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Saturday, November 30, 2013


 Baroque 2000's performance was luxuriant, accurate and stimulating. (Review by Keith Millar)
The Baroque 2000 ensemble is a Durban musical treasure. As such, it was very pleasing to see the support it enjoyed at last Sunday’s concert. To the extent that the marvellous Church of the Monastery at Mariannhill, where the concert took place, was full to the brim.

This may be because the programme offered two ever-popular works from Bach, the Suite No. 2 in B Minor and the Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, as well as Telemann’s very enchanting Don Quixote Suite. Nonetheless, the support is very encouraging. It is not only a testament to Baroque 2000’s current popularity but bodes well for the future of the group and the music they play.

The only area of concern is that audiences are made up largely of senior people. Young South Africans need to be encouraged by whatever means possible to support this music and to nurture it, for future generations to enjoy.

Made up mainly of musicians from the KZNPO, Baroque 2000 is playing particularly well at the moment. Their performance was luxuriant, accurate and stimulating.

Special invited guest for this concert was Erik Dippenaar playing the harpsichord. He is a special talent and excited all with his skill and extraordinary finger dexterity during the solo passages of the Brandenburg Concerto No.5.

The concert started with Bach’s Suite No.2 in B Minor, featuring Evilien Ballantine on the flute. This suite for Flute and Strings is the only surviving work by Bach for solo flute and orchestra. It is a grand work which, as a collection of dances, is light in mood but remains a carefully balanced and unified composition.

Next on the programme was Telemann’s vivacious Don Quixote Suite. This musical interpretation of Miguel Cervantes’s 1605 masterpiece is dramatic and colourful. The brief movements portray Don Quixote’s various adventures. It is a lively, effervescent and spirited work.

Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 along with his other five Brandenburg Concertos are widely regarded to be among the finest musical compositions of the Baroque era. This wonderful work was superbly played at Sunday’s concert. Leading the way was the previously-mentioned skill and dexterity of Erik Dippenaar. His performance on the harpsichord was transfixing and breathtaking.

The Baroque 2000 Concert on Sunday morning offered beautiful music played with skill, flair and enjoyment. However, a thought. Classical musicians take their music very seriously and in general seldom offer a smile while performing. They can, in fact, look quite grumpy. Possibly they could take a cue from cellist Fiona Grayer whose lovely face and ready smile are enough to light up any stage.

The next Baroque 2000 Concert will take place at the Church of the Monastery at Mariannhill on December 22 at 11h00. It will be a special Christmas programme. For any queries contact Michel Schneuwly on 031 312 5539/082 3035241 or e-mail - Keith Millar