It was hard to tell who was enjoying the concert more - the ensemble or the audience.

Hearing the very professional Baroque 2000 performing wonderful music at the historical Mariannhill Monastery Church is a very special experience. It is something all music lovers owe themselves.

You have one more opportunity hear them this year as their final concert – a Christmas special -will take place at 11h00 on December 23, again at the Mariannhill Monastery.

For any further information contact Michel Schneuwly (Baroque 2000 Organiser) on 031 312 5539 / 082 303 5241or email: – Keith Millar